Taj Mahal: Monumental entrance gateway on the south with reflecting pools



Built by the emperor Shah Jahan (reigned 1628-1658) as the tomb for his favourite wife, Arjumand Banu Begum (died 1631). The building’s name (literally “Crown Palace”) is a corruption of the queen’s title, Mumtaz-i Mahal (“Chosen of the Palace”). She died in Khandesh giving birth to her 14th child, while accompanying the emperor on a military campaign. First entombed at Burhanpur, her body was brought to Agra in 1632, when the Taj Mahal was under construction. The tomb, often described as a monument to love and grief, and its garden setting mark the high point in the evolution of Mughal tomb architecture. The fine white marble was quarried at Makrana in Rajasthan, the inlay work includes lapis lazuli, jasper, agate, chalcedony, cornelian, jade, onyx, coral, amethyst and turquoise. One of the building’s surprises is the numerous colour contrasts that emerge from a distant impression of whiteness.


Attribute NameValues
  • G. Massiot & cie

  • Gardens

  • Architecture

  • Domes

  • Minarets

Date Created
  • 1910-01-01

Date Digitized
  • 2007-01-01

Cultural Context
  • Mughal

Place of Creation
  • +27.174167+78.042222

  • Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India

  • Agra

Departments and Units
Member of
Temporal Coverage
  • before or circa 1910

Record Visibility Public
Content License


Collections Featuring this Image
Architectural Lantern Slides of India (includes present-day Pakistan)


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