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Close to the River Yamuna and clearly seen from the fort in the western side, the Taj Mahal is situated in the northern end of the huge gardens surrounded by walls. Its design pursues the Islamic theme which has been there for centuries. The Taj Mahal represents Paradise and above all it is a testimonial to love. The emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal to preserve the body of his beloved wife, Arjumand Banu Begum also known as Mumtaz Mahal.

There were many architects brought from different parts of the world to build the Taj Mahal, Ustad Isa from Turkey was said to be the main architect, and it was his design that impressed the emperor very much. Besides him other notable architects include Qazim khan who hailed from Lahore and he was brought here to work on the finial which was of pure gold and was to be placed on top of the dome. The stone cutter whose name was Amanat khan was from the province of Baluchistan, Pakistan. From Persia came Shiraz who was a master in calligraphy. To Pattern the assortment came Chiranji Lal who was from Dehli.

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Among the Persian, Moghuls and Arabic architect, the huge marble tomb that stands at the end of the magnificent gardens is very fashionable. Divided into four ways, they remind the image of the ParadiseGarden where there would be rivers flowing with honey, milk and water. Nowadays the canal running from the northern side to the southern side is full and it gives an exact reflection of the Taj Mahal and is a favorite image among on lookers.

The Taj Mahal is square in shape with pointed arches in its sides. The Taj Mahal has a square platform with a huge minaret at each of its corners. With a huge dome on top of it, the height reaches to about fifty five meters with its height emphasized by a brass spire which is almost seventeen meters high. As you come near, the tomb tends to become larger and even more luxurious but when you come really close to it, one gets to see is amazing elegance and the fine detail of the carving done which is decorated by flowery patterns of valuable stones. Narcissi rose and tulip flower vases are carved out of the base of the marble. This outline is repeated and becomes more colorful and is filled with valuable stones around the 4 huge pishtaqs on each side of the Taj Mahal.

The main entrance into the Taj Mahal is on the southern side. Once you enter the Taj Mahal there is a huge, echoing chamber with white light reflected by the surfaces of the marbles. The screen of the marble is cut so elegantly that it seems transparent. It is decorated with valuable stones, dispersed stippled light over the monument of Mumtaz Mahal which is in the middle, and that of Shah Jahan which is next to her. The stones on the marble are one of the finest in Agra and people from all over the world light up the decorations with torches. To decorate the tomb of Mumtaz mahal, the 99 names of the Almighty Allah are engraved where as on the tomb of Shah Jahan is a pen box which was the trademark of a ruler. The tombs according to the tradition of the Moghuls are only symbols of the real coffins which are in the same position in a plain and moist tomb with the odor of rose petals and invigorating expasperate. (Okada, Amina, C. Joshi, Mohan, Nou, Jean-Louis, pg 1-45)

The Alhambra and the Taj Mahal are two of the most prominent Islamic Architectures. Built in two separate places far away from each other, they still show the immense brilliance of the Islamic minds at the time when there was no heavy machinery. Still monuments like these have been built and people nowadays are totally amazed by the beauty of these two famous monuments which were built centuries ago.

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