Mar 14, 2004
The Taj Mahal is on every traveler's itinerary and despite how famous it is or how many times you’ve seen a photo, it actually does live up to its reputation and is a must-see. It is architecturally perfect. Construction began in 1632, employed 20,000 men from all over Asia, and finished up in 1653. Besides the remarkable amount of marble and the use of elephants in its construction, the small inlay work and carvings are equally impressive. Onyx, amethyst, turquoise, jade, crystal, coral, and mother-of-pearl was supplied by places like Iran, Russia, Afghanistan, Tibet, China, and the Indian Ocean (Rough Guide 2011) and put in place by nothing less than master craftsman. You seriously have to see what they did to believe it and the only way to do that is come here yourself. The Taj is the final resting place for Shaw Jahan and his favorite wife Arguman Bann Begum. She must have been quality!
Agra Fort was another worthwhile stop but the Taj Mahal wins any and all prizes if you want to make comparisons.