Love, forever : The Taj Mahal

An engineering marvel, a monument to a grand passion, an eternal love poem in white stone - Agra’s Taj Mahal is all this and more. Built towards the end of the 17th century by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal is an architectural jewel that perfectly combines scale, grace, power and beauty.

Today, this symbolic monument is one of the greatest tourist attractions in the world. Every year, more than 3 million visitors come to witness humanity’s most enchanting building with their own eyes. Featured as one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal is a sight that must be experience at least once in a lifetime. We take a look at some magical photographs of this historic monument that will leave you spellbound.

“The Taj Mahal rises above the banks of the river like a solitary tear suspended on the cheek of time.” - Rabindranath Tagore

“Taj Mahal was built as a team; without a team, it was a far dream.” - Vinita Kinra

“To say she was attractive would be an understatement. Calling her ‘attractive’ would be like calling the Taj Mahal a marble grave.” - Mallika Nawal

“Different people have different views of the Taj but it would be enough to say that it has a life of its own that leaps out of marble, provided you understand that it is a monument of love. As an architectural masterpiece, nothing could be added or substracted from it.” - Bina Gupta in Shrine of Love - Taj Mahal

“Taj has been described as having been designed by giants and finished by jewellers.” - Renu Saran in Wonders of the World

The Taj is pinkish in the morning, milky white in the evening and golden when the moon shines. These changes, they say, depict the moods of woman.“ - Susant Pal in Imbibed In Faith

"The most impressive in the Taj Mahal complex next to the tomb, is the main gate which stands majestically in the centre of the southern wall of the forecourt.” - UNESCO

“It is the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage.” - UNESCO

“Not a piece of architecture, as other buildings are, but the proud passions of an emperor’s love wrought in living stones.” - Sir Edwin Arnold, English Poet

10. "Did you ever build a castle in the Air? Here is one, brought down to earth and fixed for the wonder of ages.” - Bayard Taylor, American novelist

11. “It appears like a perfect pearl on an azure ground. The effect is such I have never experienced from any work of art.” - Hodges, British painter

12. "There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who have seen the Taj Mahal and love it, and those who have not seen the Taj Mahal and love it. I would like people to watch the Taj Mahal and fall in love with it.” - Bill Clinton

“A massive marble structure, without weight, as if formed of ether, perfectly rational and at the same time entirely decorative, it is perhaps the greatest art work which the forming spirit of mankind has ever brought forth.” - Count Hermann Keyserling, German Philosopher

"It is a celebration of woman built in marble and that’s the way to appreciate it.” - Susant Pal in Imbibed in Faith

“I am a symbol of death, a tomb signifying all life ends as it is transient

I am the tear drop of a grieving lover

A magnificent declaration of his ardor

A marble symphony by maestro carvers

A magnum opus, an aria by Wagner to savor."

- Bina Gupta in Shrine Of Love - Taj Mahal

Also read:

Is Taj Mahal the only symbol of love? These 8 monuments will tell you why it is not

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39 absolutely iconic photos from India’s past that every Indian must see