Taj aptly called a 'dream in marble ' is situated on the right banks of the Yamuna river. It is towards the South of the city and is at a distance of about three kms. The Taj Mahal, the most beautiful building of the world, is made of white marble, in the loving memory of the Empress of India named Arjumand Bano Begum. She was the grand daughter of Mirza Giyas Beg who was later known as
and who was father of Noor Jahan, the wife of Prince Salim of Jahangir. The name of her father was Khuaja Abul Hasan entitled as Yamin- ud - Daula. Asaf Khan who was real brother of Noor Jahan and was the prime minister of Jahangir's court.
Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal were inseparable loves and it is clear from the incident that when Shah Jahan had to go to suppress a rebellion of Khan- E - Jahan Lodi at Burhanpur in the Decan, then Mumtaz was also at the side of Shah Jahan in Burhanpur in that campaign.
After the death of Mumtaz Mahal ' The Lady of the Taj ', Shah Jahan could not bear this great loss of his dear wife and his health began to decline. On each Friday, Shah Jahan used to go to her grave on foot in white dress, to read ' Fatiha', accompanied by his courtiers and nobles.
The emperor announced a memorial to be built for his dear wife and invited designs from the famous architects of the world. So many designs were put before the emperor, but ultimately the design of Ustad Isa Afandi of Turkey was selected and the construction of the Taj started.
The main building material, the white marble of top quality, was brought from Makrana, a well known place in the Nagaur District of Rajasthan. Some precios stones, gold and silver were received from various kings and chiefs of the empire and from abroad. The completion of it took twenty two years to build and some twenty thousands labourers worked on it. After the construction of the main building, the other buildings surrounding the Taj and Taj Gardens were taken up. Not only this, but some adjacent buildings were also created in which the Mosque towards west, another building named Jamat Khana towards the east, a big boundary like huge platform towards river Jamuna and a very big three storeyed entrance gate took another five years.
On the occasion of first anniversary of Mumtaz Mahal, Shah Jahan ordered for an urs to be celebrated. As per the orders of the Emperor, the attendants of the households, set up some huge arrangements.
The southern Gate is towards the South, which faces the old Mumtazabad ( Modern Taj Ganj ). On the right side of this gate is a tomb of red stone which is surrounded by courtyards and crowned with a dome. It is said that there is a grave of one lady companion of Mumtaz Mahal. Due to this reason this building is called as the tomb of a Maid of Honour.