Taj Mahal

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Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India; 1632–53

The Taj Mahal is one of the world’s most recognized buildings. Famous for its beauty and for the fact that it was created by a grieving widower in memory of his wife, it is a sublimely romantic gesture of a building. Internationally, the Taj Mahal is emblematic of India, in the same way that the pyramids are emblematic of Egypt.

Shah Jehan, who commissioned the monument, ruled India as part of the Mughal Empire, which stretched from Persia across the subcontinent. Mahal was his wife’s name, and a taj is an honorific hat, sometimes translated as a crown. They were married for 18 years and she died ...

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