The Taj Mahal
, one of the most beautiful and mystic wonders of the world today, has an extremely rich history to it. Built by the Mughal
Emperor Shah Jahan
in the 17th century, it is a masterpiece of architecture
Originally, the Taj was to be built for Shah Jahan's wife, Mumtaz. The original plan was to build the existing Taj for Mumtaz, and build an identical structure next to it, only in black marble, for himself. The two were then to be connected by a silver bridge, symbolizing their love. However, since the original taj took over 22 years and a massive amount of money to build, his sons were a little distraught, and wound up deposing Shah Jehan in order to preserve some money as well as for numerous other reasons. So today, the foundation for the black taj still exists, but the structure was never built.
Another interesting fact is that the Mughal gardens of the Taj are highly symbolic and reflective of the legendary gardens of Paradise in Islamic scripture, divided into four categories. The gardens only exist in ruins today, but there is effort by the Indian Government to restore these majestic gardens. The four gardens were supposed to represent heaven on earth, with the center being the Taj complex, and Shah Jehan and his wife as manifested deities. Needless to say, Jehan had a little superiority complex.
The last bit of legend, (don't know if it's true) relating to the Taj is that Shah Jehan was so marveled by his accomplishment, and so protective of it, that he didn't want anything ever close replicated, he had the head architect's hands cut off. The architect was very very pissed off. So he drilled a hole into the dome, and later said to the Shah, now your masterpiece is flawed forever.