North-west minaret of the Taj Mahal, Agra
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the north-west minaret of the Taj Mahal at Agra, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections taken during the 1880s, possibly by W. Caney. The Taj Mahal was built between 1631 and 1643 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (r.1628-58) as a mausoleum for his beloved wife Arjumand Banu Begum, who was also known by the title Mumtaz Mahal. Built of white marble inlaid with precious stones, the mausoleum stands at the centre of a high square plinth. A minaret, faced in white marble inlaid with black, stands at each of the four corners of the plinth. This close view of the north-west minaret shows its tapering, three storeyed design crowned by a chattri dome. The use of minarets in conjunction with a tomb is unusual but based on Mughal precedents. In the distance are the River Jumna and the Agra Fort.