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Why was the Taj Mahal built?

Mumtaz MahalMumtaz MahalThe Taj Mahal lies on the banks of the River Yamuna near Agra, India. When his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal died in 1631, the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, vowed to build the most beautiful tomb in the world for her. Work started in 1632 and continued for 21 years. The Taj Mahal is said to have been designed by Isa Khan, a Persian architect, but no one knows whether this is true. Called the Taj Mahal, it is made of white marble, studded with thousands of jewels.

The Taj MahalThe Taj Mahal

Babur, the first Mughal emperorBabur, the first Mughal emperor

Mughal Empire

The Mughal Empire was founded in 1526, when Babur, a ruler from Afghanistan, conquered the Sultanate of Delhi. Babur's ancestors were the Mongol emperors Tamerlane and Genghis Khan. Babur became the first of the six Great Mughals. His empire stretched across almost the whole of modern India. The Mughal rulers were Muslims, while most of their subjects were Hindus. The Mughal Empire in India lasted until 1858, when it was taken over by the British.

At its peak in the mid-17th century, the Mughal Empire had more than 150 million inhabitants—nearly a quarter of the world’s population at the time.

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