The Taj Mahal from the river side.
Photograph of the Taj Mahal from the river, Agra, taken by Samuel Bourne in the 1860s. The Taj Mahal was built on the banks of the river Yamuna, 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 is square in plan and surmounted by a bulbous dome. It stands on a plinth with a minaret at each of the four corners, sited at the northern end of enclosed formal gardens of the Persian ‘char bagh’ form where a square garden is divided equally into four smaller quadrants.