The Taj Mahal is mausoleum complex in Agra, situated in the western Uttar Pradesh state in northern India.

It was ordered to be built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahān (reigned 1628–58) to immortalize his wife Mumtāz Maḥal (“Chosen One of the Palace”). The name Taj Mahal is a derivation of her name. She died in childbirth in 1631, after having been the emperor’s inseparable companion since their marriage in 1612.

Building commenced about 1632 and more than 20,000 workers were employed from India, Persia, the Ottoman Empire and Europe to complete the mausoleum. In total, construction of the 42-acre (17-hectare) complex spanned 22 years.

A tradition relates that Shah Jahān originally intended to build another mausoleum across the river to house his own remains. That structure was to have been constructed of black marble, and it was to have been connected by a bridge to the Taj Mahal.

He was deposed in 1658 by his son Aurangzeb, however, and was imprisoned for the rest of his life in the Agra Fort. When Shah Jahan died in 1666, his body was placed in a tomb next to that of his beloved Mumtaz.