Construction of the Taj Mahal started on January 8, 1632. The structure took over 20 years to finish, with the last parts being assembled in 1653.
The Taj Mahal was constructed to be the final resting place of Mumtaz Mahal, who was the third wife of the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan. Mumtaz Mahal died while giving birth to Jahan's 14th child. So grief-stricken was Shah Jahan, that he moved to Agra, a place of great religious significance, with the idea to build a mausoleum for his wife. The actual tomb of Mumtaz Mahal was completed ten years before the rest of the mausoleum, in 1643, and the first ceremony took place on February 6 of that year.
The building is made of white marble. It has designs in it formed by semi-precious stones. The building took a vast amount of physical labor. It took at least 20,000 people to create the massive structure, along with a large number of elephants. It is a world heritage site visited by several million people each year.