In 1631, Shah Jahan, the famous Mughal emperor, was devastated by the death during childbirth of his third wife. He decided to build in her honour the most beautiful mausoleum in the world, the Taj Mahal. The story goes that more than a thousand elephants carried the sandstone, marble, jade, turquoise, sapphire, and other materials used to build it. The writer Rabindranath Tagore describes the palace of love as ‘a tear suspended on the cheek of time'.
In 1658, the emperor was overthrown by his son Aurangzeb and imprisoned in Fort Agra, also known as the ‘Red Fort', which was built by King Akbar in 1565. With the emperor's death in 1666, his remains were placed close to that of his beloved wife. Shah Jahan's youngest son extended Fort Agra by adding palaces and mosques of white marble. Today, the army occupies the site, but you can visit the southeast part where, through openwork screens, the sparkling silhouette of the Taj Mahal looms on the horizon.