Shah Jahan was an emperor of the Mughal Empire during a period of great prosperity. In 1631, his second wife Mumtaz Mahal died during the birth of their daughter Gauhara Begum, their fourteenth child.
Taj Mahal is situated on the right banks of the yamuna. The Taj Mahal is made of white marble, in the loving memory of the then empress of India - named Mumtaz Mahal, the grand daughter of Mirza Giyas beigh - who was later known as Itmad-Ud-Daula She was Persian by blood and was born on 6th April 1593A.D
Mumtaz Mahal expired on Tuesday 7th June 1631 & transferred the responsibility of Shah Jahan to Jahan Ara, their daughter after death of the lady of Taj , Shah Jahan abstained himself from all kinds of pleasures & functions . the natural remains of Mumtaz Mahal were given a temporary burial in the building at Zainbad , opposite to Burhanpur on the other side of river Tapti in the month of June 1631 .on 15th of June 1631 the emperor reached the grave and shed oceans of tears on the grave of his beloved wife.
The construction work of Taj started in Dec. 1631 & ended in 1648. But the french traveler Gean Baptists, claim to have witnessed the commencement and the completion of it took 22 years & some 20 thousand workers worked on it . it is said that the 22 domes on the main entrance gate represent 22 years spent in the construction of Taj.
Soon after the Taj Mahal's completion, Shah Jahan was deposed by his son Aurangzeb and put under house arrest at nearby Agra Fort. Upon Shah Jahan's death, Aurangzeb buried him in the mausoleum next to his wife. By the late 19th century, parts of the buildings had fallen badly into disrepair. During the time of the Indian rebellion of 1857, the Taj Mahal was defaced by British soldiers and government officials, who chiseled out precious stones and lapis lazuli from its walls. At the end of the 19th century, British viceroy Lord Curzon ordered a massive restoration project, which was completed in 1908. He also commissioned the large lamp in the interior chamber, modeled after one in a Cairo mosque. During this time the garden was remodeled with British-style lawns that are still in place today. In 1942, the government erected a scaffolding in anticipation of an air attack by German Luftwaffe and later by Japanese Air Force. During the India-Pakistan wars of 1965 and 1971, scaffoldings were again erected to mislead bomber pilots. More recent threats have come from environmental pollution on the banks of Yamuna River including acid rain due to the Mathura oil refinery, which was opposed by Supreme Court of India directives. The pollution has been turning the Taj Mahal yellow. To help control the pollution, the Indian government has set up the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ), a 10,400 square kilometer (4,015 square mile) area around the monument where strict emissions standards are in place. In 1983, the Taj Mahal was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.