The Taj Mahal is an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna river in agra. It was commissioned by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan in 1632, to house the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz. The tomb is the centrepiece of a 42-acre complex, which includes a mosque and a guest house, and is set in formal gardens bounded on three sides.
The Taj Mahal is built on a parcel of land to the south of the walled city of Agra. Shah Jahan presented Maharajah Jai Singh with a large palace in the center of Agra in exchange for the land.An area of roughly three acres was excavated, filled with dirt to reduce seepage, and leveled at 160 ft (50 metres) above riverbank. In the tomb area, wells were dug and filled with stone and rubble to form the footings of the tomb. Instead of lashed bamboo, workmen constructed a colossal brick scaffold that mirrored the tomb. The scaffold was so enormous that foremen estimated it would take years to dismantle.