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- "The Taj Mahal rises above the banks of the river like a solitary tear suspended on the cheek of time."
- –Rabindranath Tagore
Perhaps the Taj Mahal is not a remarkable wonder, but the Golden Age it starts is not to be underestimated, especially if you managed to build the Chichen Itza, or are playing a relevant civilization such as Brazil or Persia. Either way, this is a very good wonder to spend a Great Engineer on, particularly if you are playing a wide empire and are looking for more Happiness on top of the Golden Age.
If the city containing the Taj Mahal is captured (and either annexed or puppeted), then the capturing civilization will also get a Golden Age (10 turns in Normal speed games) once the city leaves the resistance phase.
The Taj Mahal stands in Agra, India. It was built in the mid-16th century at the orders of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, as a mausoleum for his wife. Acknowledged as one of the most beautiful structures in the world, the Taj Mahal is composed of rare and brilliant materials imported from across India and Asia - it is said that over 1000 elephants were employed to carry the sandstone, marble, jade, turquoise, sapphires, and other materials used in its construction.
The Taj Mahal complex covers an area of approximately 300 meters by 580 meters (1000 feet by 1900 feet) and consists of a gateway, garden, mausoleum, mosque, and guest house. The first three buildings are clad in white marble and covered with geometric patterns, while the mosque and guesthouse are built of brilliant red sandstone. The buildings are topped with magnificent onion-shaped domes and minarets.
Experts have debated about what makes the Taj Mahal unique and beautiful. Some suggest that it lies in the structures' marvelous proportions and symmetry, while others argue in favor of the way that the marble buildings interact with the light, giving the Taj Mahal ever-changing character as the sun rises and sets. Still others believe that its inherent beauty lies in its purpose - a man seeking to cast in stone his love for his departed wife.