The Taj Mahal stands along the right banks of the River Yamuna, at a junction where the river takes a sharp turn, flowing eastwards. The land where the Taj Mahal presently stands was owned by the Kachhwahas of Ajmer, situated in Rajasthan. Emperor ShahJahan acquired the land In order to construct the memorial site, in return for four Havelis.
First, a network of wells was laid along the Yamuna River to support the massive buildings of the mausoleum. Collectively, calligraphers, Masons, dome-builders, stonecutters, carvers, painters, inlayers, and several skilled artisans were commissioned from within the princely states as well as from Iran and Central Asia.
The bricks used for the construction of the Taj Mahal were prepared locally, while the exquisite white marble was obtained from Makrana, situated in Rajasthan. The Emperor ordered the use of semi-precious stones for the inlay ornamentation and had them specially brought from distant regions of India, Afghanistan, and Ceylon as well.
The use of red sandstone in varied tints and shades is quite evident and these were specially ordered from the neighboring quarries of Dholpur and Sikri. All in all, it took an impressive 17 years to complete the Taj Mahal Complex. The construction works began in 1631 and was finally completed in 1648.