The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum, a burial place. Jahan and his wife were married in 1612, and she was his inseparable companion until her death in childbirth in 1631. His grief led him to design and construct as magnificent a building as possible for her final resting place. Later Jahan also was buried there.
It was on the south bank of the Yamuna River, outside the city of Agra, that Jahan decided to erect his memorial. The whole complex is a rectangle measuring 1,900 feet (580 meters) by 1,000 feet (305 meters), aligned north and south. In the center of the rectangle is a garden area 1,000 feet on a side, leaving an oblong area at each end. At the south is the sandstone gateway and other buildings. At the north end is the mausoleum, flanked on each side by identical buildings. One is a mosque, and the other is called its jawab, or duplicate. These are made of red sandstone with marble necked domes and some surface decoration.