To the southeast of Delhi lies the relatively young city of Agra, best known for being home to one of the most famous monuments in the world - the magnificent Taj Mahal. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan the Taj was a memorial to his wife Mumtaz Mahal who died whilst giving birth to their fourteenth child. Construction of the Taj began in 1631 the same year that Mumtaz Mahal passed away and was finally completed 22 years later in 1653. Only the most exquisite marble was used with the total bill estimated at over RS 3 million which would be about the equivalent of US$U70 million in today’s money. The earliest reference to Agra can be found in the epic Mahabharata where it is referred to as the Agravana, however it was in the medieval period, that Agra rose to prominence as the capital of the Mughals when the city was beautified with gardens, waterfalls, bathhouses and canals. Today the bustling streets of Agra are home to a thriving carpet industry, leather workers and of course marble and sandstone sculptors, some of whom claim to be descendants of the craftsmen who helped build the great Taj Mahal.