I held my breath unable to speak in the face of so much beauty... this is a beauty that enters the soul. -- Eleanor Roosevelt
The building itself left my scepticism in shreds... insisting with absolute force on its sovereign authority, it simply obliterated the million counterfeits of it and glowingly filled, once and forever, the place in the mind previously occupied by its simulacra and this, finally, is why the Taj Mahal must be seen; to remind us that the world is real, that the sound is truer than the echo, the original more forceful than its image in a mirror. The beauty of beautiful things is still able, in these image-saturated times, to transcend imitations. And the Taj Mahal is beyond the power of words to say it, a lovely thing, perhaps the loveliest of things. -- Salman Rushdie
The Taj Mahal's architect is not known for certain, but this much-debated figure produced a design of flawless symmetry and exquisite elegance, a synthesis of Muslim and Hindu styles executed in rose sandstone and milk-white marble. Despite its massive size--the main dome rises more than 240 feet and throws a load of some twelve thousand tons on its supports--the Taj Mahal seems to float almost weightless above its surrounding courtyards, mirrorlike watercourses and vivid green gardens. Its mythic fragile beauty rarely fails to captivate even the most cynical...
[But] standing together beside the flower-inlaid cenotaphs of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz lying side by side, we understood that the Taj Mahal was, above all, the product of deep emotion. At the heart of all the grandeur and magnificence lie two human beings who loved each other. -- Taj Mahal: Passion and Genius at the Heart of the Moghul Empire, by Diana and Michael Preston