lso known as the Musamman Burj, the Shah Burj is an elaborate octagonal tower located near the Diwan-e-Khas (hall of private audience) in Agra Fort. The Shah Burj was commissioned by Shah Jahan for his cherished wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Before the Shah Burj was built, in its place stood a small marble palace built by Akbar, which was later torn down by Jahangir who had new buildings constructed in its place. Shah Jahan chose to build a multiple storey marble tower engraved with precious stones for Mumtaz Mahal. Built between 1631 and 1640, the Shah Burj offers a stunning view of the Taj Mahal. The Shah Burj contains elaborate alcoves and has also been constructed using delicate mesh work, which ensured that the royal ladies could look out and enjoy the beauty of the surrounding areas while still maintaining purdah. An exquisite marble dome tops the Shah Burj, which is flanked by a foyer with an elaborately carved fountain in the middle. The Shah Burj looks out over the Taj Mahal and is considered to be the best spot for viewing the monument. Historical records suggest that it was here that Shah Jahan spent the last few years of his life as a captive of his son, Aurangzeb, gazing out at the Taj Mahal.
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