Construction of the Taj Mahal began in January 1632. Shah Jahan met with his team of architects every day. The architects did not make written plans. The chief architect drew the plans in chalk on the ground. Other architects and work supervisors studied the plans to know how to go ahead with construction. The plans followed some of the basic rules of Mughal and Islamic architecture. Both styles used symbols and matching shapes (such as only one style of column). Also very important was symmetry-
Shah Jahan ordered red sandstone, a soft rock, from quarries (rock mines) 25 miles (40 km) west of Agra. He ordered white marble from quarries 250 miles (400 km) away. Both were hauled to Agra on carts pulled by water buffalo. Bricks were made right at the site in Agra. Shah Jahan also brought in skilled stone cutters, carvers, and bricklayers from all over India. Historians say that more than one thousand workers were on the construction site every day.