Being a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal is one of the most famous buildings in the world. Many people are aware of the basic facts about the Taj Mahal – it is a burial tomb commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to prove to his favourite white, Mumtaz Mahal, how much he loved her.
But if you want to know more about the iconic structure, check out these 7 facts about Taj Mahal that most people don’t know about. These facts are sure to impress your friends or at the very least, make you look like you know your travel trivia.
7 Facts About Taj Mahal
- The Taj Mahal took 22,000 labourers, stonecutters, painters, embroidery artists and many other workers 22 years to build. 1,000 elephants were also used to transport all the heavy materials needed to build the structure.
- It’s almost perfectly symmetrical. The four sides are identical – even the images and scripture which cover the walls are the same – so no matter which side you look at the Taj Mahal, the view is always the same. The only reason the structure isn’t symmetrical is because the two tombs on the inside aren’t the same size – the man’s tomb is larger than the woman’s.
- The white marble façade is inlaid 28 different types of precious and semi-precious stones which form symbolic flower designs. The turquoise was imported from Tibet, the Jade was imported from China and the heavy white marble which is the main building material was brought it from Rajasthan.
- The four minarets which stand at the corners of the Taj Mahal all tilt outward. These pillars were built purposely in this way so that in the event of an earthquake, they’ll fall outward and won’t crush the main Taj Mahal structure.
- The Taj Mahal looks a different colour depending on the time of day you see it. First thing in the morning it looks pink, throughout the day it looks milky white and just before nightfall it looks golden. This change in colour is related to how the white marble reflects the sun and the moon’s light.
- The Taj Mahal’s white marble is quickly taking on a yellow hue due to air pollution in Agra. The Indian government is trying to combat this by only allowing electric vehicles close to the structure. If you visit, you’ll have to get out of your private car or tour bus and hop on an electric minibus to travel to the site.
- Mughal emperor Shah Jahan was put under house arrest when his son came into power before the Taj Mahal was finished. For the last eight years of his life, he was only able to view the Taj Mahal and its construction from the windows and balconies of his palace.
If you want to visit the Taj Mahal, make a reservation at a hotel in Agra and book a tour guide online before you go. There are loads of reputable tour companies in India and you’ll make your visit much more hassle-free and enjoyable if you organise your tour before you go.