Taj Mahal, built by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, is an architectural marvel. It reflects a combination of Persian, Islamic and Indian architecture. Shah Jahan built Taj Mahal after the death of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, whom he loved dearly. Everyone has heard about the beauty of the Taj Mahal in Agra and many from around the world have witnessed its grandeur, there are certain interesting facts about Taj Mahal that aren’t well known.
This magnificent symbol of love has been listed among the Seven Wonders of the World. Adding to the beauty of this spectacular edifice is its compound that boosts sprawling lawns and beautiful fountains. The British refurbished it to give a look and feel of the lawns in London.
Thousands of tourists visit this monument every month. Tours such as the Same Day Agra Tour that include the Taj Mahal are quite popular, as the major tourist spots in the city are close together.
10 interesting facts about Taj Mahal
- Around 22,000 laborers, painters, embroidery artists and stonecutters were employed to build Taj Mahal. It is often said that the hands of the workers who built this beautiful mausoleum were chopped off on its completion so that another such marvel could not be built. However, this is just a rumor. Ustad Ahmad Lahauri, who supervised the architects of Taj Mahal, later laid foundation for the marvelous Red Fort.
- Around 28 types of precious and semi-precious stones from India, China, Sri Lanka and Tibet once adorned Taj Mahal. Unfortunately, British soldiers removed many of them during the rebellion of 1857.
- The four minarets that surround Taj Mahal tilt outwards. This is to ensure they do not fall inward on the main tomb in case of natural calamity such as an earthquake. They will likely fall in that very direction and won’t cause harm to the magnificent main structure.
- If Taj Mahal were not constructed on the bank of river Yamuna, it would have collapsed by now. Taj Mahal’s timber foundation would not normally have lasted long, because wood weakens and cracks over time. However, it stays moist and strong because it is submerged in the river.
- The Taj Mahal has beautiful inscriptions all over, including 99 different names of Allah. Inscribed on the walls of the monument and the tomb of emperor Shah Jahan and queen Mumtaz Mahal are verses from Quran Sharif, the holy book of Muslims. A beautiful lamp hung on one of the royal gates of Taj Mahal has Lord Curzon’s name inscribed on it. The copper lamp weighs 60 kg.
- Shah Jahan’s other wives and his favorite servants are buried in the mausoleums outside the Taj Mahal. All of them, including Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal, lie in plain crypts. This is because Islamic tradition prohibits the decoration of graves.
- Around 4 million to 8 million tourists visit Taj Mahal every year. It is one of the most visited monuments around the world. There are times when more than 50,000 tourists flock to this magnificent monument on a single day. This usually happens in the peak season, when the weather is just right to roam around this place and enjoy its beauty.
- The color of this beautiful edifice changes with the time of the day. A pink hue takes over in the early morning hours. During the evening, it appears to be milky white. And in the moonlight, it reflects a golden tone. Its beauty increases even more during a full moon. The color change in color of this spectacular white mausoleum during different times of the day is said to reflect the changing moods of Shah Jahan’s wives.
- The beautiful white marble monument is turning yellow because of increasing air pollution. In order to protect it from the harmful exhaust of passing vehicles, only electric vehicles may operate near the monument and its surrounding areas. This is an attempt to conserve it. It is also a no fly zone, and aircraft cannot fly over Taj Mahal.
- During the Second World War, a huge scaffold concealed Taj Mahal. This made it look like a big pile of bamboo. The Archeological Survey of India arranged the scaffold to protect the monument then, and again during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.
More about Taj Mahal
It took nearly 22 years to build Taj Mahal. The construction began in 1632 and ended in 1653. However, small refinements continued. More than 1,000 elephants fetched the building material from different parts of India and Asia. The jasper came from Punjab, translucent white marble from Makrana, lapis lazuli from Afghanistan and turquoise from Tibet. Skillful cutting and placement of these materials built a monument that boasts of India’s rich cultural past.
If you haven’t seen Taj Mahal yet, you are certainly missing out on something major. Plan a one day Agra tour to take a look at this spectacular monument as well as other architectural wonders that stand tall in the city. We suggest a tour planned by The Tour Basket to ensure a fun-filled and fulfilling experience and to explore these interesting facts about Taj Mahal.