Of all the wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal is undoubtedly the most beautiful one. Located on the southern bank of Yamuna river in Agra and is one of the masterpieces of the Mughal Dynasty. Being the symbol of love, it is one of the most romantic places in the world. Let us find out some interesting facts about Taj Mahal.
1. Also known as the “crown of palaces”
The Taj Mahal is often referred as the “crown of palaces” as is considered as the most beautiful and eternal among all.
2. Symbol of Love
The Taj Mahal is the 2nd name of love. It was a dedication of a sorrowful emperor Shah Jahan to his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1631 while giving birth to their 14th child.
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3. When was this wonder made?
In 1632, an year after the death of Mumtaz Mahal, Shah Jahan decided to make a monument of love as a dedication to his wife. After an epic work of 21 long years, it got completed in 1653.
4. Mumtaz Mahal was the 3rd wife of Shah Jahan
Although the love of Shah Jahan for Mumtaz Mahal was impeccable but he had 2 more wives named Kandahari Begum and Izz un-Nisa Begum but his relationship with them was not comparable to that with Mumtaz Mahal.
5. Many people do not know their real name
Shah Jahan’s real name was Khurram Shihab-ud-din Muhammed which was given by his father Jahangir in 1617. Whereas, the real name of Mumtaz Mahal was Arjumand Banu Begum.
6. The architect behind this beauty
The architecture of the Taj Mahal is a blend of Indian, Islamic and Persian style. Ustad Ahmad Lahauri was the main Persian architect of this monument.
7. Construction cost of Taj Mahal
It costed Shah Jahan 32 million Indian rupees to built this monument which amounts to 52.8 billion Indian rupees at present.
8. Material used in its making
The Taj Mahal was a mega project and was built mainly with white marble from Makrana, Rajasthan, the jasper from Punjab, jade and crystal from China. Other stones used were turquoise from Tibet, Lapis lazuli from Afghanistan, sapphire came from Sri Lanka and the carnelian from Arabia. In all, twenty eight types of precious and semi-precious stones were inlaid into the white marble.
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9. Labor involved
20,000 workers from India, Persia, the Ottoman Empire, and Europe were hired to built it. Along with that, around 1000 elephants were used as a tranport medium.
10. Color changing monument
At various stages of the day, its color changes from soft grey and yellow to pearly cream and dazzling white. It is said that changing colors reflects the changing moods of the women, in particular the Emperor’s queen.
11. Area and dimension of Taj Mahal
It’s a colossal monument, covering an area of 42 acres in total, sloping from south to north. The height of the main dome is 240 ft and that of the 4 minars is 130 ft. It is estimated to be taller than a 20 story building.
12. The hands of the workers were cut
It was speculated that the hands of the workers were cut off after the making of Taj Mahal as measure to avoid similar construction again.
13. The couple reside here in tomb
Taj Mahal was built for Mumtaz Mahal and her tomb is also located inside it along with that of Shah Jahan, the larger tomb is of the King and smaller one is of the Queen. Around the tomb, there are 99 names of Allah inscribed calligraphically.
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14. The Taj Mahal is gradually sinking
The Taj Mahal was made in such a way that the buildings foundation needed a constant streamlet of moisture from the Yamuna river to retain its strength. But due to the gradual drying up of the river, concern has began.
15. Many precious stones were robbed
There are many precious stones missing in the monument and is believed that many precious stones were ripped off from its walls by the Britishers during the rebellion of 1857.
16. A temple resided in place of Taj Mahal
It is said that the Taj Mahal was an ancient Hindu temple known as Tejo Mahalaya dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Agreshwar Mahadev i.e. The Lord God of Agra was consecrated in it. It is believed that Shah Jahan commandeered it from the then Maharaja of Jaipur.
17. The pillars are inclined outwards
The 4 pillars of height 130 ft surrounds the main dome of the Taj Mahal. But do you know that they are not standing 90 degree to the surface but are they tilted outwards so that if an earthquake occurs they will fall away from the tomb!?