Many interesting Taj Mahal facts and myths have surfaced over the years, but the real history is much more fascinating than any fiction.
We all have learned about Taj Mahal and things associated with it like when, who and for whom it was built, in our school life. Being one of the recognizable monuments in the world, it holds one of the most powerful and famous testimonies of love. But did you know there are still some facts that are unheard or lesser discussed? The history is indeed much more fascinating than what we all have been hearing and reading for years. I just couldn’t stop myself from sharing the most interesting and unknown facts that I have come across a few days ago with you. Trust me, learning about these lesser known yet interesting facts will give you plenty of reasons to plan your trip to Taj Mahal right away!
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One of the most significant Mughal Empire architectural marvels still stands in all its beauty and finesse in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. It is a white marble built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. In Arabic, the Taj Mahal is known as “crown of palaces”. It is said to be the jewel of Islamic art in a nation that is predominantly Hindu. As if to show case the expanse of the Mughal Empire, it combines architectures from all the corners of the Empire including Islamic, Persian, Ottoman Turkish and Indian architectural styles.
Now you must be wondering if this particular blog is any different. Well, we give you 20 reasons why you should visit the Taj Mahal (irrespective of whether you’ve been here before or not!) right away.
- It was a time period of 1632-1653 when Taj Mahal was built. Shah Jahan spent nearly 32 million rupees on the construction of what we now recognize as the epitome of love. Wondering what would be the value of money at present? Well, today the amount would be close to $1 Billion.
- The Taj Mahal was built by a whopping 22,000 laborers, painters, stonecutters, embroidery artists.
- Sick with grief, Shah Jahan was first inspired to build the Taj Mahal after his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, died while giving birth to their 14th child. His wife was in labor for 30 hours before she died at age 40.
- Emperor Shah Jahan intended to build another Taj Mahal in black marble across the river but a war with his sons interrupted these plans.
- About 28 types of precious and semi-precious stones were used for adorning the Taj and they were sourced from Tibet, China, Sri Lanka and some parts of India.
- The Taj Mahal contains a working mosque and is closed on Fridays for prayer. Respect should be shown while visiting because it is an active religious structure. Dress appropriately, despite the heat.
- The structure on the western side of the Taj Mahal is thought to have been used as a guest house.
- The materials that were used to build Taj Mahal were transported to the construction site by a whopping 1,000 elephants.
- Did you know that the publically open floor of the Taj Mahal that the visitors see now is not the real tomb of the ruler and his deceased wife? The actual tombs are at the garden level, which is two levels below the raised platform and is closed to the public.
- Taj Mahak stay dark at the night & for 400 years there are no Lights at Taj. Once Government tried to put Lights in garden of Taj but on First Night all Lights got broken. Same thing happened 2nd time. It is written, Mumtaz’s Soul Rest every Night & some Power protects it. It is impossible to illuminate Taj!!!
- The tomb contains 99 different names of Allah as calligraphic inscriptions.
- The Taj Mahal is 171 metres (561 feet) high, which makes it 5 feet taller than the Qutub Minar.
- The Taj Mahal was declared one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007, receiving more than 100 million votes. Voting for the Taj Mahal actually helped push the controversial internet-and-phone-based poll into the world spotlight.
- Did you know Agra was not supposed to be the actual site for Taj Mahal? Yes, you read it right. Earlier, Taj Mahal was to be built in Burhanpur (Madhya Pradesh) where Mumtaz died during the childbirth. But unfortunately, Burhanpur couldn’t supply enough white marble and so the final decision was taken to build the Taj Mahal in Agra which has now become a popular domestic tourist attraction in Agra.
- The Taj Mahal’s white marble is rapidly turning yellow because of terrible air pollution in Agra. Only electric vehicles are allowed near the structure, and a 4,000-square-mile environmental radius was declared around the monument to help control emissions. Visitors must walk or take electric buses from the parking area to the Taj Mahal.
- You can see the Taj Mahal from the Jasmine Tower of Agra Fort (also known as Musamman Burj- where Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his son, Aurangzeb).
- In 2008, a Bangladeshi filmmaker constructed a replica of it at a cost of US $56 million dollars so that his impoverished countrymen in Bangladesh could enjoy the famous monument without traveling to India. The replication took five years to complete with modern equipment.
- False structures and scaffolding were constructed around the Taj Mahal throughout different conflicts to confuse German, Japanese, and Pakistani bomber pilots.
- Following the Taj Mahal’s completion, Shah Jahan was put under house arrest in 1658 by his son, Aurangzeb. Shah Jahan was only able to view the Taj Mahal from his window for the last eight years of his life before being entombed there.
- The changing moods of the Emperors wife are well captured by the changing hues of the Mausoleum at different times of the day. It takes a pinkish hue in the morning, milky white in the evening and golden at night when illuminated by moonlight.
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So these were some of the facts that make the Taj Mahal one of the magnificent monuments in India
Taj Mahal is indeed a beautiful place. When you visit, make sure you take a picture of yourself and your spouse with the mausoleum as the background…who knows, the love that the emperor had for his wife to dedicate this kind of resources for her remembrance after death might rub off on you.
Traveller Tip: Go early in the morning when the sun has not warmed up the marble too much. Try to visit in Winter. Slippers, Sandals, Shoes or any types of footwears are not allowed while visiting Taj Mahal.
Timing and Tickets: The entry is open from sunrise to sunset (8:00 A.M to 5:00 P.M). For Indian tourists, the ticket is Rs. 40. For foreign tourists the ticket is for Rs. 1000.
Things to do nearby: You can also visit the Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri which are in close proximity and showcase beautiful architecture.
Without doubt, there are very few people in the world who have not heard of the Taj Mahal or its grandeur. The more you explore, the more you get to know about the interesting facts, trivia and even rumours going around the mausoleum. I hope you like above facts. Have you heard of any such stories we haven’t yet covered here? Write to us in the comments below!