Taj Mahal is unarguably the largest symbol of love ever built in the history of mankind. This colossal monument has attracted the attention of travelers from all across the world since long. This white marble monument has its own share of history, and the more you will know about it, the more you are going to fall for it. There is a reason why this monument is regarded as a wonder of this world, as there is no other monument like it. The Taj Mahal not only symbolizes love but also the grit of Emperor Shah Jahan for building a monument that the entire world would admire.
In this blog, we have listed some of the most interesting facts about Taj Mahal that we bet you hadn’t heard about. In case if you are planning to visit Taj Mahal, then these facts are sure going to fuel your travel plans. In case you have visited Taj Mahal, after these facts you will want to visit it again and see the monument with perspectives of these facts.
1 – Taj Mahal was built in the memory of a queen
Taj Mahal was built in memory of Shah Jahan’s favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. As opposed to other great monuments of this world that are either built for gods, or kings, this one was dedicated to a queen. You might have heard that Shah Jahan’s favorite wife Mumtaz Mahal’s tomb rests here, but you will be surprised to know that the other wives of Shah Jahan are also buried in the premises of Taj Mahal.
2 – Mumtaz Mahal belonged to Persian Nobility
Mumtaz Mahal was the queen for whom this monument was built. She was the third wife of Shah Jahan. She belonged to Persian Nobility, and was a native to Agra. She was very close to Shah Jahan, and accompanied him everywhere he went. She died due to medical complications while giving birth to her 14th child with Shah Jahan.
3 – A Back Taj was also supposed to built opposite of Taj Mahal
A Black Taj, or a Kaala Taj, or the Second Taj was also planned by Shah Jahan. The emperor wanted to build a black marble replica of Taj Mahal just opposite to the white marble Taj Mahal, across the river Yamuna. The black Taj Mahal was supposed to be the Mausoleum of Shah Jahan. He wanted to connect both the monuments with use of a bridge. However the historians disagree that any such Black Marble Taj Mahal was to be built, but the locals of Agra whose ancestors have lived there since the times of Mughal Rule have passed on this legend to this date.
4 – Taj Mahal looks smaller when you are close to it
The architects and the builders of Taj Mahal have left behind some optical tricks while the construction of the monument. You will notice that as you walk closer to the Taj Mahal it will look smaller but when you will walk away, it will look larger. The Minarets might seem upright, but they slightly bent outwards. This is also because if an earthquake happens in the region, the minarets would fall outwards sparing the dome and the main structure of Taj Mahal.
5 – Taj Mahal was studded with 28 types of Semi Precious stones
The semi precious stones that were used to build the Taj Mahal were sourced from many countries including Sri Lanka, Tibet, and China. The turquoise that was used in the decoration of Taj Mahal was sourced from Tibet, the Jade from China, the Jasper from Punjab, the Lapis Lazuli from Afghanistan, and Carnelia from Arabia. It is believed that a total 28 number of semi precious stones were used to decorate the interiors of Taj Mahal.
6 – It was built in an amount of 1 Billion Dollars in today’s worth
Taj Mahal was constructed between the years of 1632 and 1653. It is estimated that a whopping amount of 32 Million Rupee was spent in the making of the monument. This amount in today’s time would have been close to 1 Billion Dollars.
7 – It is one of the most visited monuments in the world
It is estimated that around 8 Million people visit Taj Mahal every year, from all across the world and all parts of India. This makes it, one of the most visited monuments in the world. In the fact the number of annual visitors to Taj Mahal is larger than the actual population of Agra, the city where it is situated. At times Taj Mahal also witnesses 50,000 visitors per day, now that is a huge number of tourists.
8 – It is one of the Seven new wonders of the world
Taj Mahal is one of the new 7 wonders of the world. In the year of 2007, people from all across the world voted this monument to be listed as the new 7 wonders of the world, because all the old wonders except the pyramids had been destroyed. The number of votes that Taj Mahal received was more than whopping 100 Million.
9 – It was built by more than 20,000 craftsmen
Taj Mahal is built of red sandstone, which is covered with white marble plates. The artisans that contributed in the building of Taj Mahal were sourced from many parts of the world, including Syria, Iran, Turkey and Central Asia. It took around 20 years and the labor of 20,000 craftsmen and artisans, to build the magnificent Taj Mahal.
10 – It shines in different colors at different point of the day
The monument of Taj Mahal appears in different shades at the different time of the day. In the mornings it is pinkish, in the evening it is milky white and while in the night it appears golden.
11 – No arms were chopped off of the artisans
In India there is a myth with the locals that the people who were involved in the making of Taj Mahal had their arms chopped off, so that they would never be able to create any other monument as good as Taj Mahal. But this is just a hoax, as Ustad Ahmad Lahauri who was a Persian from Iran and the architect of Taj Mahal, was later involved in the construction of Red Fort too.
12 – Taj Mahal is taller than Qutub Minar
It might seem odd but Taj Mahal is taller than Qutub Minar. The height of Taj Mahal stands at 171 meters which is 5 meters taller than that of Qutub Minar.
13 – It is inscribed with verses from Holy Quran
The structures inside the premises of Taj Mahal are all inscribed with Islamic Calligraphy. Most of these texts are from the verses of Holy Quran.
14 – 1000 Elephants were used to transport the material to build Taj Mahal
The materials that were used in the construction of Taj Mahal were transported to the site with help of 1000 elephants. Most of the material was sourced from within India and Middle East. The white Marble that was used in the construction of Taj Mahal was sourced from Markana in Rajasthan which is a well known place for white marbles.
15 – It has 99 names of Allah inscribed on the tomb
On the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal you will find Allah inscribed on it in 99 forms of name.
16 – The foundation of Taj Mahal is built of Timbers
If Taj Mahal was not built by the banks of Yamuna it would have collapsed till now. The foundation of Taj Mahal is made of timber, and with the passage of time it is supposed to grow weak. But it is the water of Yamuna that is keeping it strong and moist in all these years. However the archeological team of India is worried that Taj Mahal can collapse because of the drying Yamuna which won’t be further able to keep the foundation timbers, moist.
17 – The original gardens of Taj Mahal were Mughal Styled
The gardens of Taj Mahal which were originally built by the Mughals consisted of abundant Daffodils, Roses, and fruit orchards. However when the British took over India, they converted the gardens of Taj Mahal to look more like a British Lawn.
18 – It is closed on every Friday
Taj Mahal is closed on every Friday of the week, that is because the premises of the Taj Mahal also has an active mosque, which opens for prayers every Friday afternoons.
19 – Motor Vehicles are not allowed within 500 meter radius of Taj Mahal
In recent years Taj Mahal has underwent fading of its white marble, primarily because of the air pollution in the region. To minimize the effect of air pollution on Taj Mahal the local government has banned motor vehicles to not enter the 500 meter radius from the premises. Moreover to repair the damage already done, which is the yellowing of marble, the archeologists are also using mud packs to restore the original beauty of the monument. But not to worry as electric vehicles can enter that radius.
20 – Taj Mahal doesn’t has lighting installments for night
There are no lighting equipments installed in Taj Mahal for it to shine in nights. This is done primarily because lightings in night attracts insects, and their excreta which contains chemicals can tarnish the white marble from which the Taj Mahal is built of. However during the full moon nights, you can visibly see Taj Mahal in all its might and grandeur.
21 – Taj Mahal premises is a no fly Zone
Aircrafts are not allowed to pass over the skyline above Taj Mahal. Yes you guessed that right, it is a no fly zone.
22 – Taj Mahal could have been built in Madhya Pradesh
The original site for the construction of Taj Mahal was not Agra, but Burhanpur, Madhya Pradesh, which was the place where Mumtaz Mahal died. But because of the place being far from the sites of white marble to be procured, finally Agra was chosen.
23 – The name of Lord Curzon is inscribed on the lamp hung on its entrance
The name of Lord Curzon is inscribed on the large lamp, which is made of copper and weighs 60 kilograms. This lamp is hung on the entrance of the Taj Mahal.
24 – During wars it has been covered by scaffolds
During the World War II the entire structure of Taj Mahal was covered with scaffolds, which was made to appear like a stockpile of bamboos, to save it from Ariel bombings. Then again during the Indo Pakistan war of 1971, the monument was covered with massive green cloth.
The Taj of all Mughal Monuments!