Taj Mahal is nothing but one of the most famous tourist destinations these day. It’s the country’s iconic mausoleum, inspired by love, has awed millions of visitors with its serene beauty.
It’s always a very big mistake if any one us comes to India without visiting Taj Mahal. Here are some of very interesting facts about the mausoleum, from its meaning, the structure, how was it build, and so on.
- Sick with grief, Shah Jahan was first inspired to build the Taj Mahal after Mumtaz Mahal, his third wife, died while giving birth to their 14th child. His wife was in labor for 30 hours before she died at age 40.
- The four minarets (towers) surrounding the Taj Mahal were constructed farther away from the main structure than usual. This was done as a safety measure so that if any of them fell, they would fall away from the tomb rather than crash into the place.
- During British rule in India, the garden landscaping was changed to look more like the manicured lawns in London, England. The original garden was adorned with lots of roses and daffodils.
- The Taj Mahal contains a working mosque and is closed on Fridays for prayer. Respect should be shown while visiting because it is both a mausoleum and active religious structure.
- There is no proof to support the long-standing myth that artists and architects involved with the construction of the Taj Mahal were later put to death so that they could never “repeat such a beautiful feat.” Instead, historians believe that they were required to sign contracts.
- With construction beginning around 1632 and finishing in 1653, the Taj Mahal took an estimated 22 years to build.
- Ustad Ahmad Lahauri, generally regarded as the chief architect of the Taj Mahal, was not Indian; he was a Persian from Iran.
- Islamic tradition forbids the decoration of graves, so Shah Jahan and his wife are actually buried in a plain crypt beneath the main inner chamber of the Taj Mahal.
- Shah Jahan’s other wives and even his favorite servant are buried in mausoleums just outside of the Taj Mahal.
- Construction of the Taj Mahal cost an estimated 32 million Indian rupees (the equivalent of over US $1 billion at the time).
- The structure on the western side of the Taj Mahal is thought to have been used as a guest house. Over 1,000 elephants were used to transport heavy materials and supplies for construction.
- A total of 28 types of precious and semiprecious jewels are set in the marble. The turquoise came from Tibet, and jade came from China. Heavy white marble — the principal building material — was transported from Rajasthan.
- British soldiers pried precious stones from the walls of the Taj Mahal during the Sepoy Rebellion in 1857.
- An estimated 20,000 laborers were recruited from all over Asia to contribute to the massive project.
- False structures and scaffolding were constructed around the Taj Mahal throughout different conflicts to confuse German, Japanese, and Pakistani bomber pilots.
- 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.