Yes it is only about 18 Interesting Facts about Taj Mahal that you might not know. And no, I won’t be talking about what a brilliant piece of Mughal Architecture Taj Mahal is. Neither will I talk about its cultural significance which led to it being inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. Nor am I going to talk about its history, location and reasons why you should visit Taj Mahal.
Or for that matter, I won’t even mention how poetic I felt when I witnessed this immaculate masterpiece of human imagination.
This post of mine is all about the lesser known facts about Taj Mahal. Like one of the lesser known facts about Taj Mahal is that its reflection in the pool is called Laham Jat – Use a mirror and you know what I am talking about 🙂
So here it is, 18 Interesting Facts about Taj Mahal that you might not know:
- Built in memory of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan’s third and most favourite wife Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal took 22 years to be completed.
- It is believed that more than 22,000 people were employed to build this majestic building. The work force of 22,000 included masons, calligraphers, labourers, painters, stonecutters, embroidery artists, and many others.
- Mumtaz Mahal, an inseparable companion of Shah Jahan, died in 1631, while giving birth to their 14th child
- It is said that the death so crushed the Emperor that all his hair and beard were said to have grown snow white within just a few months.
- When it was constructed The Taj Mahal estimated cost was about Rs. 32 million, which in terms of money value would exceed well over $1 billion!
- It is believed that more than 28 types of precious and semi-precious stones and lapis lazuli were inlaid into the white marble during the construction of this Mughal magnum opus.
- The full height of the Taj Mahal is 171 meters (561 feet).
- More than 1,000 elephants were employed to transport the construction materials used to build the Taj.
- 99 names of Allah can be found as calligraphic inscriptions on the sides of the actual tomb of Mumtaz Mahal.
- As the legends have it, Emperor Shah Jahan had planned to construct yet another Taj Mahal in black marble on the other side of the river but soon after the completion of Taj Mahal he was deposed by his son Aurangzeb.
- It is believed that you could witness the changing mood of females – more specifically Shah Jahan’s wife Mumtaj Mahal – in the changing colours of Taj Mahal. Taj Mahal dons a different color at different times of the day. It changes from the shy pinkish hue in the morning, to glowing milky white in the evening and burnished golden at night when lit by the moon.
- Taj Mahal is considered the most symmetrical structures in the world. The four sides of the Taj Mahal are perfectly identical creating a mirrored image on each side. It uses the principles of self-replicating geometry and symmetry of architectural elements.
- The Taj Mahal is perfectly symmetrical in every way, except for one thing–the two tombs inside are not equal in size. This is because the male tomb had to be larger than the female tomb.
- According to folklores, Emperor Shah Jahan ordered to chop off the hands of the workers who had constructed the Taj Mahal so no one could make anything like it.
- The Taj Mahal is surrounded by charbagh style gardens and a number of other buildings including a mosque and guest houses which make up the 17 hectares of land within the complex walls.
- The Taj Mahal was partially damaged by the British after the rebellion of 1857. At the end of the 19th century Lord Curzon who was the then Viceroy of British India ordered an extensive renovation project.
- Many precious stones and lapus lazuli were ripped off from the walls of Taj Mahal by the British during the Indian rebellion of 1857.
- The restoration work was completed in 1908. The British style lawn that one see today were incorporated during this restoration process to restore what was lost of the charbagh during 1857 rebellion.
BTW, If you are planning to visit Taj Mahal, this is how to reach Taj Mahal in Agra.
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