Taj Mahal Facts

  • The Taj Mahal incorporates and expands on design traditions of Persian and earlier Mughal architecture.
  • The Taj Mahal was built by 22,000 labourers, painters, stonecutters, embroidery artists.
  • The name Taj Mahal means “crown of palaces”.
  • The Taj Mahal is located in Agra, a city in the Uttar Pradesh region of northern India.
  • Legend has it that Emperor Shah Jahan intended to build another Taj Mahal in black marble across the river but a war with his sons interrupted these plans.
  • The Taj Mahal was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 for being “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage”.
  • Under the British control in the late 19th century, the Taj Mahal’s greenery adopted a subtler character more common to British gardens.
  • On the sides of the actual tomb of Mumtaz Mahal, has 99 names of Allah can be found as calligraphic inscriptions.
  • The Taj Mahal is actually cracking at an alarming rate due to lack of groundwater beneath the structure.
  • The Taj Mahal is made of white marble.
  • In 2008, a Bangladeshi filmmaker constructed a replica of the Taj Mahal at a cost of US $56 million dollars so that his impoverished countrymen in Bangladesh could enjoy the famous monument without travelling to India. The replication took five years to complete with modern equipment.
  • Cars and buses are strictly prohibited from coming within 500 meters of the Taj Mahal.
  • Taj Mahal is the most famous Indian landmark.
  • Taj Mahal was declared a winner of the New 7 Wonders of the World (2000–2007) initiative.
  • Taj Mahal was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (reigned from 1628 to 1658) to house the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal; it also houses the tomb of Shah Jahan himself.
  • The full height of the Taj Mahal is 171 metres (561 feet).
  • Ustad Ahmad Lahauri, generally regarded as the chief architect of the Taj Mahal, was not Indian; he was a Persian from Iran.
  • The materials that were used to build Taj Mahal were transported to the construction site by 1,000 elephants.
  • 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.
  • The Taj Mahal complex is bordered on three sides by crenellated red sandstone walls; the side facing the river is open.
  • Taj Mahal attracts 2-4 million visitors annually with over 200,000 from overseas.
  • The Taj Mahal complex includes a large garden, a reflecting pool, a mosque and other mausoleums.
  • British soldiers pried precious stones from the walls of the Taj Mahal during the Sepoy Rebellion in 1857.
  • False structures and scaffolding were constructed around the Taj Mahal throughout different conflicts to confuse German, Japanese, and Pakistani bomber pilots.
  • The garden uses raised pathways that divide each of the four quarters of the garden into 16 sunken parterres or flowerbeds.

 

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