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Amazing Facts About 'The Taj Mahal'

Interesting Facts about one of the greatest monument of this world

Rabindra Nath Tagore, a noble laureate, summed up his feelings for 'The Taj Mahal' in a very beautiful sentence. I could have easily posted his quote right at the start, but I've refrained; this is because I wish that the reader reads about the revered monument, up close and personal.

'The Taj Mahal' was built by Shah Jahan, a Mughal Emperor as a symbol of love for his beloved wife Mumtaz. It took twenty two thousand crafts persons, approximately twenty one years to complete the architectural wonder. It's an apogee of Mughal architecture in India, a tribute from the grief struck emperor, for his beautiful wife. The tomb of the Emperor and his wife are placed side-by-side inside this beautiful piece of architecture.

The best time to visit 'The Taj Mahal' is during a moonlit night when the full moon rays are incident on the glistening white marble. The cool moon rays reflect back from the white marble and give 'The Taj Mahal' a tinge of blue color, it's simply breathtaking! Another excellent time to visit 'The Taj Mahal' is at 'dusk or dawn'. The river Yamuna adds onto the picturesque setting of the place and makes the place really calm and serene. The time and exquisitenesswith which God has carved out the environ for The Taj Mahal is indeed, worth admiring.

Interesting Facts/Myths related to The Taj Mahal(Courtesy: M Bansal and A Bajpai)

• It may seem ironical, but 'The Taj Mahal', a mausoleum, was built over a Temple.

• The 'actual' graves of Emperor and Mumtaz are not open for public view. What a normal visitor sees, is just a facade. The actual graves are located 7 meter below the artificial one, locked behind a metal door. No one is allowed to go through those doors, ever.

• Twenty two thousand workers who toiled day and night to build this wonder, had to pay a hefty price. The price was 'their blood.' The Emperor ordered his aides, to chop off the worker's hands so that no one can build a replica of this monument.

• 'The Taj Mahal' that we see today is made of white marble, however a 'Black Taj Mahal' was also conceived by the Mughal Emperor, which did not materialize eventually.

• The Taj Mahal appears pink in the morning, white during daytime and golden during evening.

• The four pillars around the Taj Mahal (see picture) are slightly tilted so that if an Earthquake strikes, the pillars fall away from the central tomb.

• Twenty-eight types of precious and semi precious stones were engraved into the white marble with pin point precision. (Looted later, by foreign invaders)

• The Taj Mahal is a perfectly symmetrical building except at one place i.e. the tomb of Emperor and his Queen. It's because the Emperor's tomb was not planned by architects, initially.

It's said that great writers express their feelings and thoughts in minimal of words. Rabindra Nath Tagore, I guess, was of the same genre of writers.

His quote that I mentioned at start of this extractgoes like this, - "The Taj Mahal is a tear on the cheek of Eternity."

Great words from a great soul!

It's believed in the lanes of Agra (the city where it's located) that if someone visits the Taj Mahal, he comes back again at least once, to live the breathtaking view once more.

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Comments (22)

I hope to visit it one day.

Ranked #16 in India

One of the facts is wrong -- that the hands of all the workers were chopped off. Actually the hands of only one or two persons were chopped off, and even that might be because of reasons other than what is attributed to it.

Ranked #5 in India

@Shastri JC Philip - I respect what you have pointed out...but if you happen to look at the heading set in bold it says "Interesting Facts/Myths" before I write the points. I used 'Facts/Myths' because a lot of them are debatable not just the one you have pointed out. Regards, Hector.

Ranked #16 in India

Factoid expects us to post "Facts". How will people know which of your points is a fact and which is a myth? This is the reason I felt I need to point out a major myth as myth. with Regards -- Shastri

Ranked #5 in India

Point accepted! I'll keep it in mind..thanx.

In my art history class I was told that the minarets were added much later and not a part of the original design. Do you know anything about that?

Ranked #16 in India

Judith, it is not right that the minarets were added later. They were part of the original building.

hmmm... I actually was a bit skeptical when I first heard that.

Ranked #5 in India

@Judith. No, the minarets were part of the plan from day one itself. However, the construction of Minarets began only after the central dome was built. To be more precise, the central dome was built in 12 years and it took 10 more years to craft the whole building. Probably, that is what your teacher intended. This question apart, if you are really interested in something arcane about this topic, a very nice read is "Was Taj Mahal a Vedic Temple?' (Google it) There exists some half evidence that points towards this, I don't want to argue about the actual question, it's just that it is very interesting to read; especially if you consider that religion is of huge importance in India.

Please enlighten me a bit. I associate minarets with Islam and Vedic with Hindu. Is that accurate?

Ranked #16 in India

Many Hindu temples and shrines in India were taken over by Mugal rulers to be converted into Mugal or Islamic monuments. In the light of that many Indian scholars have suggested that the Taj was originally a Hindu temple. That claim has not been established so far, however, it is an established fact that the place where it was built originally belonged to a Hindu royal family.

Ranked #5 in India

Sure Judith; Minarets are just an architectural term used to describe pillared structures near the mosques...however, Vedas are the root of Hinduism. This is why I said that it is interesting to read..because on a Minaret (muslim term) Vedic (Hindu) hymns and chants are inscribed ....

Ranked #16 in India

Hector, I would love to see info related to Vedic hymns and chants inscribed on Taj minarets. Perhaps I missed them during my several visits to Taj.

Love this article. I learned a lot.

Ranked #5 in India

I am really pleased that you liked it..thanx Mr. Philip; you are a boon on Factoidz.

Ranked #16 in India

Thanks Hector for your reply. You are generous!

Taj Mahal is really a marvel. You revealed many unknown facts about Taj Mahal.

Adwait

A very enriching experience......many facts which were unknown to me are now known thanks to Philip and hector

great article, i think the thumbs were cut and not hands. @Shastri ji it is a true fact because it is also written in the history books.

oshin

wndrful i jst lv facts

interesting facts. very informative.

Firstly, I was never build over a temple as the king has the whole India for himself, then why would he ever try to build the most loved building for his dead wife over a temple (moreover it has a mosque which cannot be built over any temple) ? Moreover, if you think rationally, according to the Hindu mythology there are 4 biggest temples in Agra city before the Taj Mahal was built (names : Mankameshwar, Rajeshwar etc), they are still there, so why would the king destroy a temple to build a mosque or a memorial ? Its a Myth.

Secondly, It is a phrase in Hindi which says \"mujhay itna mila hai kee, mere to haath he kat gaye\" which means : I got so much in return than I feel like my hands are cut and I dont need to work for the rest of my life. So, it was a HINDI phrase which is taken into its literal meanings by some anti-social elements of the society. He paid so much to these artists that they need not to work for rest of their lives and that is why they settled in the same City. The king actually built a huge colony of redstone so that the atrists, craftsmen etc can live happily (it is still there in the city and has been converted into a market, however, same style of redstone and design is still intact there. So please dont spread the wrong words. Their desenents families (workers) still live in the city and do the Caligraphy and the Marble Inlay work which you see if available at various shops in Agra. This art is only known to them, so if their great gran parents we deprived from their hands, how can they teach their generations ?

Think before you speak ... Internet is a powerful medium ... lets not take important thing for a ride.Thank you for reading.

Its magnificent ... I just loved It ! :)A true Indian ! :)

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