The Taj Mahal is a famous mausoleum in India.
It is located in Agra, a city in the Uttar Pradesh region of northern India.
The height of the Taj Mahal is 73 metres (240 feet).
Taj Mahal means ‘crown of places‘.
Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan had the Taj Mahal built in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal,whomhe held precious. Mumtaz Mahal was giving birth to the fourteenth child of the emperor, and she died in the process.
The Taj Mahal has held a special place in the minds of Indians and foreigners as The symbol of love.
It was construct from 1632 to 1653.It took 22 years to complete this astounding piece of architecture.
The Taj Mahal complex includes a large garden, a reflecting pool, a mosque and other mausoleums.
The four sides of the Taj Mahal are perfectly identical creating an astonishingly mirrored image on each side.
The Taj Mahal being the dedication and homage of Mumtaz Mahal, it has calligraphy all over the interior and exterior, which, among other patterns and holy inscriptions, also has calligraphy on the tomb that identifies and praises Mumtaz Mahal.
The interior chamber of the Taj Mahal reaches far beyond traditional decorative elements.
The main chamber houses the false sarcophagi of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan; the actual graves are at a lower level.
From the southern entrance room a stairway covered with a pointed barrel vault leads down to the lower tomb chamber (not accessible to visitors). The rectangular room is entirely faced with marble and has an undecorated coved ceiling. In the center stand the two cenotaphs that cover the actual graves; they are similar to those above but have different motifs in their decoration.
At that time, the estimated construction cost was a whopping sum of 32 million Indian rupees, which, when considered in terms of today’s value of money, would be something way above $1 billion.
It is estimated to have taken more than 22,000 people to build this impressive building including labourers, stonecutters, painters, embroidery artists, calligraphers and many others.
There were also more than 1,000 elephants employed.
A total of 28 types of precious and semi precious jewels are set in the marble. The turquoise came from Tibet; jade came from China. Heavy white marble – the principal building material – was transported from Rajasthan.
Many precious stones were ripped off from its walls by the British during the Indian rebellion of
At the end of the 19th century, Lord Curzon, the erstwhile Viceroy of British India, ordered its renovation through an extensive project which was completed in 1908.
The white marble of the Taj Mahal reflect the sky colors depending on the time of the day. So, it appears pink in the morning, white during the day and changes its color to golden in the moonlight.
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, the Taj Mahal attracts some 3 million visitors a year.
The Taj Mahal was declared one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007, receiving over 100 million votes.
Popular myth suggests he wanted to build a black Taj Mahal, but was unable to execute his plan after being deposed. The idea probably generates from European traveler Jean-Baptiste Tavernier’s
fanciful writings, but has no evidence to support its validity.