The Taj Mahal – Wonder Of The World

“The Taj Mahal rises above the banks of the river like a solitary tear suspended on the cheek of time.”
 

– Rabindranath Tagore

 

A UNESCO world heritage site and one of the new seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal is the icon of India. An immense mausoleum of white marble, The Taj Mahal, which is built in Agra between 1631 and 1648 by order of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife. It is the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage across the globe.

Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is the beautiful white marble mausoleum situated in the eastern part of Indian city of Agra, on the right bank of the yamuna river. Located in the widespread Mughal garden of about 17 hectares, the Taj is considered to be one of the finest architectural masterpieces. It’s construction began in 1630 and it got completed in a time span of almost 20 years or 22 years. Shah Jahan went through numerous designs before finally settling on the present structure of the Taj Mahal. It is among the new seven wonders of the world. Taj Mahal is also one of the finest examples of Mughal architecture. The Taj Mahal is recognised as “The Jewel of Muslim Art in India”.

What Is It Made From?

Pure white marble is used to make Taj Mahal. It stands on a platform of 8.5 m height. The mausoleum rises to a height of 32.4 m. The bulbous dome appears like an inverted lotus flower in the centre of the cupolas. the four corners of the building has four smaller domes. The pillars that stand in the four corners are inclined a little. The outer walls and the inte­rior walls are richly decorated with exquisite inlay work and calligraphy.

The mausoleum Taj Mahal complex can be divided into 5 sections –

  • Moonlight garden – Mehtab Bagh or moonlight garden is located opposite of the Taj Mahal complex across Yamuna river in Agra.
  • Riverfront terrace – Also known as Kursi or throne, contains the mausoleum, mosque and mihman khana.
  • Charbagh garden – Charbagh means the garden divided in four sections. In each section there are 16 flower beds. This garden contains a pavilion to the Taj.
  • Jilau Khana – The Chawk-i Jilau Khana is a forecourt for the tomb attendees.
  • TajGanj – Taj ganj is a busy market like area containing gardens and gates encircling the Taj Mahal complex.

Symbol Of Love

The renowned Taj Mahal is not just an architectural master-piece but it is a symbol of love for his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal after she passed away. He built the Taj in the honor of the memory of his loving wife. Shah Jahan brought finest artisans from all over the world to build it. He wanted to make something that had never been done before for anyone. The emperor wished to give the last gift to his wife whom he loved very much. Even till date, people sing praises about Shah Jahan’s grand gesture. It makes you believe in love and appreciate it like never before. The body of the eternal lovers lies under the tomb. Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal are buried next to each other and even after death, they remained side by side.

Click here to know major threat on Taj Mahal !!

10 Interesting Facts About Taj Mahal

  1. It took 22 years (approx.) to build the Taj Mahal. Cost of its construction is approx. 32 million Indian rupees. Over 20,000 labourers were involved in construction from all over Asia. Over 1,000 elephants were used to transport the heavy building material and much more.
  2. The Taj Mahal is adorned with 28 types of precious and semi-precious stones and these were sourced from Tibet, China, Sri Lanka and from parts of India. The turquoise came from Tibet, the translucent white marble was bought from Makrana, the Jasper from Punjab, Lapis Lazuli from Afghanistan, Carnelia from Arabia and jade came from China.
  3. The UNESCO World Heritage classified the Taj Mahal as one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the World’ in the year 2007, with over 100 million votes.
  4. Around 4-8 million people visit the Taj Mahal in Agra every year. At times there are over 40k-50k people visiting on a single day.
  5. The Taj Mahal is 171 metres high, which makes it 5 feet taller than the Qutub Minar.
  6. Taj Mahal remains closed on every Friday because it has an active working mosque on the premises, which is open to prayers every Friday in the afternoon.
  7. Depending on the amount of light and time, the Taj changes its colour. In morning, the Taj appears pinkish hue, in evening, it appears milky white and in moon light it appears golden at night.
  8. Due to air pollution over the period of time, the white marble of Taj seemed to be turning yellow. So, only electric vehicles are allowed in the area surrounding the Taj Mahal, in order to conserve the cultural heritage of India.
  9. The story about the arms of artisans being cut-off who worked on the Taj is a hoax as the same architect lead- Ustad Ahmad Lahauri (a Persian from Iran) who laid the foundation of Red Fort too.
  10. There is a conspiracy theory that claims Taj Mahal 300 years before Shah Jahan. Some historians believe that Taj Mahal was actually Tejo Mahalaya, a Shiva temple erected by the Hindu king, Jai Singh. After the death of Mumtaz, Shah Jahan adorned the older building with a new dome and converted it into a mausoleum.

Author – Surabhi Nigam is Project Head at LearnFatafat who is also interested in travelling.
Posted By – LearnFatafat

Reference Link(s) –
[1] makemytrip.com
[2] tourmyindia.com

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