One of the seven wonders of the world, the epitome of love, the Taj Mahal is a huge mausoleum of white marble in the district of Agra in Uttar Pradesh, India. It is one of the most famous buildings around the world which is visited by millions of tourists from across the world every year. A witness to the great historical happenings of the Mughal Era, this construction was built by the Mughal King Shahjahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.
Approx. 20,000 stone carvers, craftsperson, and artists were hired from different corners of the country along with artists from Iraq and Turkey. They worked for around 17 years at a stretch to give shape to this wonder. This gorgeous heritage site is set amidst lush greenery and River Yamuna flows at the backdrop of this magnificent site.
The main abode is set on a platform where minarets, the arch-and-dome profile of pristine white marble and intricate designs mesmerize the tourists. The painstaking details on its walls, entrance, and roofs reflect the Pietra Dura form of art and give a detailed idea about the advancement of fine arts in Mughal-ruled India.
Inlaid semi-precious stones are carved in Koranic verse on calligraphy and there is a prevailing belief that these are prayers written in the Arabic language. On both sides of the main mausoleum, two red sandstone buildings look like fine contrasting elements. The building on the western side is a mosque while the other is a guesthouse of Mughal age.
Tag : Cultural UNESCO World Heritage Site
Built in : (1631-1648 AD)
Year of Inscription : 1983
Reasons for Inscription: The reason behind including the Taj Mahal in the list of World Heritage Sites is its unique architecture which has balanced wonderful aesthetic qualities, symmetry, and harmonious blending of different stylish elements and architectural splendor of Indo-Islamic style of construction.
Category : Secular structure, burial
Timing : From 6 am to 6 pm
Closed on : Friday
N.B : Night visiting at Taj Mahal starts at 8pm and continues till 12.30 am
How to Get There
Agra is well connected with other parts of the country by all modes of transport. Here is a simple solution to your query how to reach Taj Mahal.
The fastest way of reaching the Taj Mahal (Agra) is by air. Indian Airlines runs daily flights from the capital of the country Delhi to Agra, the city of Taj Mahal. Kheria Airport is the local airport of Agra, which is around 6 km from Agra City Centre.
Reaching the destination by train is one of the easiest ways to reach Agra. The main railway station is Agra Cantonment. The main trains running from Delhi to Agra are the Shatabdi Express, Rajdhani, Taj Express, etc.
Regular bus services are available from Delhi to Agra. By road, Agra is around 203 km from Delhi. Both normal, as well as AC buses, run from Delhi which adds to the comfort of this journey during summer.
Interesting Facts About Taj Mahal
Any Taj Mahal information is incomplete without mentioning some interesting details about this place. Being one of the seven wonders of the world itself makes the Taj Mahal location an interesting spot to visit and explore. But here are some of the facts that we didn’t know about earlier. Let’s dig some of them:
- There is one small hole located on the ceiling of the main hall right above the tombstone of Shah Jahan’s beloved Mumtaz Mahal. Seems like there is a flaw in the magnificent Taj. It is said that one of the artisans decided to sabotage the emperor’s dream of having a flawless monument, so he made a hole that is perpendicular to the tombstone of the queen.
- The minarets were built leaning outwards. It was done so to protect the monument from natural calamities like earthquakes. It’s just a matter of keen observing and you’ll notice that the four minarets are leaning outwards. It was done to ensure the safety of the tomb.
- There was a temple built and named after the infamous and one of the biggest Indian conman Natwarlal who apparently had sold the grandiose Taj Mahal at least thrice to some wealthy individuals. The infamous Natwarlal is widely known for selling the Taj repeatedly so his native villagers decided to build a temple in his name with his statue.
- The groundwork of the Taj would have worn out years ago if it hadn’t been for the Yamuna River. The foundation was actually not ever-lasting. The wood used would have rotten over time and eventually ruined. Thanks to the Yamuna river, it kept the wood strong and moist.
- The illustrious interior of the Taj can blind any with its magnificent decorative work. The inside of Taj Mahal is made up of different kinds of extremely rare and very precious stones, sourced from different parts of the world including China, Sri Lanka, Tibet and some parts of India. The British era had violated the monument a number of times because of these stones. The restoration work started in the late 19th century. It’s fair to say anyone would be blinded by the richness of the mahal.
- It is strange but it is a fact that the magnificent Mahal is quite taller than Delhi’s heritage monument – the Qutub Minar. The lofty Taj is actually five feet taller than Delhi’s Qutub Minar. Strange but true.
- If we ever decide to find out how expensive the Taj Mahal would be now, it sure will take a breath away. Shah Jahan had spent around 32 million rupees on architecture during that time. If we do the calculations keeping the present rate in mind, the amount would be around 1,062,834,098 USD. Quite Expensive!
- In the year 2000, the famous Indian magician PC Sorkar Jr. vanished the whole of Taj by his optical illusion trick. One of his greatest tricks – this had completely astonished his audience.
- The Taj is visited by over 12,000 people every day.
- Had Aurangzeb not imprisoned his father – the emperor Shah Jahan, we might be able to see another Taj Mahal, a black Taj Mahal. Yes, emperor Shah Jahan had a desire to build a black Taj Mahal for himself, just like the one he built for his beloved Mumtaz. According to the historians and experts, Shah Jahan had begun to erect his own tomb, but could not get on with it as his son dethroned and imprisoned him.
- The monument changes colors. Depending on the light outside and the time of the day, the monument can appear to change its colors. The beautiful Taj will look a little pink in the morning, white in the daytime, and golden-ish after the sunsets.
- More than 1,00 elephants used to transport the heavy supplies and materials that were going to be used in the construction of the Taj Mahal.
- A Bangladeshi filmmaker created a replica of the Taj Mahal in the year 2008 so that locals can enjoy it in their own country and they don’t have to travel to India to witness it. It cost him around US 56 Million Dollars.
- In 2007, the Taj Mahal was declared as one of the Seven Wonders Of The World by bagging 100 million votes. This increased the inflow of tourists double-fold.
Frequently Asked Questions About Taj Mahal
Q. Why was the Taj Mahal built?
A. Taj Mahal was built by Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal.Q. How many Taj Mahal are there in India?
A. There is just one Taj Mahal in the world, but there is a replica of the Taj made by Emperor Shah Jahan’s grandson, Prince Aazam Shah. He had built it in the memory of his mother, Dilras Banu Begum. It is known as the Bibi Ka Maqbara which means ‘Tomb of the Lady’. Its resemblance to the Taj Mahal also got it the name ‘Taj of the Deccan’. Bibi Ka Maqbara is located in Aurangabad of Maharashtra.
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