The Taj Mahal is one of the world’s seven wonders, and visitors flock from all over the world to behold this symbol of love and architectural excellence. This was built in commemoration of Shahjahan’s most adored wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1631 while giving birth to their 14th child. Her tomb is rumoured to be located within the Taj Mahal’s premises. Arjumand Bano Begum was Mumtaz Mahal’s former name.
We’ve all heard about Shahjahan chopping the Taj Mahal workers’ hands off so they couldn’t build another monument like it. But, to find out if this is true or not, read the following fascinating facts about the Taj Mahal:
- Taj Mahal was built between 1632 and 1653, with roughly 32 million rupees spent on the construction.
- Taj Mahal was created by 20,000 artisans, and there is no evidence that Shahjahan hacked their hands off. It’s simply a rumour, because the architect and team’s supervisor, Ustad Ahmad Lahauri (an Iranian Persian), constructed the foundation for Red Fort as well.
- In Persian, the term Taj Mahal means “Crown Palace.”
- There is a rumour that there is a secret basement with rooms full of jewellery stolen from Hindu rulers and people by Shahjahan. The rooms stores Hindu deities as well as Mumtaz’s body.
- Tejo Mahal, a Hindu temple dedicated to the god Shiva, was the site of the Taj Mahal centuries ago. Shahjahan later altered it architecturally and religiously. That is why the monument is referred regarded as the Taj Mahal (Mahal is not an Urdu term) rather than a mausoleum or tomb.
- Taj Mahal changes colours as it is made of white marble, which changes colour depending on the strength of sunshine or moonlight.
- Taj Mahal’s timber foundation would have fallen if it wasn’t for the Yamuna River, which maintains it robust and moist to this day.
- Qutub Minar is shorter than the Taj Mahal (with a difference of five feet).
- Mumtaz died in childbirth at Burhanpur, Madhya Pradesh, and the Taj Mahal was intended to be erected there. However, Burhanpur was unable to provide sufficient white marble.
- Taj Mahal, one of India’s most visited and stunning monuments, receives around 4-8 million tourists each year.
- On Fridays, the Taj Mahal is closed for prayer.
- With over 100 million votes, the Taj was named one of the “Seven Wonders of the World” by UNESCO World Heritage in 2007.
- Only electric cars are permitted near the surrounding region to preserve India’s cultural legacy, which is being threatened by the yellowing of the white marble due to air pollution.
- The Taj Mahal is a no-fly zone, thus aeroplanes are not permitted to fly above it.
- During World War II and the Indo-Pak War in 1971, the ASI (Archeological Survey of India) kept the Taj hidden with bamboo.
- The Taj Mahal is nearly exactly symmetrical, with the minarets leaning slightly to create an optical illusion. Except for the placement of Shah Jahan’s cenotaph, which does not adhere to ideal geometric proportions and symmetrical perfection.
According to mythology, Shah Jahan aspired to construct a black marble Taj for himself, also known as the Kaala Taj or Second Taj. It was rumoured to be intended to be erected exactly across the Yamuna River from the Taj Mahal.
Shah Jahan is reported to have intended to create this black marble monument as a tomb for himself, with a bridge connecting the two buildings. However, there is no such proof.
There is a lot of mystery around the Taj Mahal but investigating that would create another Babri Masjid controversy and religious unrest in the country.