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20 Interesting Facts About Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal, often described as a poem in marble, stands as a breathtaking testament to the timeless beauty of Indian architecture and the depth of love. Built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, this ivory-white marble mausoleum on the southern bank of the river Yamuna in Agra, India, is more than just a spectacular monument. It is a symbol of devotion and sorrow, woven into stone. The Taj Mahal attracts millions of visitors each year, drawn not only by its stunning beauty but also by the story it tells of eternal love and the human condition. The complex decorations, intricate carvings, and an imposing dome that appears to float ethereally above the mausoleum, coupled with the lush gardens and reflecting pools that align symmetrically with the main structure, create a scene of unparalleled splendor. The Taj Mahal is not just a relic of the past but a living legend that continues to awe and inspire all who behold it. Here are some captivating facts about this iconic symbol of love:

  1. A Monument of Love: The Taj Mahal was commissioned in 1632 by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died during childbirth. It stands as a testament to eternal love and is often cited as one of the most romantic monuments in the world.
  2. Meaning of the name: The name “Taj Mahal” comes from the Urdu language, which is thought to have roots in Arabic and Persian. The words “tāj mahall” mean “crown” (tāj) and “palace” (mahall).
  3. Architectural Fusion: The design of the Taj Mahal incorporates elements from Islamic, Persian, Ottoman Turkish, and Indian architectural styles. This fusion has set a precedent in art and architecture, influencing various structures around the world.
  4. Construction Feat: The construction of the Taj Mahal involved over 20,000 artisans and workers from across India, Central Asia, and even Europe. It took approximately 20 years to complete, from 1632 to 1653.
  5. Money expense and current price: It is thought that the Taj Mahal complex was finished in its entirety in 1653, for a cost estimated to have been around ₹5 million. This works out to about ₹35 billion (US$77.8 million) in 2023.
  6. Exquisite Craftsmanship: The white marble of the Taj Mahal is inlaid with precious and semi-precious stones in intricate patterns. This technique is known as ‘pietra dura’ or ‘parchin kari’, and it features highly detailed, stylized floral designs and calligraphy.
  7. Changing Colors: One of the most mesmerizing aspects of the Taj Mahal is its ability to change color depending on the time of day. The marble reflects hues ranging from soft grey and golden yellow at dawn, to pearly white in the midday sun, and finally to a light blue at twilight.
  8. Symbolic Elements: The Taj Mahal is rich in symbolism. The four minarets surrounding the mausoleum, for example, are slightly tilted outward, which is said to be a design intended to protect the main tomb in case they were to collapse.
  9. A UNESCO World Heritage Site: The Taj Mahal was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983, being described as “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage.”
  10. A Threatened Wonder: Environmental pollution and the effects of acid rain have posed threats to the marble’s pristine whiteness, leading to various restoration and protection efforts by the government and international organizations.
  11. Visitor’s Delight: It remains one of the most visited sites in India, with millions of tourists from around the globe flocking to Agra every year to witness its beauty firsthand. In the fiscal year 2023, the Taj Mahal attracted approximately 4.5 million domestic visitors, making it the most-visited monument by ticket holders.
  12. Entry Ticket: Entry is free for kids under five and costs Rs 50 per individual. Foreign visitors do not need to pay for a ticket. Tickets are Rs 500 for a group of 100 students dressed in uniform, and admission is free for two teachers accompanying students.
  13. Friday Closed: Every week on Fridays the Taj is closed for general Public. On Fridays people attend prayers in the Taj Mosque.
  14. Night Veiwing: There are five days in a month when you can view the Taj Mahal at night: the full moon, two nights prior to and two nights following the full moon. Timing: 8 batches, each with a maximum of 50 participants, from 20:00 to 23:59. Every batch has a 30 minutes of time-frame .
  15. Cultural Icon: Beyond its architectural beauty, the Taj Mahal has inspired countless artists, poets, and musicians, symbolizing not only romantic love but also the artistic and cultural pinnacle achieved by the Mughal Empire.
  16. Wearing Shoes: It is not permitted to wear shoes inside the Main Mausoleum or inside the white structure. Everywhere else in the Taj complex is shoe-friendly.
  17. Inspiration for Modern Architecture: Architects and designers around the world draw inspiration from the Taj Mahal’s design and construction techniques. Its symmetry, use of natural light, and aesthetic detail influence contemporary architectural projects, pushing the boundaries of design and construction.
  18. Focus of Academic Research: The complex history and architecture of the Taj Mahal make it a subject of academic interest across disciplines such as history, architecture, environmental science, and tourism studies. Researchers and scholars analyze its conservation challenges, architectural innovations, and historical significance, contributing to a broader understanding of global heritage preservation.
  19. Economic Catalyst: The tourism industry surrounding the Taj Mahal significantly boosts the local economy. It provides employment opportunities in various sectors, including travel, hospitality, and retail, and stimulates infrastructure development, impacting the economic landscape of the region.
  20. Symbol of National Pride: For India, the Taj Mahal is a symbol of national pride and an important element of the country’s identity. It plays a crucial role in national celebrations and is featured prominently in promotional campaigns that showcase India’s heritage and attract international tourists.

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