10 Facts about Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal reigns supreme as one of the most recognisable and iconic images of India. Its delicate minarets, gracefully curved archways and ice cream scoop domes have led many to make the pilgrimage to stand at its entrance and wonder at its grandeur. The wonder isn’t only found in its construction. Here stands a building that is as rich in history as it is in opulent marble. To help better appreciate this history, we have compiled a list of the 10 most interesting facts about Taj Mahal. It is estimated to have taken more than 22,000 people to build this impressive building including laborers, painters, stone-cutters, embroidery artists, and many others.
- According to legend it is believed that Emperor Shah Jahan had planned to construct another Taj Mahal in black marble on the other side of the river but the war with his sons interrupted his plans.
- The Taj Mahal takes on different colouring at different times of the day, from a pinkish hue in the morning, milky white in the evening and golden at night when lit by the moon. They say the changing colour resembles the changing mood of females - in particular the Emperor's queen.
- Built in memory of the Emperors third and most favourite wife Mumtāz Mahal, the Taj Mahal took 17 years to be completed.
- It is said that the death so crushed the Emperor that all his hair and beard were said to have grown snow white within just a few months.
- The four sides of the Taj Mahal are perfectly identical creating an astonishingly mirrored image on each side. It uses the principles of self-replicating geometry and symmetry of architectural elements.
- The Taj Mahal is surrounded by significant gardens and a number of other buildings including a mosque and guest houses which make up the 17 hectares of land within the complex walls.
- The full height of the Taj Mahal is 171 metres (561 feet).
- More than 1,000 elephants were employed to transport the construction materials used to build the Taj.
- Many precious stones were ripped off from its walls by the British during the Indian rebellion of 1857.
- A visit to the Taj Mahal is easily included as part of a Golden Triangle tour of North India, or as part of a longer India Tour. The Taj Mahal is found in Agra which is approximately two hours from Delhi by train, so it can easily be arranged as a day trip.