Taj Mahal tour: 30+ interesting facts you may not know about Taj Mahal

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Here are some very interesting facts about taj mahal you may not know. 

Taj Mahal, which was classified as one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the World’ by UNESCO World Heritage in the year 2007, with over 100 million votes, is stunningly beautiful with its intricate carvings and robust architecture, which leaves everyone who witnesses this piece of art spellbound.

facts one should know about the Taj Mahal

Interesting facts about taj mahal – taj mahal facts

Let’s learn about some amazing facts about Taj Mahal:

  • Shah Jahan decided to build the Taj Mahal after the death of Mumtaz Mahal, his third wife during childbirth.
  • It took almost 22 years and around 20000 workers to build the Taj Mahal.
  • The construction started around 1631 AD and was completed in 1648 AD. However, the gardens and the outlying buildings were completed in 1653 AD.
  • The taj is built on a raised platform.
  • Around 28 types of precious and semi-precious stones were used to decorate the structure, brought all the way from China, Tibet, Sri Lanka, and some parts of India.
  • Another wonder of far-sighted architecture; the four pillars or minarets, each over 41.6 m high, are tilted slightly outwards rather than standing straight. The reason was to protect the main tomb (gumbad) in case of any natural calamity like an earthquake, from getting damaged with the falling of minarets on it.

Must Read: Cautions and Tips for visiting Taj Mahal and Agra

Interesting facts about taj mahal – taj mahal facts

taj mahal

  • Unlike any other massive structure, Taj’s foundation is made of timber which is not supposed to be long-lasting.  Taj Mahal would have collapsed if it wasn’t on the banks of River Yamuna which supplies it with enough moisture to keep it strong to date.
  • Over 1000 elephants were used to transport the building material for construction.
  • The mesmerizing calligraphic verses that adorn the walls of the Taj Mahal are mostly taken from the Islamic holy book, Quran.
  • The dome in itself is an architectural and technical feat. The outer dome rises to 44.4 metres in height, while the inner is 24.35 metres.
  • Some of the main builders/people involved in the construction are:
    – Ismail Afandi (a.ka. Ismail Khan) – Designer of the main dome.
    – Ustad Isa and Isa Muhammad Effendi of Persia – Played a key role in architectural design.
    – ‘Puru’ from Benarus, Persia – Mentioned as a Supervising Architect.
    – Qazim Khan, a native of Lahore – Cast the solid Gold Finial.
    – Chiranjilal, a lapidary from Delhi – Chief Sculptor and Mosaicist
    – Amanat Khan from Shiraz, Iran – The Chief Calligrapher

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taj mahal agra

Interesting facts about taj mahal – taj mahal facts

  • There are 99 different names of Allah inscribed on the tomb.
  • Many people wonder why do the graves of Shah Jahan and his wife Mumtaz lie beneath the plain inner chamber, whereas the entire structure is so beautifully decorated. The reason is that as per the Islamic belief system, the graves are not supposed to be decorated.
  • The cenotaph over Shah Jahan’s tomb has an inkwell. Mumtaz Mahal’s has a slate over it, as it is said that a man writes his desires on the woman’s heart.
  • The Mausoleum is also known as Rauza-i-Munauwara, Rauza-i-Muqqadas and Rauza-i-Mutahhara.
  • The epitaph of Mumtaz Mahal reads: “Marqad Munavvar Arjumand Ban Begum Mukhatib bah Mumtaz Mahal Tanifiyat ferr sanh 1040 Hijri” (Here lies Arjumand Bano Begum called Mumtaz Mahal who died in 1040 A.H. or 1630 A.D.).

UP Govt dropped Taj Mahal from its tourism booklet

  • The epitaph of Shah Jahan reads: “Marqad Mutahar Aali Hazrat Firdaus Ashiyani Sahib-qiran Saani Saani Shah Jahan Badshah taab surah sanh 1076 Hijri” (The sacred sepulcher of his most exalted Majesty, dweller of Paradise, the second lord of constellations, the king Shah Jahan, may his mausoleum ever flourish, 1076 A.H. (1666 A.D.).
  • Many people commit the mistake of visiting the Taj on a Friday, to dishearten themselves of the fact that it is closed on a Friday.
  • A red sandstone mosque is located in the Taj Mahal complex.
  • The main gate is made of red sandstone and is 30 mt. high. Verses from the Koran in Arabic are inscribed on it.
  • The central tomb chamber is surrounded by ambulatory rooms on two storeys. Except the southern, entrance, these rooms are separated by jalis (nets) which are filled with glass panes, from where it gets the name,’Shish Mahal’ (Mirror Palace). However, these rooms are not accessible to visitors.

Must know things to travel from Delhi to Agra via Yamuna Expressway


Interesting facts about taj mahal – taj mahal facts

  • One of the last appeals made by Shah Jahan to his son Aurangzeb, when he was imprisoned was to be able to see the Taj Mahal from his prison until his last days. Hence he was put behind the bars in the Jasmine Tower of Agra Fort. This means that the Taj is visible from the Jasmine Tower of Agra Fort.
  • The chief architect of the Taj Mahal, Ustad Ahmad Lahauri, was not an Indian but a Persian from Iran.
  •  Witnessing the exotic beauty of the Taj Mahal is even more appealing at night. Hence, if possible, plan your visit on any of the two nights before and after the full moon of every month. This excludes Fridays and during the month of Ramadan.
  • Sunrise, Sunset, and full moon nights are the best time to visit the Taj Mahal. However, the number of people visiting the Taj Mahal increases multi-fold during the winter season.

Tips for Agra and Taj Mahal tour

  • The main gate of Taj Mahl faces the Southern gate, 151 feet x 117 feet with a height of 100 feet.
    Original drawings of the Taj Mahal can be seen in the Taj Museum.
  • Top 9 views of Taj Mahal are from inside the Taj grounds, from Mehtab Bagh, from Agra Fort, Taj Mahal in full moon night, Taj Mahal view from the hotel room, 360-degree view of Taj Mahal, Taj Mahal view at night, Taj Mahal from Yamuna river and from top of Taj Mahal dome
  • There is no proof to support the myth that artists and architects who built the taj mahal were either killed or their hands chopped off. Nobody knows from where this started.

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Do read: Five Best Places to See in Agra

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