Taj Mahal: history, features and trivia

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The Taj Mahal is a sumptuous mausoleum located in india. The building was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and has also been listed as one of the seven wonders of the modern world since 2007.

Taj Mahal

Currently, the Taj Mahal receives millions of tourists throughout the year. It is, without a doubt, one of the most emblematic tourist spots in India.

Location

The Taj Mahal is located in the city of Agra, India, along the Yamuna River. Agra is about three hours from the capital, New Delhi.

Taj MahalIndia map with Agra location (in red)

History

The story of the Taj Mahal begins in the mid-17th century, when the Mongolian Emperor Shan Jahan ordered its construction to honor the memory of his third wife: Aryumand Banu Begam.

Begam was a Persian princess and the emperor's favorite. They were married in 1612 and stayed together for 19 years. She died giving birth to the couple's 14th child.

Her death shook him so much that Jahan felt the need to honor his beautiful wife. Thus, this luxurious mausoleum represents one of the greatest proofs of love in the world.

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The Taj Mahal took about 20 years to build. Construction began in 1631 and was completed in 1648. The monument was made of white marble and precious stones (jade, amethyst, turquoise, lapis lazuli, crystal, gold) and had the strength of more than 20,000 men.

The place still has a beautiful garden around it. In addition, an immense water mirror was built which reflects the beauty of the mausoleum.

Shah Jahan died shortly after the completion of the Taj Mahal in 1666. He was buried inside the mausoleum, beside his wife.

Taj MahalThe tombs of Shah Jahan and Aryumand Banu Begam inside the Taj Mahal

Want to know more about India? Read the articles:

  • ancient india
  • Indian culture
  • Caste System in India

Song

The history of the Taj Mahal has inspired many artists around the world. One of them is the Brazilian singer Jorge Ben Jor who released the song named after the mausoleum in 1972. Check out an excerpt of the song below:

It was the most beautiful
Love story
who told me
And now I will tell
of the prince's love
Shah-Jahan by the princess
Mumtaz Mahal
.”

Trivia about the Taj Mahal

  • The name Taj Mahal means the "Crown of Mahal".
  • The emperor started to call his wife “Mumtaz Mahal”, which means “the jewel of the palace”.
  • The mausoleum is open to visitors every day except Friday, when it is closed for prayer.
  • At the time of construction, Agra was the capital of the Mongol Empire.
  • Afraid that the builders of the mausoleum would build something similar, legend has it that after it was completed the emperor asked to cut off their hands and blind them all.
  • The emperor's idea was to build another black marble mausoleum in front of the Taj Mahal. The intention was that he and his wife could “look at each other” until eternity.
  • The mausoleum receives around 3 million visitors every year.
  • The monument's dome is sewn with gold thread.

Also read about the Historical Heritage and the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.

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