Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Taj Mahal

Agra is known for its heritage as well as its architecture. It is home to one of the Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal, as well as the monuments located in Fatehpur Sikri and the Red fort. These monuments are known as the Moughals and were built around the 16th to 17th century. When it comes to architecture, the buildings were known for its huge domes and minute carvings. 


Several interesting facts about the Taj Mahal:

  • The Taj Mahal was built as a symbol of love and devotion by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife who had passed away, Arjumand Banu (later known as Mumtaz Mahal which means the distinguished of the palace).
  • It took 22 years and 22,000 people to build this magnificent architectural monument.
  • Over 1,000 elephants were used to transport building materials during the construction.
  • Myth: Emperor Shah Jahan ordered to chop off the hands of the workers who had constructed the Taj Mahal so it would remain unique.
  • The pillars surrounding the Taj Mahal were constructed to be slightly tilted outwards so that in the event of an earthquake they would fall away from the tomb.
  • The Taj Mahal is made purely of white marble, which was brought from the quarries of Makrana, in Nagaur district of Rajasthan.
  • Shah Jahan got Red sandstone from Fatehpur Sikri, Jasper from Punjab, Jade and Crystal from China, Turquoise from Tibet, Lapis Lazuli and Sapphire from Sri Lanka, Coal and Cornelian from Arabia and Diamonds from Panna, for the Taj Mahal.
  • The main red sandstone gate of Taj Mahal is 30 feet high and stands adorned with verses from the Quran, in Arabic.
  • The architecture of Taj Mahal represents a mixture of Persian, Central Asian and Islamic architecture.
  • Irony: This monument was built over a temple.
  • The Taj Mahal appears pink in the morning, white in the day and changes its color to golden in the moon light. Some think that the changing colors of the tomb depict the different moods of a woman.

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