Some Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know About Taj Mahal
Traveling to India and visiting the Taj Mahal is an experience that everyone should live. And this palace, located in Agra, former capital of the extinct Mongol Empire, is surrounded by an aura of mystery and intrigue, as well as aromas of sandalwood and incense, which make it one of the most fascinating temples in the world.
Therefore, it is not surprising that around the Taj Mahal, considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World since July 7, 2007, circulate numerous legends and curiosities.
Two versions about its construction
The official version says that the Taj Mahal was built for a romantic purpose. Emperor Shah Jahan, who ruled between 1627 and 1658 (fifth emperor of the Mongol dynasty), ordered to build this building in honor of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who had died giving birth, hence the name of the building that it means “crown of the palace”.
Erected as a symbol of love beyond death, in the Taj Mahal rest the mortal remains of the two lovers, specifically in an octagonal room with a dome 24 meters high.
Shah Jahan was imprisoned on his son’s orders until he died, but they say that from his cell he saw the Taj Mahal, so he spent his last days admiring the beauty of the mausoleum he had built for his beloved wife.
Undoubtedly, this version captivates whoever reads it, however, there are other sources that indicate that the palace could be built in homage to the god Shiva and that this whole romantic story would not be more than a farce to give a little emotion to the origin of the building.
Marble reflects more than 10 different colors
In addition to touring its rooms and gardens, you have to reserve a time of your visit to the Taj Mahal to observe its colors. Sit quietly in front of this architectural jewel and play to discover the different tonalities that seem to reflect the marble with which it was built.
Their colors change depending on the intensity of the sun and the time of day, from pink tones during the sunrise to an intense golden at sunset. And they say that even at night you can distinguish the colors on the façade of the Taj Mahal, especially on full moon nights, when it shines an immaculate white.
Some of the workers who participated in its construction were cut off
In the construction of the mausoleum, which lasted twenty-two years, participated more than 20 thousand workers and 1000 elephants who worked day and night to finish this work that is estimated to have cost around 32 million rupees.
But the most curious thing is that the legends say that the authorities cut off the hands of some of the workers when they finished building the building, in 1654 so that they could not design a monument that could overshadow the great Taj Mahal.
In the early nineteenth century, the English government wanted to demolish the Taj Mahal to auction its marble in London and take money to pay their many debts. Fortunately, when they were about to start the demolition, they backed out and decided to keep the building. Had it opted for demolition, it would have been a great loss for humanity.
There is only one asymmetric element
If the Taj Mahal is characterized by something, it is because of its symmetry. In ancient times, symmetry was understood as a symbol of power and majesty, that’s why the Taj Mahal was built perpendicularly to the Yamuna River, showing all its components with high precision.
The only asymmetric element that it possesses, and that causes all this harmony to break, is the tomb of the emperor, which is larger than that of his wife. This is because in Mongol culture the tomb of man should be larger than that of women. In addition, the tomb was built much later, which also contributed to breaking the prevailing symmetry.
It owns more than 30 types of precious and semiprecious stones
More than two million tourists decide to travel to India every year to visit this architectural complex that, despite being considered the best representation of the architecture of the Mongolian dynasty, also displays elements of other currents such as Persian, through the mosaics, or Islamic art with its minarets and its spectacular mosque.
On the walls of the Taj Mahal, there are thousands of precious stones, being able to appreciate 30 different types: agate, turquoise, lapis lazuli, coral, onyx, jade, etc … These stones were exported from other countries and were embedded in the marble designing floral or geometric motifs that fall in love with the senses.
The entrance includes a bottle of water and cloth slippers
When you buy your ticket for the Taj Mahal, they will also give you a bottle of water and some cloth slippers for the same price. The bottle of water is to face the high temperatures of Agra, especially during the summer, while the slippers are to enter the premises since it is mandatory to take off.
These are just some of the curiosities that surround the Taj Mahal, but if you really want to know all its secrets and the stories that house its walls, the best thing you can do is prepare your bags to travel to India and also check out the Palace on Wheels route map to how you will reach the destination. You will not regret!