Interesting Facts About the Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal took over 20 years to build and construction began in 1632 by emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his 3rd wife Arjumand Banu Begum, who died giving birth to their 14th child. Here are some interesting facts about one of the seven wonders of the world, which is located in Agra, India.

• Not just manpower – There were in excess of 20,000 laborers that worked on the Taj Mahal including painters, stonecutters, and artists to name just a few. However, manpower was not the only power used, as over 1,000 elephants were used in order to move the heavy stones from far away.

• Not one color – While the Taj Mahal is nearly all while marble the colors of it change during the day. In the morning it has a pinkish hue, in the daytime it is while, and at nighttime it has a golden tint, which increases the fuller the moon is.

• No autos – Automobiles, as well as busses cannot come within 500 meters of the Taj Mahal so the exhaust does not damage the building.

• Totally symmetrical – The Taj Mahal is totally symmetrical so that it does not matter which direction you approach it the image remains the same.

• A 2nd Taj Mahal? – There is a legend that emperor Shah Jahan had plans to build a 2nd tomb for his deceased wife, which was his favorite, on the other side of the Yamuna river. This 2nd creation was rumored to be black rather than the while Taj Mahal, but the plan was scrapped after the emperor and his sons got entangled in a bitter war.

• Protected from an earthquake – The four minarets that surround the main mausoleum are ever-so slightly tilted outwards, so if an earthquake ever hit the Taj Mahal they would fall outwards and not on the mausoleum.

• Over a billion pounds – When the Taj Mahal finished construction in the middle of the 1600’s the cost, at that time, was around 32 million Indian Rupees. In today’s value that would be over a billion British Pounds.

• A renovation job? – There are many historians that believe that the Taj Mahal is a renovation job, as there were samples taken of the rock and materials used and they date back hundreds of years before the Taj Mahal was constructed. It is believed that an older Shiva temple was renovated rather than the Taj Mahal built from scratch.

• Precious stones – When you really get up close to the Taj Mahal you can see the many precious stones that were used in its construction. There are around 28 precious stones inlaid in the marble and to name a couple emeralds from Sri Lanka and blew stones from Tibet.

• No lack of passages – there are many passages from the Quran that are inscribed in the while marble walls all throughout the Taj Mahal.

• Shah Jahan could not visit what he created – nearly a decade before Shah Jahan’s death he became very ill and his sons fought over who would succeed him. He sided with Dara Shikoh, but Aurangzeb came out the winner killing Dara Shikoh and imprisoning his father. For the rest of his life Shah Jahan was banned from visiting the Taj Mahal and could only see it from his nearby residence.