One of the Seven Wonders of the Earth, Taj Mahal needs no introduction. But it’s really fascinating to think that how even so many years ago such an enormous monument was built. In the absence of machinery, also when people were thought to be less educated, Taj Mahal was built in such a way that even today’s architects see it shockingly. We are presenting some amazing facts about the Taj Mahal.
The plinth of the Taj varies all around.
The plinth of the tomb is 2’10” on an average but varies all around. This convexity has deliberately been given to the plinth in the centre of each arch. The architect fully anticipated the apparent size which a finial would present from such a great height. If this wasn’t the way then the building would have appeared as if it were falling down.
Shah Jehan spent about 32 million rupees during the years 1632-1653 on this great architectural venture. Today that amount would be close to 1,062,834,098 USD.
The Taj changes colors depending on the light.
The Taj is pinkish in the morning, milky white in the evening and golden when the moon shines.
The minarets were built tilting outwards to protect the Taj from calamities like earthquakes.
If you observe carefully, you’ll find that the four minarets are tilting outwards. This was done so that in the event of a natural disaster, like earthquake, the minars won’t fall on the main ‘ gumbad ‘ or Dome, thereby ensuring the safety of the Tomb.
The foundation of Taj Mahal would have eroded years ago if Yamuna wasn’t there.
Taj’s foundation is made of timber which is not supposed to be long lasting. The wood should weaken overtime and crumble owing to rot and ruin, but that did not happen because the wood is kept strong and moist by the Yamuna River.
The makers employed an optical trick so that as you move closer to the gate, the Taj keeps getting smaller.
It seems to grow bigger as you walk away. The guides here say when you leave,you take the Taj with you in your heart.
Principle of self-replication is applied in the architecture of Taj Mahal
The four sides of the Taj Mahal are perfectly identical creating an astonishingly mirrored image on each side. It uses the principles of self-replicating geometry and symmetry of architectural elements.
Many precious stones were ripped off from its walls by the British during the Indian rebellion of 1857.
A total of 28 types of precious and semiprecious jewels are set in the marble. The turquoise came from Tibet, and jade came from China. Heavy white marble — the principal building material — was transported from Rajasthan.
Inscriptions are used for decoration on walls
Passages from Quran have been used as decorative elements throughout the complex. On the sides of the actual tomb of Mumtaz Mahal, 99 names of Allah can be found as calligraphic inscriptions.
Time and Workers
It took 22 years and 22,000 people to build this structure. Over 1,000 elephants were used to transport building materials during the construction of the Taj Mahal.
Despite being the creation of a Mughal king, the architecture of Taj Mahal was globally inspired. It’s a fusion of Persian, Central Asian and Islamic architecture.
Protection during wars
False structures and scaffolding were constructed around the Taj Mahal throughout different conflicts to confuse German, Japanese, and Pakistani bomber pilots.
Taj Mahal attracts 2-4 million visitors annually with over 200,000 from overseas.
Shah Jahan wanted to build another Taj Mahal, a black Taj Mahal.
Emperor Shah Jahan is widely believed to have desired a mausoleum for himself similar to that of the one he had built in memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The writings of the European traveller, Tavernier mention that Shah Jehan began to build his own tomb on the other side of the river but could not complete it as he was deposed by his own son Aurangzeb.