History of Taj Mahal
Mumtaz Mahal, an inseparable companion of Shah Jahan, died in 1631, while giving birth to their 14th child. It was in the memory of his beloved wife that Shah Jahan built a magnificent monument as a tribute to her, which we today know as the “Taj Mahal”. The construction of Taj Mahal started in the year 1631. Masons, stonecutters, inlayers, carvers, painters, calligraphers, dome-builders and other artisans were requisitioned from the whole of the empire and also from Central Asia and Iran, and it took approximately 22 years to build what we see today. An epitome of love, it made use of the services of 22,000 laborers and 1,000 elephants. The monument was built entirely out of white marble, which was brought in from all over India and central Asia. After an expenditure of approximately 32 million rupees, Taj Mahal was finally completed in the year 1653.
It was soon after the completion of Taj Mahal that Shah Jahan was deposed by his own son Aurangzeb and was put under house arrest at nearby Agra Fort. Shah Jahan, himself also, lies entombed in this mausoleum along with his wife. Moving further down the history, it was at the end of the 19th century that British Viceroy Lord Curzon ordered a sweeping restoration project, which was completed in 1908, as a measure to restore what was lost during the Indian rebellion of 1857: Taj being blemished by British soldiers and government officials who also deprived the monument of its immaculate beauty by chiseling out precious stones and lapis lazuli from its walls. Also, the British style lawns that we see today adding on to the beauty of Taj were remodeled around the same time. Despite prevailing controversies, past and present threats from Indo-Pak war and environmental pollution, this epitome of love continuous to shine and attract people from all over the world.
Tajmahal is one the Seven Wonders of the World and also known as the symbol of Love. It was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal in the 17th Century. Following are some mysterious facts about Taj Mahal that might surprise you.
There are 99 names of Allah written on the interior and exterior of Taj Mahal with beautiful calligraphy. People from all over the world admire this calligraphy and architecture of Taj Mahal. The beauty of this calligraphy is breath taking.
2. Changing colors
Only a few people know that with the different sun light, Taj Mahal changes beautiful colors. It is believed that this change of colors is symbolic of the changing moods of a woman. In the morning, it appears somewhat pinkish in color, while in the evening it looks milky white. These colors add to the incomparable beauty of Taj Mahal.
3. 32 Million Indian Rupees 300 years Ago
Isn’t it shocking! It took 22000 workers and around 32 million rupees in the construction of Taj Mahal. More than 1000 elephants were used to carry the marbles for this monument. It took almost 17 years to complete the construction. Some of the precious gems were taken away by the Britishers during the 1857 rebellion.
4. The Four Minarets
Taj Mahal has four minarets, which are slightly tilted. The reason behind this is the prevention against earthquake. It might have been built a long way back but the strategies were wise.
5. Secret passages
It is said that there are secret rooms and passages inside Taj Mahal. These rooms have been sealed since the time of Shah Jahan. Even now these are sealed by the government.
6. Stream of water
There is a small stream of water inside the monument. It is believed that the source of this stream is still unknown. This remains a mystery for all until now.
7. Perfectly symmetrical
The Tajmahal is perfectly symmetrical. Its minarets, walls, rooms and even gardens follow a perfect symmetry. Only the tombs of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal are not symmetrical. The tomb of Shah Jahan is slightly elevated and larger than that of his wife.
8. Religious conflicts
Many religious conflicts surround this popular historical monument. Many people believe that it was originally a temple of Lord Shiva. The rooms that are sealed have the statues of Lord Shiva inside them. Government also doesn’t want any further conflicts to arise therefore the rooms are sealed. Investigating further into this matter might give birth to Hindu-Muslim conflicts.
There can’t be any historical monument in India without mysteries. There must be some hidden treasures, secret rooms and passages, unknown stories etc. Tajmahal is no exception. People claim that it was built even before the Mughals invaded India. No matter what…the monument is known as the epitome of Love all over the world. People come from far away places to admire the beauty of Taj Mahal.