Taj Mahal is one of the seven wonders in the world and is certainly an epitome of beauty. Taj Mahal’s saga is quite popular that how Emperor Shahjahan built this monument of love in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaj. However, there are more facts about Taj Mahal that you might know.
So, here we bring for you 10 interesting facts about Taj Mahal that you probably didn’t know:
1. It is a myth that the hands of the artisans who built the Taj Mahal were chopped off
You must have surely heard the story of Shahjahan chopping off the hands of artisans who built Taj Mahal, so that they may not be able to build anything as beautiful as Taj. Well, that story is just a myth. The artisan further worked on other projects including that of the Red Fort. Ustad Ahmed Lahauri, Ustad Isa Afnadi, among others were part of the architect’s team.
2. Agra was not the original site for Taj Mahal
Agra was not the original site where Taj was supposed to build. Mumtaj Mahal died in Burhanpur, Madhya Pradesh and it was there that Shahjahan decided to build the Taj. But the marble supply to Burhanpur was a challenge hence the queen’s remains were carried to Agra and it thus became the site for Taj Mahal.
3. There is a lamp inside the Taj Mahal which has Lord Curzon’s name inscribed on it
The bronze lamp hanging over the mausoleums of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal was Lord Curzon’s gifts to the Taj. Curzon used to get terrified of the dim lamps that were used to show him around. So he ordered to make a gorgeous light lamp to match the beauty of Taj. It took two years to make the lamp which also had inscribed in Persian “Presented to the Tomb of Mumtaz Mahal by Lord Curzon, Viceroy 1906.
4. There is a small hole on the ceiling of the main hall of Taj Mahal
It is believed that one of artisan made a hole on the ceiling of the main hall of Taj Mahal perpendicularly above the tombstone of Mumtaz Mahal. It is said that the artisan did this to ruin the dream of Shahjahan of creating a flawless Taj Mahal.
5. Taj Mahal changes colour with changing light
The Taj takes on different colouring at different times of the day, from a pinkish hue in the morning, milky white in the evening and golden at night when lit by the moon. They say the changing colour resembles the changing mood of females
6. During World War II, the ASI had to cover the Taj Mahal with huge bamboo scaffolding
In 1942, during the World War II, the ASI thought that the Taj was vulnerable to bombing. To safeguard this world’s heritage site the dome of the monument was concealed by huge bamboo scaffolding. However, it is widely believed that the entire Taj was covered in the similar way.
7. The Taj Mahal is taller than Qutub Minar
Yes that’s true. Qutub Minar located in Delhi may look like it’s taller than Taj Mahal but it’s not true. While the height of Taj is 243.5ft, the height of Qutab Minar is only 239ft. The Taj Mahal is so proportionately constructed; one can never imagine that it is taller than the Qutab Minar, the tallest minaret in the world.
8. George Harrison clicked a selfie at the Taj Mahal
It was in the year 1966 that a man named George Harrison took the first ever selfie with Taj. Selfie as a form of photography was not known to people back then. But George who loved photography was a pro at taking selfies with his fish eye lens. It’s not just the selfie at Taj but many other self portraits that Harrison clicked in India, which can be referred as first ever selfies.
9. If Taj Mahal was to be built today it would have cost Emperor Shahjahan a whopping amount
It is said that Shahjahan spent about 32 Million rupees during the years 1632-1653 to build the Taj. If this historical building was to build today, it would have cost the Emperor no less than 1,062,834,098 USD.
10. The foundation of Taj Mahal is held strong by river Yamuna
It is said that the foundation of Taj has been built by timber and would have crumbled down by now but it is river Yamuna that has kept the monument safe. The Yamuna river keeps the timber moist and strong thus giving Taj a strong foundation.