Taj Mahal India – Visiting Tips and Interesting Facts
When you hear somebody says “I’m going to India”, what among the many world’s tourist holiday destinations comes up to your mind first? While India is home to many hotspots for tourists, you’ll miss half of your life if you never get to set your eyes on the awe-inspiring, mind-blowing, ner-ve-racking, and just simply breathtaking beauty, splendor, and majesty of Taj Mahal India, one of the wonders of the world and one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
More than 3 million people visit Taj Mahal India year round. While there’s a threat of air pollution becoming worse in the surrounding area of Taj Mahal due to nearby factories and automobiles, the mausoleum’s stunning beauty still shines and is still able to attract both locals and tourists alike. It’s on the bucket list of every tourist in India.
A Brief History of Taj Mahal India
Built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, Taj Mahal India serves as a sign of the Emperor’s deep love for his third wife Mumtaz Mahal, who passed away after giving birth to their fourteenth female child. Mumtaz Mahal, whose previous name was Arjumand Banu Begum before marriage, was a Muslim Persian princess who Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan fell in love with at first sight when they were 14 years old. They got married in the year 1612 AD.
It was said that before Mumtaz Mahal passed away IN 1631 AD, she made Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan swear on not marrying ever again and in proving their endless love by building a mausoleum for her. The Emperor mourned his wife for two years then he went on to build Taj Mahal India in memory of Mumtaz Mahal.
The construction of Taj Mahal India began in the year 1631 AD and was completed 1648 AD. The gardens outside of Taj Mahal and its outlying buildings were completed five years later, in the year 1653 AD.
After the completion of Taj Mahal India, Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan was placed under house arrest by his own son Aurangzeb in the nearby Agra Fort, where he spent the remaining days of his life staring at the monument while he mourned his wife. It was also said that he cried himself to death until he eventually became blind because of so much tears.
Taj Mahal India over the Years
Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan passed away in the year 1666 and was buried next to his wife. After his death, the Taj
Mahal India suffered significant neglect. So by the 19th century, the British viceroy of India named Lord Curzon, ordered a major repair and restoration job of the mausoleum complex. Its purpose was to help preserve India’s cultural and artistic heritage.The project was completed in the year 1908.
Interesting Facts about Taj Mahal India
There are a lot of stories that surround the construction of Taj Mahal India. Most of them remain unproven up to today. One example is the story about Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan having all his skilled workers cut off their fingers after the construction of the Taj Mahal. This is an effort to ensure that nothing like the Taj Mahal can be built ever again. While this story terrifies others and amuses some, there are several interesting facts about the great mausoleum that we can instead focus on.
Fact #1: The original garden surrounding the Taj Mahal India was gracefully adorned with countless flowers like daffodils and roses originally. When British people started ruling India, the garden landscaping was altered a lot and then reconstructed for it to look like the lawns in Lodon, England.
Fact #2: Countless precious stones and Lapiz Lazuli (semi-precious stones) were ripped off from the walls of Taj Mahal India by British people during the Indian rebellion which occurred in the year 1857.
Fact #3: The chief architect of the Taj Mahal India, named Ustad Ahmad Lahauri, was actually a Persian from Iran, and not an Indian, which is the common misconception of people.
Fact #4: An estimated 20,000 construction workers, stonecutters, painters, embroidery artists, laborers, and caliigraphers were hired from all over India to construct the massive Taj Mahal India.
Fact #5: The construction of Taj Mahal India reached an estimated cost of 32 million rupees, which is equivalent to over US $1 billion at the time it was being constructed.
Fact #6: Over 1,000 elephants also “helped” in the construction of Taj Mahal India. They were mainly used as a form of transportation. There were numerous heavy materials and construction supplies that needed carrying from one place to another and the elephants took care of that job.
Fact #7: There were 28 types of precious and semiprecious jewels which were inlaid into the marble. The jade stones came from China; turquoise came all the way from Tibet. The heavy white marble which was used as the principal material for the construction of Taj Mahal India came from Rajasthan.
Fact #8: The glorious Taj Mahal India was declared as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in the year 2007, receiving over 100 million votes from those who participated in the voting system.
Fact #9: The Taj Mahal India, being the dedication of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan to Mumtaz Mahal has
calligraphy over the interior and exterior which praises Mumtaz Mahal beauty.
Fact #10: Allah’s 99 names can be found on the sides of Mumtaz Mahal’s tomb inside Taj Mahal India as calligraphic inscriptions.
Fact #11: There is a structure on the west side of Taj Mahal India which was thought of as a guest house.
Fact #12: Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan’s other wives and his beloved servants were all buried in mausoleums’ right outside the Taj Mahal India.
Fact #13: The Taj Mahal India is closed on Fridays as there is a working mosque inside the mausoleum and they offer prayers on Fridays.
Fact #14: There were four towers that surround Taj Mahal India. They were all constructed far from the epic monument to ensure that if ever any of the towers fall, the fall won’t cause any damage to Taj Mahal.
Fact #15: There were numerous passages taken from Quran which have been used as decorative elements throughout Taj Mahal India.
Fact #16: It is part of the Islam tradition that graves should remain as simple and plain and no decoration should be put on them. This was observed by people who buried Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal in Taj Mahal India. They were both buried in a plain crypt underneath the main inner chamber.
Fact #17: There were false structures and scaffoldings that were constructed around Taj Mahal India over the years to confuse Japanese, German, and Pakistani pilots during these countries’ wars with India.
Fact #18: Mumtaz Mahal also means “Chosen One of the Palace” and “Jewel in the Palace”. These names were given to her by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and are used more commonly by tourists when referring to her while visiting Taj Mahal India.
Fact #19: There isn’t any proof to support the long-standing claims that all laborers involved with the construction of Taj Mahal India were later put to death, after their fingers were cut off, so that they could never ever “repeat such a beautiful feat”. Historians believe that they were required to sign contracts instead, to ensure that the ethereal monument will be finished.
Fact #20: The Taj Mahal India changes colors at different times of the day. Colors that were witnessed by locals and tourists are pinkish hue in the morning, milky white when the evening comes, and it turns gold at night when the moon light hits the huge 561-foot structure. The changing colors were said to reflect the moods of Mumtaz Mahal.
Fact #21: A filmmaker from Bangladesh constructed a replica of the Taj Mahal India in year 2008. The cost of the construction was about US $56 million dollars. The purpose of the construction is so that the people of Bangladesh can get a glimpse of Taj Mahal’s majesty without having to travel to India anymore. The replica took about five years to complete using modern construction materials and equipment.
Top Tips When Visiting Taj Mahal India
As mentioned earlier, there are thousands of people that visit Taj Mahal India per day which means that the place can be so crowded. Here are important things to remember when traveling to see the Taj Mahal.
- Get to Taj Mahal India as early as you can.
The place opens at 6 AM. Even if it has not yet opened, there are many visitors already outside so to make sure you get a good look at the Taj Mahal India, arrive even before it opens.
- Visit Taj Mahal India between the months of November and January.
The weather in Agra, where Taj Mahal India is located at is generally cooler during these months. This can mean a higher number of visitors as well. On the other hand, if you can stand the summer heat, choose the month of May instead. There are lesser tourists and locals in the place. Just remember that it’s closed during Fridays to accommodate the practicing Muslims who wish to pray to Allah.
- Dress appropriately while in the premises of Taj Mahal India.
While there isn’t any dress code required when entering Taj Mahal India, it’s recommended to arrive covered up as a sign of respect while visiting a national and religious monument. For ladies, it’s suggested to wear long dresses, maxi skirts, and lose thin trousers. You can also bring a scarf with you.
- Tripods are not allowed inside the Taj Mahal India.
While the reason behind it wasn’t explained, tripods are not allowed in most of India’s public monuments including the Taj Mahal India. So if you’ve brought a tripod with you, you can just leave it at the hotel. You can ask somebody else instead to take your photo and take their photos in return.
- You are also not allowed to bring snacks inside Taj Mahal India.
Before you are allowed to enter the gates of Taj Mahal India, your purse or bag will be searched and if there’s food inside, you’ll be asked to leave them outside. You can rent a locker so you can store your food, if any, in the lockers and just get them back after your tour.
Keep these simple and useful tips in mind for a hassle-free and enjoyable to the epic Taj Mahal India.
Taj Mahal India Is a Must-Visit Tourist Destination
The story behind the Taj Mahal India is already heartwarming enough but once you get to see the iconic monument in front of you, you’d wish you’ve lived during the time of Mumtaz Mahal and Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, so you can get an idea of how much he loved her.
It’s definitely worth paying Taj Mahal India a visit once in your lifetime. Book a trip to Taj Mahal now!
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