Travellers from across the world have ranked India’s Taj Mahal among the top three landmarks in the world. The top two places were taken by Machu Picchu in Peru and Angkor Wat in Cambodia respectively.
Some Facts about the Taj Mahal:
- Before his accession to the throne, Shah Jahan was popularly known as Prince Khurram. Shah Jahan fell in love with the beautiful Arjumand Bano Begum and married her, making her his third wife. Arjumand Bano Begum was christened by Shah Jahan as Mumtaz Mahal, meaning ‘the chosen one of the palace’ or ‘the jewel of the palace’.
- Shah Jahan lost Mumtaz Mahal when she died giving birth to their 14th child.
- For the transportation of construction materials for Taj Mahal, more than 1000 elephants were employed.
- As many as 28 different varieties of semi-precious and precious stones were used to adorn the Taj.
- Depending on what time of the day it is and whether or not there’s moon at night, Taj Mahal appears to be of different colour every time. Some even believe that this changing pattern of colours depict different moods of a woman.
- 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.
- Taj Mahal was built in stages, with the plinth and the tomb taking up roughly 15 years. Building of minarets, mosque, jawab and gateway took additional 5 years to be completed.
- Different types of marbles used in construction of Taj Mahal were brought over from different regions and countries: Rajasthan, Punjab, China, Tibet, Afghanistan, Srilanka & Arabia.
- Many precious stones and Lapis Lazuli(a semi-precious stone) were ripped-off from Taj Mahal by Britishers during the Indian rebellion of 1857.
- Taj Mahal attracts 2-4 million tourists annually with over 2 lakh from overseas.