Why the Taj Mahal is Truly a Wonder of the World

The world will decide on the new “Seven Wonders of the World” in July this year, and the Taj Mahal runs the risk of being toppled from its pride of place as one of the seven wonders. There are campaigns being run by every country to ensure that their own monuments figure as one of the Seven Wonders. Why is it so important for the Taj Mahal to be one of them?

It’s not just because the Taj Mahal is synonymous with India. Nor is it just because it is to India what Eiffel Tower is to France, the Big Apple to the US, and the Big Ben to the UK. The Taj Mahal is more than just a magnificent monument that was built by Emperor Shah Jehan at a cost of millions.

The Taj Mahal is the ultimate tribute to love. What can be more romantic than an emperor building a monument in the memory of his dear departed wife? What can be more inspiring than the fact that thousands of tourists turn up every year to gaze in awe and wonder at an edifice whose sheer magnificence creates not the splendour of a bygone past, but also pays a tribute to an emotion that makes us–black or white, rich or poor–human?

It’s a monument that is deservedly a Wonder of the World. For, in this age of strife where all that we have to show for our so-called modernity and technological prowess are images and monuments that either glorify or recall the horrors of wars, here’s a monument that is perhaps the only one that’s been created in the honour of Love. Isn’t that a tremendous heritage?

It is said that Shah Jehan planned a duplicate mausoleum to be built in black marble across the Yamuna river. However, he was overthrown and taken captive by his son Aurangzeb before it could be built. Ruins of black marble across the river in the Mahtab Bagh (the Moonlight Garden) support this legend. When Shah Jehan was imprisoned, the only thing that he could see from his prison cell was the Taj Mahal.

The monument has inspired a myriad of myths and beautiful legends. One story goes that once a year, during the rainy season, a single drop of water falls on Mumtaz Mahal’s cenotaph. The story recalls Rabindranath Tagore's description of the tomb as "one solitary tear hanging on the cheek of time."

Another myth suggests that beating the silhouette of the spire (set into the paving of the riverside forecourt) will cause water to come forth. To this day officials find broken bangles surrounding the silhouette.

Here are a few facts about this unique wonder:

  • Grief-stricken by the death of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal (on the event of the birth of their 14th child), Shah Jehan wanted to build a mausoleum in her memory complete with gardens.
  • Construction of the mausoleum started in 1632 and was completed in approximately 16 years, in 1648.
  • Ustad Ahmad Lahauri is believed to be the principal designer of this beautiful monument which combines Turkish, Indian, and Persian architectural styles.
  • The inspiration for the design of the Taj included the Gur-e Amir (the tomb of Timur in Samarkand), Humayun's Tomb (in Delhi) , Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb (sometimes called the Baby Taj), and Shah Jahan's own Jama Masjid in Delhi.
  • While previous Mughal buildings had been constructed of red sandstone, Shah Jahan promoted the use of white marble inlaid with semi-precious stones.
  • Hindu craftsmen, particularly sculptors and stonecutters, were employed to build this Mughal monument. The carvings of Hindu rock-cut temples and the Man Singh palace in Gwalior also influenced the design of the Taj. The “chhatris” which can be seen on the Taj Mahal are a result of this Hindu-Muslim blend of architecture.
  • The main dome is crowned by a gilded spire or finial. Until the early 1800s, it was made of gold and it is now made of bronze. The finial provides a clear example of the integration of traditional Persian and Hindu decorative elements. It is topped by a moon, an Islamic motif, whose horns point heavenward. Because of its placement on the main spire, the horns of the moon and the finial point combine to create a trident shape, reminiscent of the traditional Hindu symbols of Shiva.
  • Built on the banks of the Yamuna, the river is an integral part of the grand design of the complex–a fact that is evident from the design of the Mahtab Bagh or "Moonlight Garden" which is part of the complex.

Comments 48 comments

RajshekharM 9 years ago

Why do we in India chase recognition from thw west all the time? Does the list matter? Will the Taj lose significance, will it become lesser if the world chooses to displace it from the TOP 7? I think its time we began a campaign on recognizing our monuments, on giving them the respect that is theirs by right. And we should include the forts in Rajasthan, in Mandu, in Gwalior, and in Delhi in this list. These are awesome monuments, and these are just a few of the examples of what this proud country has to offer.

One more point. What will this race achieve, ultimately?


Chandra 9 years ago

Hi Adite, I am Indian blogger and I have started a new awareness website about Taj Mahal voting. http://votefortaj.org.in

If you think we can get some votes please pass on the link and will be great if you could help in putting up some content.

Thanks,

Chandra


adite profile image

adite 9 years ago from New Delhi, India Author

Sure Chandra...anything for the Taj! you can put a link to this blog on your site. I will be adding fresh content on the Taj pretty soon...so watch this space! Saare Jahan Se Achcha Taj Mahal Hamara!:-)


wajeeh shafiq 9 years ago

you have missed one information that the foundation of Taj Mahal is on wood.


adite profile image

adite 9 years ago from New Delhi, India Author

thanks for that...isn't it really amazing...and its wonderful to know that Taj is still there among the Top 7 Wonders.


Shinoj Kumar. S 9 years ago

Thank you adite. Your article about Taj is really exiting and inspirational. Through some of the private cable channels I came to know about some interesting facts about her. Personally I feel that there are lots of mysteries surrounding around the Taj. She has something hidden in her. I dream some day she will be unfolding her petals of mystery. I pray to God to save this Great Symbol.


dafla 8 years ago

I fell in love with the Taj Mahal as a child of 11, when we studied it in world history in 6th grade. I was saddened later on to find out that all its treasures were robbed. I guess that's inevitable when it stands in such a poor country. Still, I hope they keep it as one of the seven wonders, because it is truly the most beautiful building on earth, and it is a testament to true love.


deepak 7 years ago

what was the exact shape of tajmahal's foundation? is it well foundation of Raft foundation?


akash 7 years ago

its truly amazing and i loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeee it so much


amy mcfuller 7 years ago

This will be the first spot i will truly visit when i come to India... It is truly amazing...


Damien 7 years ago

I would like to know why the Taj Mahal is a wonder of the world.

Thanks Damien


Islam 7 years ago

nice thank you.


Cleanclover profile image

Cleanclover 6 years ago from Piece of land!

Taj mahal is made of pure white marble. It's incredible, I feel it is the wonder of the world whether it is in the list or not.


sumbha profile image

sumbha 6 years ago from Nepal

I have been there once. Great place.


pinkhawk profile image

pinkhawk 6 years ago from Pearl of the Orient

...what makes it more beautiful is the great story behind its construction. Indeed, this is also a wonder of the world. :)


dnrkrishnan25 6 years ago

Tajmahal = True Love


Priti 6 years ago

I love Tajmahal, it's the symbol of love


priti.yadav 6 years ago

It's awesome......i'm proud to be an Indian bcoz Tajmahal is situated in India.....I'm fall in Love with Tajmahal.......


aparna 6 years ago

beautiful place


NIKHIL JOHN K 6 years ago

Actually i was in need to get the foundation details of the taj mahal. but nothing has been specified regarding that aspect......


ISHANI CHOWDHURY 5 years ago

VERY NEICE PICTURES


mahnoor tahir 5 years ago

i dont understand abt dat *DROP in tajmahal*?

btw i love dis building


john 5 years ago

great place


jaysai meow 4 u 5 years ago

pyar ne insan ko kya se kya bana diya

kisi ko kavi to kisi ko katil bana diya

DO phul ka bauz nahi utha sakti thi "MUMTAZ"

AUR SHAR JAHA ne us par "TAJ MAHAL" bana diya.


Rudra profile image

Rudra 5 years ago

The world is divided in 2 parts, those who have seen the Taj and those who haven't.


balram 5 years ago

i want the inside scene photos of taj


PRERANA 5 years ago

It Is "Moonlight Garden"


SAIF ALI 5 years ago

Jitna Tarif Kiya Jaye Kam Hai .....


Ashok khanna 4 years ago

Now time has come to preserve this magnificent piece of art ,for our coming generations .Otherwise humanity will not forgive us ,


MUUSE 4 years ago

THAT AMAZING GOOD TAJMAHAL


takkar f.d.k 4 years ago

its really amazing that foundation of tajmahal is on wood, i love it......


vishu 4 years ago

mast hai boss!! aisa monument ko to wah-wah!! wah-wah!!!!


Pankaj 4 years ago

Taj Mahal is one of the wonder of the world.

Now taj mahal is turning yellow because of polution and i think we save taj mahal


pankaj dagar 4 years ago

i like taj mahal


Jagannath 4 years ago

Nice


4 years ago

Nice historical place in the word


Mk 4 years ago

this is really cool info!!!!!!!


shaina 3 years ago

taj mahl is a gret monument to vist

i love it


neeta 3 years ago

i am proud to be a resident of india an eternal tribute to a true love takes shape in the form of tha taj mahal


robertwordsworth profile image

robertwordsworth 3 years ago

Though there is a long history behind its purpose of construction, what you want to remember with your trip here is that, Taj Mahal is one of the most beautiful buildings on earth and an architectural excellence. Here is a brief history of Taj Mahal and how this monument was built. http://spirittourism.com/category/pleasure/wonders...


parash and biswa 2 years ago

except the awesome and beautiful tajmahal, still i never face in my life,that is why i really proud of my incredible india because tajmahal is established in india,.....tajmahal is considered to each true lover as a wonder believe of our human history


monika agarwal 2 years ago

Tajmahal is a beautiful monument i have ever seen..its really wonderful


monika agarwal tanakpur 2 years ago

Tajmahal is a beautiful monument i have ever seen..its really wonderful


Nikita. 2 years ago

Taj Mahal is vry lovely place

And the most wonderful thng abut taj mahal which make the taj mahal vry special is the true love of Mumtaz and Shah Jahan......I love taj mahal

And im also proud to b an Indian...B'coz one of the most wonder of the world is in 'INDIA':-) ;-)


you don't need to know 23 months ago

i think you should put more informations


veena 22 months ago

It is very beatiful


nishasen 12 months ago

This is very interesting facts about Taj Mahal because this is one of the most beautiful monuments around the World, which is also listed in seven wonders around the World.http://goo.gl/96zVWM


keneths 7 weeks ago

lol for taj mahal

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