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Amazing Facts about the Taj Mahal in Agra, India

Updated on November 16, 2016
The Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal | Source

The Taj Mahal in the Agra city of Uttar Pradesh in India is a monument that stands out in all its glory as a symbol of true everlasting love. It was built by the Emperor Shah Jahan to proclaim his undying love for his wife Mumtaz Mahal after her death.

It is an architectural marvel that stands as an example of the exceptional artistic skills of artisans in those times. Taj Mahal is one among the famous landmarks of India and a popular tourist destination.

Amazing Facts about the Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal is a monument that stands in all its magnificence as a symbol true love. Taj Mahal reflects art and architecture during the Mughal period and is influenced by Persian and Mughal architecture.

It was built between 1631 – 1648. Ahmad Lahori was the main architect of Taj Mahal. Building materials were brought from different parts of India and Asia to build this timeless monument in the history of humanity.

Taj Mahal was constructed by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his queen Mumtaz Mahal. It is one among the seven wonders of the world. It stands as a symbol of true love in Agra on the banks of the river Yamuna in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India.

Mumtaz Mahal means "The Chosen One of the Palace". Her maiden name was "Gauhar Begum". She was the third wife of Shah Jahan. He loved her very much and was his favorite wife.

Death of Mumtaz Mahal

In 1631, Mumtaz Mahal died giving birth to Shah Jahan's fourteenth child. Shah Jahan was grief stricken and locked himself up in a room without taking food or water for eight days. The death of his beloved Queen was the reason behind the construction of the Taj Mahal.

Construction of the Taj Mahal

Twenty thousand workers were employed to construct the Taj Mahal. The chief architects of Taj Mahal were -

  1. Turkish Architects Ismail Afandi and Ustad Isa together planned and worked out the main design of Taj Mahal.
  2. Amanat Khan from Iran handled the calligraphy on the walls of Taj Mahal.
  3. Sculptors from Bukhara
  4. Calligraphers from Syria and Persia
  5. Inlayers from Southern India
  6. Stone Cutters from Baluchistan

Embellishments on the walls of the Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal is built out of crystalline marble, gemstones and sandstone.

The walls of the Taj Mahal have been decorated with precious stones obtained from different parts of the world -

  • Marble from Makrana Rajasthan
  • Jasper from Punjab
  • Jade and Crystal from China
  • Turquoise from Tibet
  • Lapis Lazuli from Afghanistan
  • Sapphire from Sri Lanka
  • Carnelian from Arabia

Coral, Onyx, Cats Eye, Jade and Bloodstone were also used.

Why Marble and Red Sandstone were chosen to build the Taj Mahal

Makrana Marble is resistant to erosion by weather and does not change color. It is not affected by acids and alkali. This marble has a magnificent white color. It is easy to cut, carve and work with and a high-quality building material.

Red Sandstone is sturdy, hard and strong. This stone does not absorb water quickly and is resistant to high temperatures. It is harder than granite and resistant to weathering, acids and alkalis.

Pietra Dura - Art form used on walls of the Taj Mahal

The walls of the Taj Mahal have a beautiful decoration of floral designs in different colors. The decorations were made using an art technique called Pietra dura. Pietra dura initially started in Rome.

Pietra dura means hard rock in Italian. Pietra dura is also referred to as Parchin Kari in South Asia. It was taught to the Mughal artists by craftsmen from Italy.

In this art form, the design is first drawn on the marble surface using stone cutting tools. The inner part of the design is scooped out carefully leaving a hollow. This hollow is inlaid with gemstones that are cut and shaped to fit the hollows to perfection.

The result is a flat, smooth marble slab with decorations of gemstones in different patterns. Green, black and white gemstones are used in this type of artwork.

Art Work on the Walls of Taj Mahal
Art Work on the Walls of Taj Mahal | Source
The Walls of Taj Mahal
The Walls of Taj Mahal | Source
Walls of Taj Mahal
Walls of Taj Mahal | Source

Calligraphy Writings on the Walls of the Taj Mahal

The writings on the walls of Taj Mahal is in "tuluth" script, a signature style of Amanat Khan. The calligraphy on the walls is made of jasper or black marble that is inlaid with white marble. Jasper, yellow marble and jade were also used for the inlaying pattern on the walls.

Amanat Khan handled both the script and content of the text. The texts are chosen from the holy verses of the "Quran".

Calligraphy on the walls
Calligraphy on the walls | Source

Taj Mahal is a monument, one of the seven wonders of the world and a great tribute to true love. A monument that must be visited at least once in a lifetime.

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    • Mike Robbers profile image

      Mike Robbers 4 years ago from London

      A simple wish: to visit Taj Mahal before i die!!

      Seriously, this place is something that if you can, you really must see!! Thanks for this hub Vinaya...

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Mike Robbers I hope you get to visit the Taj one day. By the way my name is NithyaVenkat(Vellur).

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 4 years ago from TEXAS

      Oh, my, Vellur! This is, indeed, a treat to see! I've loved pictures of the Taj Mahal since I was a very little girl, which was a very long time ago. But this is the first time EVER that I have had the privilege of seeing pictures or any of its inside!! So magnificent and obviously taken, first-hand by you, yourself. Of course I've read some of its history over the years, but nothing with the detail and fine-tuning as you've shared here. The materials used in its building and decoration are amazing. I've always had an interest in architecture and this is an epitome of that.

      The story of how it came to 'be' is touching and beautiful. Such a love!

      I hope many people get to see and read your hub. I'm not much for recommending hubs and sites, but this one, I absolutely MUST share! It's exquisite! Thank you!

      I'm certainly giving it my votes and putting a visit there on my own 'bucket list'!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for the education and the tour. It is a magnificent structure for sure.

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Nellieanna it is a treat to see the Taj Mahal. When you see it in person it just takes your breath away. Thank you for taking the time to write and share your views. Much appreciated. Thank you for the vote and appreciation.

      billybuc it is a magnificent structure and one of it's kind, thank you.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 4 years ago from TEXAS

      My pleasure!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      This reminded me of all the great stories I read in art class in college, relating to art. Such a sad but interesting and beautiful tale. Thanks for telling it so well! ^

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Jackie Lynnley thank you, as you said it is a sad but a beautiful tale.

    • Ruchira profile image

      Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

      Loved reading every bit of it, Nithya. Sharing it across!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I would love to visit ' The Taj Mahal ' Your presentation is well written and interesting. The story surrounding the death of his wife is sad indeed. Thank you for sharing...

    • srsddn profile image

      srsddn 4 years ago from Dehra Dun, India

      Vellur, Every time I visited Taj Mahal I felt I didn't know much about this Wonder of the World. There is so much to learn about its architectural grandeur and one really needs to devote time for it which normally is not available during a hurried visit to such places. I am glad you described it beautifully and reminded me that my visit was due. Thumbed up.

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Ruchira thank you, Taj Mahal represents timeless beauty in this world.

      always exploring I hope you do get to visit the Taj someday.

      srsddn you are lucky, you keep visiting the Taj. As you say there is so much to learn about the Taj Mahal.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

      Sarjaha's story is a sad tale. His love for Mumataj and Auranjeb's cruelty is one of the fascinating historical happenings in India. Thanks for sharing.

    • santhov profile image

      santhov 4 years ago

      This Wondeful hub. Like seven Wonders in the world.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      The Taj Mahal - Story on the Walls, sounds such a pleasurable tour, I have seen many photos and read lots about this extraordinary feature will have to visit thanks for sharing an informative hub on this title

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Vinaya it is a unique story and a sad tale. Thank you.

      santhov thank you for stopping by and reading.

      DDE do visit it sometime. You will enjoy and marvel at the architecture and beauty.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      This is a beautiful hub. Lovely pictures. I have visited Taj twice and it's my wish to visit it once more.

      Voted up.

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      rajan jolly Taj Mahal is beautiful. I have visited Taj just once and was totally blown away. Thank you for the vote.

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      Oh wow this hub is wonderful. That would be a sight to see...ot is a sensational beautiful and breathtaking. I love your hub. Blessings to you

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 4 years ago from England

      What a great hub! I have never seen these markings or patterns on the Taj Mahal before, only the photos of the outside, I never realised that there were writings from the koran in there, wonderful and voted up!

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Debbie thank you, yes as you say it takes your breath away.

      Nell Rose Nell Rose thank you, Taj Mahal has so much to it, that you can keep on admiring each and every aspect lifelong. I have visited it just once and I hope I get to go again.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      The Taj Mahal is truly a wonder. Nithya.It's amazing how people managed to overcome the obstacles of not having the modern equipment we have today to erect a monument as beautiful as this. Thanks for sharing!

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      midget38 yes it is indeed a marvel how they constructed without any equipment!! Thank you for reading, much appreciated.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      What an interesting hub, Vellur. I second the comment that I would love to visit this marvelous 'Wonder of the World' one day. Thank you so much for sharing the woeful tale. I especially loved the list of gems built into the palace. UP and across except for funny. Will share.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Haze 4 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Beautiful pictures. What a history the Taj Mahal has. I knew the romantic history behind it but was totally fascinated by the architectual history. It's so beautiful. Up an, awesome and beautiful

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Denise Handlon thank you and I sure wish you do get to visit Taj Mahal one day. Thank you for the vote and share.

      KoffeeKlatch Gals thank you, Taj Mahal's architecture is amazing and so very beautiful . Thank you for reading and the vote.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Great hub! I hope to see this building some day. It is a beautiful tribute to his great love. How romantic! The building both inside and out is beautiful. Thank you for all the information about this gorgeous building. Your photos are wonderful of the beauty both inside and out. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us. Well done!

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Great hub! I hope to see this building some day. It is a beautiful tribute to his great love. How romantic! The building both inside and out is beautiful. Thank you for all the information about this gorgeous building. Your photos are wonderful of the beauty both inside and out. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us. Well done!

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      suzettennaples thank you. Taj Mahal is a landmark in architecture and as you say it is beautiful inside and out.

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 4 years ago from UK

      Wow, thanks for this wonderful history lesson on the wonder that is Taj Mahal, Nithya. The photographs are a nice addition to this informative hub. voted up!

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Docmo thank you, am glad you enjoyed.

    • travelholidays profile image

      travelholidays 4 years ago from India

      What a wonderful Hub :) I have planned to visit Taj Mahal. The wall pictures are really awesome :) Very interesting to read . Thanks for sharing this :) Voted up

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 3 years ago from London, UK

      Thanks. It's such a beautiful place with an enchanting story behind it.

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      Lady_E thank you, Taj Mahal is enchanting. Thank you for stopping by.

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 3 years ago

      Simply amazing in every way is your hub presentation from your beautiful story as told and those unique photographs - naturally the Taj Mahal is not as awesome as my humble little cottage here by the lake but then again it doesen't have the world's greatest lover - Colin, lol lol lo

      I will post and link your marvelous labor of love in tribute to my FB page for all to see and read and I am sending you warm wishes from the three of us at lake erie time canada 3:10am courtesy of Colin, Tiffy and Gabriel

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      epigramman thank you so much, you made my day!! Thank you for your appreciation and the share on your FB page. Sending you my warm wishes and lots of happiness, health.

    • shampa sadhya profile image

      Shampa Sadhya 3 years ago from NEW DELHI, INDIA

      Voted up and interesting!

      It is quite an enjoyable read!

    • Vellur profile image
      Author

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      Shampa Sadhya thank you, am glad you enjoyed.

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