Taj Mahal - The Symbol Of Eternal Love!
New Seven Wonders
This marble marvel remains one of the most loved tourist spots in the world.
Some Interesting History On Taj
Shah Jahan ascended the peacock throne of India in 1628, at the age of 36. By that time, he had been married to his second Persian wife for 16 years. Formally named Arjuman Banu Begum, she was more familiarly known as Mumtaz Mahal, or "beloved ornament of the palace". Not only was the Shah deeply in love with her, one of his many wives and concubines, so were the people, who knew her as generous, compassionate, and one of the most beautiful women in India.
Within three years, their love story had ended. Mumtaz Mahal died on June 17, 1631 while accompanying the Shah during a battle campaign in Burhanpur in the Deccan (now in Madhya Pradesh) giving birth to her fourteenth child, a daughter named Gauhara Begum. So grief stricken was the Shah, that he withdrew from the public eye for a year, and when he emerged at the end of that time, although still a youthful 40, his hair had turned white and he appeared as an old man.
Whether it is true that Arjuman asked on her deathbed for a symbol of their love, nobody seems to know. But the Shah went ahead and erected an immortal tribute in the form of the most magnificent tomb in the world. It would take 23 years to be completed.
Far more than a simple burial place, the Taj Mahal actually contains many separate areas inside, as well as outer buildings and extensive gardens. The name is said to have been derived from his wife's nickname, Mumtaz Mahal. Her cenotaph, a word taken from the Greek for "empty tomb", rests in the exact middle of the main chamber, keeping the symmetrical design of the entire structure.
Four years after the tomb was completed, the Shah was deposed and imprisoned by his son. When he died in 1866, his son had a cenotaph created beside that of his wife, upsetting the balance of the chamber. The actual bodies, in true Muslim tradition, are buried in plain graves in the basement, wrapped in white shrouds, with faces turned towards Mecca.
Some Interesting Trivia
The Taj Mahal was scheduled to be torn down in the 1830s so that its marble facing could be shipped to London and auctioned to the landed English gentry. Wrecking machines were moved into the garden grounds and work was about to begin when word came from London that another auction of marble facades from Indian monuments and edifices had been a failure and it would not be worth proceeding.
In 1631, the Mogul emperor Shah Jahan's favorite wife (Mumtaz Mahal) died while giving birth to their fourteenth child. As Jahan rushed to her side, she uttered a dying wish: that he build a monument to commemorate their love.(Supposed to be myth)
The result? The Taj Mahal, a building which took 23 years to complete. According to legend, Jahan took drastic measures to ensure that his master carvers would never produce anything more beautiful.
Jahan died with his eyes open - facing the Taj Mahal.
Stones to build the Taj were brought from as far away as Tibet and Sri Lanka.
Shah Jahan wanted to build another Taj Mahal…one with black marble!
It is white marble and semi-precious stones on the dome of the Taj that make Taj Mahal change colour during the day and on moonlit nights.
Ustad Ahmad Lahori is believed to be the architect of Taj Mahal.
The garden walls, rest house, mosque and the entry arch are made of red sandstone.
Some people believe an Italian named Geronimo Veroneo designed the Taj Mahal.
It took a fleet of 1000 elephants to transport the construction material to the site of the Taj.
UNESCO declared Taj Mahal a world heritage site in 1983.
Taj Mahal finally made it to the new seven wonders list in 2007.