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Why the Taj Mahal is Truly a Wonder of the World

Updated on June 26, 2015

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.

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    • profile image

      RajshekharM 10 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?

    • profile image

      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
      Author

      adite 9 years ago from New Delhi, India

      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!:-)

    • profile image

      wajeeh shafiq 9 years ago

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

    • adite profile image
      Author

      adite 9 years ago from New Delhi, India

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

    • profile image

      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.

    • profile image

      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.

    • profile image

      deepak 8 years ago

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

    • profile image

      akash 8 years ago

      its truly amazing and i loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeee it so much

    • profile image

      amy mcfuller 8 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Damien 8 years ago

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

      Thanks Damien

    • profile image

      Islam 7 years ago

      nice thank you.

    • Cleanclover profile image

      Cleanclover 7 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

      Suman Bhattarai 7 years ago from Nepal

      I have been there once. Great place.

    • pinkhawk profile image

      pinkhawk 7 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. :)

    • profile image

      dnrkrishnan25 7 years ago

      Tajmahal = True Love

    • profile image

      Priti 7 years ago

      I love Tajmahal, it's the symbol of love

    • profile image

      priti.yadav 7 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.......

    • profile image

      aparna 6 years ago

      beautiful place

    • profile image

      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......

    • profile image

      ISHANI CHOWDHURY 6 years ago

      VERY NEICE PICTURES

    • profile image

      mahnoor tahir 6 years ago

      i dont understand abt dat *DROP in tajmahal*?

      btw i love dis building

    • profile image

      john 6 years ago

      great place

    • profile image

      jaysai meow 4 u 6 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 6 years ago

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

    • profile image

      balram 6 years ago

      i want the inside scene photos of taj

    • profile image

      PRERANA 5 years ago

      It Is "Moonlight Garden"

    • profile image

      SAIF ALI 5 years ago

      Jitna Tarif Kiya Jaye Kam Hai .....

    • profile image

      Ashok khanna 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      MUUSE 5 years ago

      THAT AMAZING GOOD TAJMAHAL

    • profile image

      takkar f.d.k 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      vishu 5 years ago

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

    • profile image

      Pankaj 5 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

    • profile image

      pankaj dagar 5 years ago

      i like taj mahal

    • profile image

      Jagannath 5 years ago

      Nice

    • profile image

      4 years ago

      Nice historical place in the word

    • profile image

      Mk 4 years ago

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

    • profile image

      shaina 4 years ago

      taj mahl is a gret monument to vist

      i love it

    • profile image

      neeta 4 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...

    • profile image

      parash and biswa 3 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

    • profile image

      monika agarwal 2 years ago

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

    • profile image

      monika agarwal tanakpur 2 years ago

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

    • profile image

      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':-) ;-)

    • profile image

      you don't need to know 2 years ago

      i think you should put more informations

    • profile image

      veena 2 years ago

      It is very beatiful

    • profile image

      nishasen 20 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

    • profile image

      keneths 9 months ago

      lol for taj mahal

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