The Taj Mahal- Facts And Myths

Where is the Tag Mahal Located?

On the banks of river Yamuna in Agra, India.

When was The Taj Mahal Constructed?

1631-1653

Who was The Taj Mahal built By?

Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan

Why was The Taj Mahal built?

In memory of the Emperor’s dead wife

How much land is The Taj Mahal spread over?

42 acres

What is the significance: of The Taj Mahal?

One of the Seven Wonders of the World

I visited the Taj Mahal about 8 years ago, I was 15years old, and still to this day, I consider it the most amazing piece of architecture I have seen in my life. And it’s rare that the average teenager appreciates something like architecture, so it really must have been something special. If anyone has the opportunity to see it, it’s a definite must. I don’t think anyone can disagree; the pictures of the building look amazing- it only gets more spectacular in real life, as you can’t see the fine attention to detail through mere pictures.

Taj Mahal

Introduction to The Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is arguably one of the most incredible manmade constructions in the world. It’s located in Agra, which is in the north central part of Indian, on the right part of the Humana River. Known for its symmetry, the Taj Mahal sits on a raised platform surrounded by four minarets. Inside are delicate mosaic works and marble walls decorated with intricate patterns of inlaid precious stones. The Taj seems to glow in the light of the full moon. On a foggy morning, the visitors experience the Taj as if suspended when viewed from across the Jamuna river.

Taj Mahal Moon light

Taj Mahal Facts

The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum (a large tomb). It was commissioned by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his favourite wife Empress Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1631. So great was the Shah Jahan’s love for his wife Mumtaz, that he ordered the building of the most beautiful mausoleum on Earth for her, The Taj Mahal.

Emperor Shah Jahan
Taj Mahal, Shan Jahan

Empress Mumtaz Mahal
Empress Mumtaz Mahal

  • The construction documents show that its master architect was Ustad ‘Isa, the renowned Islamic architect of his time.
  • The Taj stands on a raised, square platform (186 x 186 feet) with its four corners truncated, forming an unequal octagon. The architectural design uses the interlocking arabesque concept, in which each element stands on its own and perfectly integrates with the main structure.
  • The tomb stands on its own marble base, which rests on a red sandstone platform. Four tall pillars, 138 ft each, rise up from the corners of the white marble base are topped with eight windowed cupolas. This has been made to replicate throne of God in paradise. Directly below the dome rests Mumtaz Mahal’s tomb, which is centrally lined with the main entrance. Besides Mumtaz Mahal’s tomb is the tomb of Shahjahan. The tomb of Shahjahan was not actually intended to be there but Aurangzeb placed it there, consequently breaking the symmetry.
    • Taj Mahal Tombs

      • The Taj Mahal is generally considered the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements of Persian, Turkish, Indian, and Islamic architectural styles.
      • Construction of the tomb started in 1632, and was completed in 1648. It took 22 years to complete the tomb, and an extra 5 years for the garden, with the help of 20,000 workers. Sculptors, masons, craftsmen, and calligraphers were called from Persia, Ottoman Empire and Europe to work on construction of the Taj.
      • The Taj Mahal is built from precious white marbel with dedlicate masiac, with inlaid precious stones. Almost every surface of the entire building has been decorated, and every detail is symmetrical. The mosaic designs are based on three decorative elements- calligrapyh, abtract geonetric and vegetative motifs. The exterior decorations of the Taj Mahal are among the finest to be found in Mughal architecture of any period.
      Inside the dome

      Taj Mahal Dome

      Calligraphy:
      Taj Mahal Calligraphy

      Mosaic:
      Taj Mahal Mosaic

      Taj Mahal Carved Stone

      Taj Mahal Wall Detail

      Taj Mahal Print

      • The Taj Mahal cost 32million rupees to build, which is roughly $1,000,000.
      • The tomb initially called “Rauza”. Later, after Mumtaz Mahal passed away, the mausoleum would be called the Taj Mahal, a derivative of the name Mumtaz Mahal.
      • The architectural complex of the Taj Mahal comprises of five main elements: the Darwaza or main gateway, the Bageecha or garden, the Masjid or mosque, the Naqqar Khana or rest house, and the Rauza or the Taj Mahal mausoleum.
      • The name Taj Mahal when translated means “Crown Palace” or “Crown of the Palace.”
      • The Taj Mahal is one of the eight wonders of the world.
      Taj Mahal Myths

      The Taj Mahal comes attached with many myths and legends; whilst many are strongly believed, others are laughed at. There is evidence to suggest that these rumours are based on truth, but nothing is set in stone.

      • Many people believe, Shah Jehan had planned to build another Taj Mahal in black marble, which was to be his own tomb on the opposite bank of the River Yamuna and connect the two by a bridge. However, the construction never got started due to conflict with this son’s, which took up most of his time.
      • Shah Jehan deemed that no one else should ever copy the masterpice, so he had the master craftsmans hands cut off.
        Some European scholars held the view that the Taj was designed by an Italian – Geronimo Veroneo. This was first suggested by Father Manrique, an Augustinian Friar, who came to Agra in 1640 A.D. to secure the release of Father Antony who had been imprisoned by the Mughals.
      • In the early years after the Taj Mahal was built, a long series of cracks in the underground vaults started to emerge. Those cracks were quickly seen to, and patched up. Cracking has been observed at different times since construction; testing in the early 19th Century showed the base of the mausoleum on the northern side of the structure is lower than on the south by 3.5 centimetres. There is some evidence the Taj Mahal is gradually sinking into the Yamuna River.
      Taj Mahal Front View

      Taj Mahal Front View

      Taj Mahal Birdseye View

      Taj Mahal Birdeye View

      Taj Mahal Gateway to the Gardens

      Taj Mahal Gardens

      Taj Mahal Dome Exterior

      Taj Mahal Dome Exterior

      Taj Mahal Pilar

      Taj Mahal Pillar

      Taj Mahal Wall

      Taj Mahal Side Wall

      112 Comments- join the conversation...

      Showing 62 - 112 comments (out of 112)
      Guest Avatar
      someone 4th February, 2010 @ 18:50

      this helped me sooooooooooooooooooooooo much!
      but loads of spelling mistakes soz

      62
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      Meeeeeee!!! 6th February, 2010 @ 15:33

      This is the most useful site that I have found on the Taj Mahal! There is a lot of stuff on the internet that is a load of rubbish!

      63
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      Rahul 16th February, 2010 @ 19:15

      This amazing site has given me tonnes of infomatin about the TAJ MAHAL. My mum and dad have already gone to see it .I really would like to go and see it although Emperor Shah Jahan took the eye ballS out of the workers and cut their fingers off!NOW THATS HORRIBLE!

      64
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      Gaurav Guta 6th March, 2010 @ 05:02

      Taj Mahal is relay greatest wonder of the world and never it build in future

      65
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      Waheed-Ur-Rahman 6th March, 2010 @ 12:05

      the people who think that love is not a heart of life but it is a part of life shahjahan shown to each and every one love is not a part but it is there forever and ever. people will come and go but love is always there, some people die but love never dies it will be there like """TAJ MAHAL""".,,,, i have seen tajmahal in pics only but one day i will see the beauty of taj

      66
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      Indianhistory 7th March, 2010 @ 00:59

      This is to WhatIsManOnEarth4: Its nice you want people of the country and visitors to just enjoy the beauty,however kindly do not make this sound cheap. You did not have to mention that Shah Jahan was articulate,if he was he would destroy someone else's hardwork name it for his love or whatever,he does not know how to make such a peace..visitors must know the truth..do not hide it...also kindly note this is a public forum.

      67
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      i love india 15th March, 2010 @ 11:13

      wow so beautiful i love india

      68
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      Young Architect 21st March, 2010 @ 11:12

      SO BEAUTIFUL

      That is some amazing architacture and apparently, the architect was murdered, so that he could not reproduce it for anybody else!

      69
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      happyclown07 4th April, 2010 @ 14:15

      Ohh my god its so amazing ive been there and its spectacular

      70
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      Manoj 9th April, 2010 @ 09:31

      Taj Mahal is really a great wonder, India has. So, we shud be proud to be an Indian.

      71
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      Fannie 15th April, 2010 @ 22:30

      Taj Mahal is a great monument to watch.
      It's a symbol of true love.

      Shah Jahan addressed that till the time taj mahal is there, love will be here around.

      It's a big controversy to speak about TAJ Mahal.

      In my opinion earlier it was a shiva's temple and modified to sacred homage to mumtaz.

      72
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      mr bee 25th April, 2010 @ 09:02

      it is an amazing site you lean so much

      73
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      Allison 2nd May, 2010 @ 02:13

      This article has helped me so much for my school project! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

      74
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      unknown 4th May, 2010 @ 18:20

      when i grow up, i want to find out if the myths are true and if they are,gather evidence supporting them.

      75
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      carl 10th May, 2010 @ 02:16

      I love the Taj Mahal

      76
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      thomas 22nd June, 2010 @ 15:05

      its awsome

      77
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      Deepa 22nd June, 2010 @ 15:37

      This article is bogus. The Taj Mahal was a Shiva temple which the Mughal emperors invaded and sadly converted to a tomb. Refer to this website for details : http://www.stephen-knapp.com/was_the_taj_mahal_a_vedic_temple.htm

      78
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      sunita 10th July, 2010 @ 19:58

      taj mahal was originally owned by the indians as a shiva temple. the shah had stole it from the poor indians and the idols are still in the basement cause it was too heavy to remove or destroy therefore it is solidly blocked and no was is allowed to go down to see it. this is totally unfair to the indians cause they got no credit. i do hope by the grace of the lord that the truth will be revealed one day.

      79
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      Ttodd Era 18th July, 2010 @ 04:17

      I don't express the beauty of the Taj Mahal but the story of Mamtaz and Shah Jahan was very lovly I want it to be happen in my real life

      80
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      Todd Era 18th July, 2010 @ 04:22

      As the Shah Jahan Love Mamtaz as better I love my angel Meerananda.

      81
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      eirjwori3u4pqwoierui 23rd August, 2010 @ 01:01

      it is nice

      82
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      praveen sehrawat 5th September, 2010 @ 08:24

      wow m really proud to be an indian..... and about the myths of temple its completely rubbish and bull shit....it totally build by shahjahan in the memory of his wife...

      83
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      banna 17th October, 2010 @ 12:44

      boop doop

      84
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      Sarfraz 28th October, 2010 @ 23:03

      If this taj mahal was a temple before then indian hindus would be going to destroy it like babri mosque.It is becomming habit of hindus to destroy the monoments of Muslims.

      85
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      Salman 7th January, 2011 @ 11:27

      @ Sarfraz:

      I can see you are more a racist than a human. You are a pure shame to muslims. All these peoples are here to give their opinion, not to incite racism. If what you are saying is true, then I believe there would be no mosque at all in India. And trust me, there are more mosque, church etc in india that hindu / christian temples in Pakistan / Afghanistan.

      86
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      Victor 17th January, 2011 @ 08:21

      I was amazed to see Taj Mahal, so beautiful.
      But then I learned the hands of the craftsman were cut off after finishing the work. After that the building lost all its beauty to me.

      87
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      Cora George 27th January, 2011 @ 13:51

      very informational(IM DOING A REPORT ON IT IN ENGLISH)!!!!!!!!I loved it!!!!Ive seen Taj Mahal many times in pictures, and one day I want to see the real thing!

      88
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      Dont Like It! 6th February, 2011 @ 13:56

      Look at my name.

      89
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      yo mamma 15th March, 2011 @ 14:39

      brooke
      katey
      and
      jamirca
      were
      here
      remeber we luv u
      kiss my ass
      and yo
      mammas
      and alexs

      90
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      History Revisionist 20th May, 2011 @ 23:32

      My Lord, history never seems to amaze me. There are so many bogus things about history in our history books, then it should arouse us to the main question, Who told us this history? What authority is the stories of Taj Mahal based on? India's wonderful history has been suppressed by so many conquests like the British and Muslim empires. Maya, illusion, has two functions: It throws us into illusion and it covers us.
      If Shah Jahan was expressing his love for his wife, then why did he have 5,000 in a harem of women? Why is it called "mahal" which is clearly a Hindu term? Wasn't Shah put in prison by his son, Aurangzeb who destroyed probably and consevatively 10,000 Hindu temples? There are 4 other Shiva temples in Agra, what happened to the fifth?
      This article is completely shallow and hearsay. It proves one thing: History is bunk!

      91
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      Anna 9th June, 2011 @ 18:14

      The word mahal means in philipines means I LOVE YOU!

      92
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      umerqadir 13th June, 2011 @ 04:08

      WHAT ABOUT ITS PILLERS PLEASE sent me answere

      93
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      nidhi singh 20th July, 2011 @ 15:23

      No one knows, what the truth is? But if Shah Jahan had really taken over the Shiva temple for the love, then there can be nothing more worse and cheap than this. I don't wanna conflict on the basis of religion, but my point of view is that he played with the belief and faith of the whole world, and especially his so called beloved Mumtaz.

      94
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      mgogiley 22nd August, 2011 @ 09:27

      All said, this monument shud teach the world the value of true love. Suppose ya spouse dies at apoint in time, what monument wud you erect for it.

      95
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      jeeva 19th September, 2011 @ 11:37

      actually taj mahal was built in memory of mumtaj.. i think she was very sexy and her boobs were very nice.. she too have good vagina.. tats y sha was pleased at her..
      i love u sophie....

      96
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      Sawad 5th October, 2011 @ 20:28

      Marbe stones are beautiful
      This is a weird marble stone in nature that has a human face picture:
      http://marblesecret.blogspot.com/

      All the best.

      97
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      dcraju 29th October, 2011 @ 13:42

      what do we need to feel proud of our India. it is nothing other than the Wonderful monument TAJ MAHAl. I really admire at it because of the way it is built. Specially the idea behind building Taj Mahal's pillar leaning to outside, even if there comes earth quack it will not damage Taj.

      98
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      fgfdsgwr 10th November, 2011 @ 15:55

      lol!

      99
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      zany 16th November, 2011 @ 18:03

      That's what makes the Taj so special.
      A mere story about its construction would not have been so appealing. But when you know, workers hands have been cut off and there was a plan for a black Taj Mahal...It seems almost magical.

      100
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      Irham 8th March, 2012 @ 16:18

      really really really outstanding man made creation.

      101
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      ArtsyParty 12th March, 2012 @ 22:47

      we are doing architecture in art and this has helped a shiitload :) thaanks

      102
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      MAYA 18th March, 2012 @ 16:45

      WAWE.GIR KAN YBNILI RAGLI WAHAD KIFO

      103
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      sunita 18th March, 2012 @ 19:18

      by gods grace one day justice will be done
      the taj mahal was once a hindu temple which the emperors
      stole from the poor indians

      104
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      GnanaBoomi 9th May, 2012 @ 14:12

      The historians have recorded the fact that the thumbs of the chief craftsmen were chopped off, if not their hands. It is also said that he wanted a black Taj which his son denied. Undeniable proof with photographs have been presented by Stephen Knapp that it was a Vedic temple - http://www.stephen-knapp.com/was_the_taj_mahal_a_vedic_temple.htm

      The Taj - symbol of cruelty.

      105
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      person 4th January, 2013 @ 16:24

      the report was really informative, ut the comments are getting kind of warped(what is with the hate???) but unfortunately, my project is in hindi so can someone pleasepleaseplease tell me where to get GOOD and ACCURATE info in hindi??:/

      106
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      Amrit 11th February, 2013 @ 10:24

      Have you read book written by P.N.Oak about Taj Mahal being a Hindu Rajpul Palace / Temple??

      107
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      gosai 19th February, 2013 @ 07:23

      please visit dis site:

      http://www.stephen-knapp.com/was_the_taj_mahal_a_vedic_temple.htm

      nw you can know the reality.???????????????

      108
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      ahlem 19th February, 2013 @ 12:53

      yes it s really fantastic isaw taj mahal

      109
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      Love and Mystery « Humanities II – World History 15th April, 2013 @ 00:09

      [...] Myth #2 Cutting craftsmen’s hand [...]

      110
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      rashed 19th July, 2013 @ 02:14

      only for love ???????????????????????????

      111

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