Standing tall for almost 390 years, Taj Mahal is undoubtedly a pleasure to every art-loving eyes. Being one of the members of the new seven wonders of the world, Taj Mahal is always a centre of attraction. It represents beauty and India's amazing taste in architecture. The Mumtaj Mahal ( generally known as Taj Mahal) was created by the famous architect Ustad Ahmed Lahori in the era of the Mughal king Sah Jahan. The emperor created this amazing monument to show his undying love for his wife Mumtaj. Situated in Agra, (India) Taj Mahal is always known as a symbol of love. But the impressive beauty of this magnificent monument hides some amazing facts which are not known to everyone. In this brief article, we will try to look into ten such amazing and unbelievable facts about the Taj Mahal.
1.The unbelievable money and time in the making
A great piece of work requires a great amount of work and investment. Taj Mahal is no exception to that. We all can imagine that maintaining a piece of art like the Taj Mahal will be costly and it will involve a lot of workers but do you have any idea about how much money and time did Mughal India spend to build the Taj Mahal? Taj Mahal was built in the 1600s for 32 million Indian Rupees at that time. But if we convert the money to present time dollars, it will be a little over 1 Billion dollars (without including any maintenance cost). The time it took to finish the construction of the Taj Mahal was almost 20 years (from 1632-1653). It also took 20 thousand workers in the making. So when you work hard with patience and investment, the result you get is priceless.
2. The base of the structure is made of special wood
A great base is a must-have for a great structure. The base of Taj Mahal is undoubtedly strong but it has some interesting facts. If you observe the location of Taj Mahal you will see that it is located on the west side of Yamuna river. When someone says that Taj Mahal is standing on a base made of wood, it is hard to believe because making an underground wooden structure beside a river does not sound smart. The water will easily spoil the structure in no time. But you will be shocked to know that the wood used in the making of the base of taj mahal gets stronger and stronger over time as it absorbs the water of the river. So the Yamuna river is the key to keep the base of Taj Mahal strong.
3. Amount of daily visitors
Taj Mahal is definitely one of those places which attract visitors from all over the globe and It is known to all that a lot of visitors come to visit Taj Mahal every year. But can you guess how many visitors daily come and visit Taj Mahal? You have probably guessed wrong because around 12000 people every day come to visit this wonder. So the revenue generated from Taj Mahal is huge.
4. The use of Golden Ratio
Through the course of our history, we have seen the example of the golden ratio in so many constructions like The Parthenon, The United Nations Secretariat Building etc. Taj Mahal is also one of these constructions. The Golden Ratio has been used so many times in the construction of Taj Mahal. For those who do not know what it is, Golden Ratio is a mathematical term which can be described as follows... In mathematics, two quantities are said to be in Golden Ratio if their ratio is the same as the ratio of their sum to the larger of the two quantities. This proves that the field of architecture and engineering of that time was so advanced.
5. Natural air-pressure fountains
The water fountains never fail to add an extra flavour to the beauty of the Taj Mahal. But these are no ordinary water fountains. The water fountains of Taj Mahal does not require any kind of machinery to keep itself going. The fountains work in a natural process with the help of air pressure. A copper pot is placed under each pipe of the fountain and the air pressure through this pot pushes the water upward.
6. Minarets are tilted outwards
The Taj Mahal is surrounded by four beautiful minarets. But if you notice carefully you will find that the minarets are tilted outwards. It was done to protect the Taj Mahal in case the minarets fall directly on the Taj Mahal due to earthquake or any other disaster. If anything happens the minarets will fall outwards protecting the Taj Mahal from any kind of damage. This was another masterpiece by the architect.
7.British robbed Taj Mahal
It is said that so many precious stone and items from different parts of the world were used to decorate the Taj Mahal. But many of these items went missing. According to researches, during the British rule in India, the Britishers stole so many precious stones and items from the Taj Mahal. Although in 1908, a project named 'Taj Mahal restoration project' was able to bring back very few of the lost items. But still, so many priceless items were never restored.
8. The arm-chopping story is a hoax
It is rumoured that Sah Jahan, the Mughal emperor chopped off the arms of the workers of the Taj Mahal to ensure that they would never be able to build anything like the Taj Mahal. Many historians believe that this was actually a rumour because the architect who built Taj Mahal also built Red Fort which was built after the construction of the Taj Mahal. This rumour was spread to ruin the image of Shah Jahan as an emperor.
9. The Taj Mahal was not supposed to be built in Agra
You will be surprised to know that Agra was not the first choice for the Taj Mahal. Taj Mahal was supposed to be built in Burhanpur, Madhya Pradesh. Burhanpur is a historical place which was once the capital of the Mughal Empire ruled by Shah Jahan. This place is filled with beautiful examples of Mughal architecture. It is the very city where Sah Jahan's wife Mumtaj, in whose memory Taj Mahal was built died. But her body was shifted with the Mughal court to Agra where the Taj Mahal was built. The previously chosen site for building the Taj was a place near Tapti river. Still, Burhanpur plays a very important role in Mughal history.
10. Shah Jahan was put under house arrest after Taj Mahal was built
Shah Jahan was put under house arrest by his son Aurangzeb after the completion of the Taj Mahal. Aurangzeb noticed that his father was spending a lot of money from the treasure of their kingdom to build beautiful monuments and not paying attention to other important facts. So Aurangzeb decided to take matters in hands in order to save the kingdom. It is said that Sah Jahan used to look at the Taj Mahal from the window for the rest of his life before being entombed there.