A few months back I was sitting in front of the greatest work of Shah Jahan, the Taj Mahal and mumbling the famous song of Rafi “hum bekhudi mein tum ko pukare chale gaye ” … it was raining and I cried like a kid. I felt that my soul was roaming that era when Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb at Red fort and might be gazed at his beloved creation from there. The heart-touching story and the heart-touching tomb with excellent artwork. I tried to forget Taj and its past but the unknown mystery attracted me so much that I started researching it and the more I found facts, I was amazed by the secret of this surreal beauty. Here are my 10 unknown true facts about the world’s wonder – the Taj Mahal, you never heard of.
Mumtaz Mahal was Shah Jahan’s third wife and was engaged to him when she was just 19 and he was 20. In their 19 years of marriage, she bore 14 children, persevering through a pregnancy consistently, till she kicked the bucket bringing birth to her fourteenth. She passed of postpartum haemorrhage because of the multiple, back-to-back pregnancies, she was forced to endure.
The helpless woman, for adoration, finally ran out of luck (breath) and died during her 14th delivery. To get rid of guilt pressure Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal in memory of his “beloved” wife Mumtaz.
Likewise, earlier Mumtaz had married another man who was evidently executed by Shah Jahan, with the goal that he can wed Mumtaz yet after soon Mumtaz’s demise he again wedded her own sister.
Now, it is truly contemplating whether Khurram otherwise known as Shah Jahan in his entire lifetime, truly loved Arjumand Banu aka Mumtaz Mahal out of 2000 ladies from his harem.
Ustad Ahmad Lahouri and Ustad Isa were the two main architects who created the Taj Mahal in the period of 1631 to 1651 and supervised 20,000 workers. It is a myth that Shah Jahan chopped the arms of the two in fact Chief architects were granted villages to upkeep their expenses by revenue collected from villages, a privilege which was later withdrawn by Aurangzeb. Labourers also were paid a heft amount in exchange for a promise that they won’t work for anyone else but Sahajahan.
There are different facts are described by different people from time to time about Taj. The most prominent one quoted by Harishankar Jain in 1989 from historian PN Oak’s book Taj Mahal is that the monument was built in 1155, decades before the Muslim invasion of India. He said its name is a corrupt form of the Sanskrit term ‘Tejo Mahalay’, signifying a Shiva Temple created by King Paramatheertha.
Inside the Taj Mahal, the cenotaphs honouring Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan are encased in an eight-sided chamber ornamented with pietra dura (a decorate with semi-valuable stones) and a marble cross-section screen. In any case, the beautiful landmarks are only to look good: The sarcophagi are in a peaceful room underneath, at the garden level. Notwithstanding, Shah Jahan’s cenotaph is unconventionally situated west of the central axis, throwing off the equilibrium. The odd position has persuaded he never intended to be buried there.
One of the facts of the Taj Mahal is that it’s a constantly changing hue. From dawn to dusk, the sun transforms the mausoleum. It may seem pearly off-white and pink at sunrises, dazzling white at noons, and an orange-bronze when the sunsets. In the evenings, the Taj can appear transparent sky blue.
Be careful before planning to see Taj on weekends, Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays for tourists.
Yes, the Taj Mahal has 120 rooms. The place contains a hall of mirrors or sheesh mahal and the Savon Bhadon pavilion, an elaborate fountain-like structure that simulated the effect of rain. The main entrance is a seven-storied structure.
Mumtaz Mahal was buried in Jan 1632, six months after she passed away on Wednesday 17th June 1631. It is said that her body was preserved according to the Unani method and kept in a small tomb in Burhanpur. The body was first kept in a tin box, then later it shifted to a wooden box. Both the tin box and wooden box were filled with the ash of Babul tree, Mehendi, camphor, ash of sandals wood and layers of camphor. These herbs prevent the decay of the body. So in that sense now I am wondering if her body is still the same. What if it could turn into a Mummy??
Just say it proper away, yes, the black Taj Mahal is a pure myth that not only never existed but was never intended in the plans of Shah Jahan. Shah Jahan only made a plan to create the Taj Mahal, not any other replica.
Believe it or not, it’s true that the Taj Mahal is taller than the Qutub Minar. While researching results I found both of them to be 73 meters or 240 feet tall, but the Taj surpasses the Qutub by about 5 feet in real.
18 thoughts on “10 Unknown True Facts About The World’s Wonder – Taj Mahal”
There are so many facts about Taj Mahal structure and that we are unaware of. Some of these are truths and some of these are just myths. These facts are less known by people around the globe. Very informative.
such a magnificent building!
Thanks Pamela for shedding some light on the world-wonder. it feels good too know that our country has a such a masterpiece.
Wonderful article. History is soaked in blood but rarely people dig enough to see it. During my research, even I was left wondering, if the king was so much in love, then why he needed the harem? The key problem is Britishers have distorted Indian history badly, it is difficult to predict what is true and what is false? Very well written article.
What a fun post to reach…knew all except the 10th one…that was a surprise!
The Taj Mahal forever remains an object of awe and wonder. There is always something about it that you come across that leaves you in awe. It was nice to read about these amazing facts about the Taj. One can never have enough of Taj Mahal. In spite of visiting it many times, everytime you fall in love with it again.
Very informative post to clear some old age myths about this wonderful architectural wonder.
Honestly, there were some points mentioned which I came to be aware through your post.
We always thought that the worker’s hands were cut off.. Thank you for sharing the correct details! Nice post!
Taj is one such beauty which needs either n description or either tonnes of it. When i went there this year , i felt one visit wasn’t enough to justify its beauty. Howvever, you have covered all the aspects very well and explained all the query. Love all the pictures too.. Lets visit sometime together .
Wow such amazing facts about Taj Mahal. I have visited Taj only once and I was blown away by its beauty and architecture like everyone else. I do hope to visit Agra again someday and learn more about the history and also hire a guide to understand the intricate details of Taj Mahal.
Haha. It is indeed quite a history of why TajMahal was built and it is really romanticized a bit too much! The idea of Black Taj Mahal is very fascinating, but I as you say, of course, it is not true. I didn’t know she was buried only 6 months after her death. I wonder if apart from the ashes of the tree, any other mummification process was followed. I mean, body organs get really yucky and I don’t know if ash of Babul tree, Mehendi, camphor, ash of sandals wood and layers of camphor can absorb(?) the fluids?!!!! *Shrug…..*
I’ve had a long-standing desire to see the Taj Mahal! In fact, this is one of the top places on my travel wish list. I appreciate you providing these 10 fascinating facts; it has increased my curiosity about visiting this location soon.
We were so glad we got to visit the Taj Mahal for both sunset and sunrise when we were in India. We learned a lot about the Taj Mahal from our guide. But it was interested to reach these unknown but true facts about the Taj Mahal. We certainly never heard the myth that the arms were cut off those that built this amazing building. But we sure did see it change colour when we visited at two different times of day. Good to know we did not miss the Black Taj Mahal on our visit.
I have learned some of these legends when I visited Taj Mahal myself, a few years ago. I didn’t believe at all that the people who worked at the Taj Mahal got their arms cut off. And yes, there is the dilemma of Mumtaz being more of a possession rather than a lover. It was surprising to find out for the first time that she was just another woman in his harem, and that he wasn’t at all devoted to her truly. Also, going with him on the battlefield to give birth, that’s just cruel, right?
It is an eye opener post for most of us! Mumtaz being his third wife and dying during a childbirth was known but chopping off hands of the artisans is so commonly known across India and in history books also, that it comes as a pleasant surprise. 🙂
Tajmahal being taller than Qutub Minar is also a surprise.
I have not visited the Taj Mahal personally yet. But it is on the list. I love the tragic love story of Jahan Shah and Mumtaz. First time I hear that the colors are changing over the day. When I visit, I will make sure that I have enought time to visit several times.
This post is truly a revelation. Many truths that I had doubts as well. Like changing of colours of Taj, the reality of Black Taj and Taj being taller than Qutub Minar.
These are mind-blowing facts about Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world. And we have always seen Taj Mahal as a monument which signifies love and devotion. And reading about these facts we understand how deep, soggy and concocted is history. The fact that Mumtaz died while giving birth to her 14 the child followed by Shahjehan marrying her sister certainly presents a gloomy picture of the past. But at the same time it’s also nice that the Chief architects who supervised the construction of Taj Mahal were rewarded with villages to earn revenue instead of the popular myth that their fingers were chopped off. Taj Mahal is on my bucket list and I want to see how beautiful it looks changing colors through out the day. And I had no idea that Taj Mahal is taller than Qutub Minar.