The Taj Mahal, Man-made Wonder
Hi, I’m Veronika. I’ve read about some man-made wonders: the Great Pyramid of Giza, man-made cave homes in Guadix, Spain, the suspension bridges in South America, the Mandir, a temple built by the Hindu community in London, and Machu Picchu. I’d like to share with you some interesting facts about one more man-made wonder: the Taj Mahal, which is considered to be one of the seven wonders of modern world. It is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Interesting Facts about the Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum located on the south bank of the Yamuna river in the Indian city of Agra.
The name Taj Mahal means, “crown of palaces.”
Taj Mahal was built by Emperor Shah Jahan Mugal. He dedicated the building to the memory of his beautiful queen. Her name was Mumtaz Mahal. The height of the Taj Mahal with the top reaches 73 m. The walls are lined with polished marble. Shah Jahan spent nearly 32 million rupees on the construction of the mausoleum. Today the amount would be close to $1 Billion.
Most researchers believe that the Taj Mahal was built from materials imported from all over India and Asia. More than 1,000 elephants were used to transport construction materials. White marble was brought from Rajasthan, jasper from Pajab, jade and rock crystal from China. Turquoise was imported from Tibet, azure from Afghanistan, sapphires from Sri Lanka, carnelian from Arabia. Up to 20,000 workers took part in the construction. Construction of the Taj Mahal took around 20 years, beginning around 1632 and finishing around 1653.
The style of architecture is a combination of Indian, Islamic and Persian.
One of the Taj Mahal’s most recognizable features is a large white dome that is often called an ‘onion dome’ due to its shape. It has a height of around 35 metres (115 feet) and is surrounded by 4 smaller domes.
The Taj Mahal complex includes a large garden, a reflecting pool, and a mosque.
The Taj Mahal is open for night viewing two nights before, the night of and two nights after the full moon. This is true for all days, unless it falls on a Friday or the month of Ramzan, which is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, for religious reasons. The night viewing starts at 8:30 p.m. and ends at 12:30 a.m. Fifty people at a time are allowed in, at 30 minute intervals.
The Taj Mahal is considered to be one of India’s most admired works of art, as well as a famous landmark and a tourist attraction that draws millions of visitors every year.