The one whose name means “the palace of the crown” is located near the Yamuna River, in the city of Agra in northern India. And it’s not for nothing that the Taj Mahal is world famous! Its size, its grandiose architecture and its history have something to do with it.
- 1. The history of the construction of the Taj Mahal
- 2. Legends about this Indian palace
- 3. A building considered one of the New 7 Wonders of the World
- 4. Go to the Taj Mahal and visit it
1. The history of the construction of the Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal was built by the Muslim Mughal emperor Shah Jahan between 1631 and 1643. He did it in honor of his wife who died on June 17, 1631. Her name was Arjumand Bânu Begam and died giving birth to her fourteenth child, while she was away in the countryside. Since her death and the construction of the palace, she has also been known as Mumtaz Mahal, which means “the light of the palace” in Persian. The influences for the Mughal architectural style of this building come from various horizons such as India, Iran or the Ottoman Empire. We can thus qualify this palace as a real treasure. According to the information revealed so far, its architect would be Ustad Ahmad Lahauri, born in the current territory of Pakistan.
2. Legends about this Indian palace
Only one real story associated with the Taj Mahal is known today. Nevertheless, many legends and myths exist around this monument.
The black Taj Mahal
This legend indicates that a second Taj Mahal would exist. This time it would be black in color as opposed to the one we know today. This second monument would have been built symmetrically to the other palace and they would be linked together by a bridge. It would be the final resting place of Emperor Shah Jahan.
However, excavations have been carried out at the place where the hypothetical black Taj Mahal is said to have been built. However, the results proved that no construction of the kind had been built on this place. Moreover, the Empire would not have had sufficient finances for such works.
A second legend says that the hands of all the workers employed on this monumental site would have been cut off. The emperor wanted no one to be able to replicate a monument equal to or greater than the Taj Mahal. Note that more than 22,000 people worked on this major project between 1631 and 1643.
The poison detector
One of the other legends around the Taj Mahal indicates that the dishes used by the imperial family would be able to detect poison. Indeed, it would change the color of contaminated food.
3. A building considered one of the New 7 Wonders of the World
Because of its monumental size and incredible beauty, the Taj Mahal very quickly stood out from other buildings in the country. Inscribed in 1983 on the UNESCO World Heritage List, the management and protection of the monument are delegated to the Archaeological Survey of India. It was recently, in 2007, that the Taj Mahal was designated as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World by the New Seven Wonders Foundation. The selection was made among 21 others on specific selection criteria such as aesthetics, architectural achievement, but also historical issues.
4. Go to the Taj Mahal and visit it
The Taj Mahal is one of the most visited places in the world with between 3 and 4 million tickets sold each year, mainly Indians from all over the country. Indeed, entrance fees are very affordable for Indian residents, but much higher for foreigners. The price remains reasonable for a discovery of one of the wonders of the world!
If you want to discover the Taj Mahal, we advise you to go there between October and December. This way, you can avoid the heat that could easily ruin your visit. To get there from the capital New Delhi, the easiest solution is to take the train. The journey takes on average less than 3 hours. Also, we recommend that you plan a whole day to visit this unique place. And like many tourist sites, it is best to go there at dawn. Indeed, you can enjoy it without too many visitors and also to see beautiful colors.