Considered to be an epitome of man-made architecture from history, Taj Mahal is much more than what we know. There are so many things which contribute to the massive popularity this monument has. While you might know of the most mainstream ones, there are quite a few things about this masterpiece about which you might not be aware.
In this post, I will give you a look at some of the most remarkable features of Taj Mahal so that you know a bit more about one of the Seven Wonders of the world than you already do. Here are 8 facts about it to keep in mind.
- Hiding the Treasure During World War II.
World War II was horror in every way you can think of. Cities were being bombed from skies everywhere, and this meant danger for lives as well as property. Taj Mahal is an iconic symbol of India, and it would be a great loss if they lost it. Hence, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) decided to cover the monument with a huge scaffold during the war.
- Chopped off or not?
If you did not know already, a quite common story runs within Indian circles that the builders of Taj Mahal had their hands cut off on the orders of Shah Jahan, the fifth Mughal emperor who had the monument constructed for his beloved wife, so that they could not re-build a similar structure.
The story is very much believed by Indians and has been passed down as truth from one generation to another; however, historians are not unanimous on this point. In fact, there is no proof to show that this incident ever happened.
- The Tilt has a reason.
One of the most intriguing elements about Taj Mahal is the fact that its four minarets tilt outwards. You would not notice the tilt immediately, but with careful observation, you will certainly realize the tilt. So, what is the reason?
Architects from ancient times were smart people and knew what they were doing. The dome of the monument is the central feature below which lies the tomb. In order to avoid the minarets from falling on to the dome due to any natural disaster, they were tilted outwards.
- Plain Crypt.
Taj Mahal is a highly embellished piece of architectural work and considered to be one of the finest examples of Islamic architectures of all times. However, contrary to the expectation of anyone, the crypt which the monument guards is plain and undecorated. The Islamic tradition prohibits decoration of graves, and hence, the crypt is unlike what the entire monument is.
- House Arrest of Shah Jahan.
It took 17 years to get done with the construction of Taj Mahal, but Shah Jahan did not get the opportunity to relish it closely for long. His son, Aurangzeb, put him under house arrest soon after the completion of the monument in 1658. The only visual respite he got during the period of his house arrest was that he could view Taj Mahal from his window for eight long years.
- Decaying beauty.
There is no gainsaying that Taj Mahal is a part of the rich Indian heritage, but it is slowly dying due to pollution. The famous white marble of the monument is increasingly turning yellow due to extremely high pollution levels in Agra, the city where it is located.
Steps have been taken to control pollution around the monument such as restriction of vehicular movement in and around Taj Mahal, plying of electric buses, and development of an environmental radius.
- Taj Mahal Vanished?
What would you do if Taj Mahal suddenly disappeared from your sight? I guess, for starters, you would be shocked. Well, P.C. Sorcar Jr., a famous Indian magician from the city of Kolkata, did what we just asked you to imagine.
Back in 2000, Sorcar managed to create an optical illusion which caused the monument to vanish from the sight. It was a shocking sight to behold and was widely covered in the media.
- A Replica underway.
Dubai is coming up with a gigantic replica of Taj Mahal which will comprise a hotel and shopping complex. Reports tell that it will be four times the size of the monument and will contain more than 300 luxury rooms. But, I guess, that Taj will not be for everyone!
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