Who does not know about Taj Mahal, that eternal monument made in white which signifies love. People coming to Delhi or to nearby cities go for the Agra day tour to see this monument. One can get ready early in the morning to visit this monument which is about 200 kms away from Delhi (roughly 2.5 hours drive). This can be done by using a taxi or a bus (group tours are conducted daily). Mind you there are no scheduled flights from Delhi to this city. Most of the time, the Taj Mahal Agra tour is conducted along with a visit to Fatehpur Sikri and Red Fort.
This article is to make you aware of the some of the unknown facts about this beautiful medieval monument. First is that the four minarets on the four corners of this monument are tilted at a slight angle outwards. This is because, in the event of an earthquake, these would fall away from the tombs.
Second interesting claim is that there was a plan to built another Taj, a replica of this one, in black marble, across the river. This plan is claimed by a European traveler who traveled Agra at that time, Jean Baptiste Tavernier. This presence of ruins of black marble base at the Mehtab Bagh is said to testify this claim. However, this claim is discounted by the modern archaeologists who do not think it to be true.
Third interesting fact about the Taj is that this has been built on a wooden base. Finest quality of Ebony wood was used in its foundation. Due to its being close to the bed of River Yamuna, the woods were provided with regular supply of water which strengthened its base and prevented this monument from collapsing for all these centuries.
Fourth interesting aspect is that the architecture of Taj has inspired construction of replicas worldwide. There is a Taj Mahal Bangladesh, Bibi ka Maqbara in Aurangabad, Tripoli Shrine Temple inWisconsin, US and Trump Taj Mahal in New Jersey, US.
Fifth, more than 2 million people visit this monument every year bringing in a good amount of tourist revenue to the government. It is definitely the most important part of the Golden Triangle tour packages being offered by the tourism companies.
Sixth, 28 types of precious and semi-precious stones were used in the white marble as a part of carvings. These were brought from different parts of Middle East and Indian subcontinent. Besides these stones, expert sculptors, calligraphers, stonecutters and other craftsmen were marshaled from different regions of Asia, extending as far as Syria in West to Bukhara in North.
Seventh, the actual tomb of Mumtaz Mahal has 99 names of God written on its sides.