Updated date:

Must Visit Places in India- the Taj Mahal

Nithya Venkat loves to travel to countries that offer unique experiences with unforgettable moments.

The Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal in the Agra city of Uttar Pradesh in India is a monument that stands out in all its glory as a symbol of true everlasting love. It was built by Emperor Shah Jahan to proclaim his undying love for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, after her death.

It is an architectural marvel that stands as an example of the exceptional artistic skills of artisans in those times. Taj Mahal is one of the famous landmarks of India and a popular tourist destination.

Facts About the Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal is a monument that stands in all its magnificence as a symbol of true love. Taj Mahal reflects art and architecture during the Mughal period and is influenced by Persian and Mughal architecture.

It was built between 1631- 1648. Ahmad Lahori was the main architect of the Taj Mahal. Building materials were brought from different parts of India and Asia to build this timeless monument in the history of humanity.

Taj Mahal was constructed by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his queen Mumtaz Mahal. It is one of the seven wonders of the world. It stands as a symbol of true love in Agra on the banks of the river Yamuna in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India.

Mumtaz Mahal means "The Chosen One of the Palace." Her maiden name was "Gauhar Begum." She was the third wife of Shah Jahan. He loved her very much, and was his favorite wife.

Death of Mumtaz Mahal

In 1631, Mumtaz Mahal died giving birth to Shah Jahan's fourteenth child. Shah Jahan was grief-stricken and locked himself up in a room without taking food or water for eight days. The death of his beloved Queen was the reason behind the construction of the Taj Mahal.

Construction of the Taj Mahal

Twenty thousand workers were employed to construct the Taj Mahal. The chief architects of Taj Mahal were -

  1. Turkish Architects Ismail Afandi and Ustad Isa together planned and worked out the main design of the Taj Mahal.
  2. Amanat Khan from Iran handled the calligraphy on the walls of the Taj Mahal.
  3. Sculptors from Bukhara
  4. Calligraphers from Syria and Persia
  5. Inlayers from Southern India
  6. Stone Cutters from Baluchistan

Embellishments on the walls of the Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal is built out of crystalline marble, gemstones, and sandstone.

The walls of the Taj Mahal have been decorated with precious stones obtained from different parts of the world -

  • Marble from Makrana Rajasthan
  • Jasper from Punjab
  • Jade and Crystal from China
  • Turquoise from Tibet
  • Lapis Lazuli from Afghanistan
  • Sapphire from Sri Lanka
  • Carnelian from Arabia

Coral, Onyx, Cats Eye, Jade, and Bloodstone were also used.

Why marble and red sandstone were chosen to build the Taj Mahal

Makrana marble is resistant to erosion and does not change color. It is not affected by acids and alkali. This marble has magnificent white color, and it is easy to cut, carve, and work with and is a high-quality building material.

Red sandstone is sturdy, hard, and strong. This stone is resistant to damages due to erosion and is resistant to high temperatures. It is harder than granite and resistant to weathering, acids, and alkalis.

Pietra Dura - Art form used on walls of the Taj Mahal

The walls of the Taj Mahal have a beautiful decoration of floral designs in different colors. The decorations were made using an art technique called Pietra dura. Pietra dura initially started in Rome.

Pietra dura means hard rock in Italian. Pietra dura is also referred to as Parchin Kari in South Asia. It was taught to the Mughal artists by craftsmen from Italy.

In this art form, the design is first drawn on the marble surface using stone cutting tools. The inner part of the design is scooped out carefully, leaving a hollow. This hollow is inlaid with gemstones that are cut and shaped to fit the hollows to perfection.

The result is a flat, smooth marble slab with decorations of gemstones in different patterns. Green, black and white gemstones are used in this type of artwork.

Art Work on the Walls of Taj Mahal

Art Work on the Walls of Taj Mahal

The Walls of Taj Mahal

The Walls of Taj Mahal

Walls of Taj Mahal

Walls of Taj Mahal

Calligraphy Writings on the Walls of the Taj Mahal

The writings on the walls of the Taj Mahal are in "tuluth" script, a signature style of Amanat Khan. The calligraphy on the walls is made of jasper or black marble that is inlaid with white marble. Jasper, yellow marble, and jade were also used for inlaying patterns on the walls.

Amanat Khan handled both the script and content of the text. The texts were chosen from the holy verses of the "Quran."

Calligraphy on the walls

Calligraphy on the walls

Taj Mahal is a monument, one of the seven wonders of the world, and a great tribute to true love. A monument that must be visited at least once in a lifetime.

© 2013 Nithya Venkat

Comments

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on August 14, 2013:

Shampa Sadhya thank you, am glad you enjoyed.

Shampa Sadhya from NEW DELHI, INDIA on August 14, 2013:

Voted up and interesting!

It is quite an enjoyable read!

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on August 02, 2013:

epigramman thank you so much, you made my day!! Thank you for your appreciation and the share on your FB page. Sending you my warm wishes and lots of happiness, health.

epigramman on July 31, 2013:

Simply amazing in every way is your hub presentation from your beautiful story as told and those unique photographs - naturally the Taj Mahal is not as awesome as my humble little cottage here by the lake but then again it doesen't have the world's greatest lover - Colin, lol lol lo

I will post and link your marvelous labor of love in tribute to my FB page for all to see and read and I am sending you warm wishes from the three of us at lake erie time canada 3:10am courtesy of Colin, Tiffy and Gabriel

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on June 04, 2013:

Lady_E thank you, Taj Mahal is enchanting. Thank you for stopping by.

Elena from London, UK on June 04, 2013:

Thanks. It's such a beautiful place with an enchanting story behind it.

travelholidays from India on May 20, 2013:

What a wonderful Hub :) I have planned to visit Taj Mahal. The wall pictures are really awesome :) Very interesting to read . Thanks for sharing this :) Voted up

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on May 05, 2013:

Docmo thank you, am glad you enjoyed.

Mohan Kumar from UK on May 05, 2013:

Wow, thanks for this wonderful history lesson on the wonder that is Taj Mahal, Nithya. The photographs are a nice addition to this informative hub. voted up!

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on May 01, 2013:

suzettennaples thank you. Taj Mahal is a landmark in architecture and as you say it is beautiful inside and out.

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on May 01, 2013:

Great hub! I hope to see this building some day. It is a beautiful tribute to his great love. How romantic! The building both inside and out is beautiful. Thank you for all the information about this gorgeous building. Your photos are wonderful of the beauty both inside and out. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us. Well done!

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on May 01, 2013:

Great hub! I hope to see this building some day. It is a beautiful tribute to his great love. How romantic! The building both inside and out is beautiful. Thank you for all the information about this gorgeous building. Your photos are wonderful of the beauty both inside and out. Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us. Well done!

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on April 27, 2013:

Denise Handlon thank you and I sure wish you do get to visit Taj Mahal one day. Thank you for the vote and share.

KoffeeKlatch Gals thank you, Taj Mahal's architecture is amazing and so very beautiful . Thank you for reading and the vote.

Susan Hazelton from Sunny Florida on April 27, 2013:

Beautiful pictures. What a history the Taj Mahal has. I knew the romantic history behind it but was totally fascinated by the architectual history. It's so beautiful. Up an, awesome and beautiful

Denise Handlon from North Carolina on April 26, 2013:

What an interesting hub, Vellur. I second the comment that I would love to visit this marvelous 'Wonder of the World' one day. Thank you so much for sharing the woeful tale. I especially loved the list of gems built into the palace. UP and across except for funny. Will share.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on April 25, 2013:

midget38 yes it is indeed a marvel how they constructed without any equipment!! Thank you for reading, much appreciated.

Michelle Liew from Singapore on April 23, 2013:

The Taj Mahal is truly a wonder. Nithya.It's amazing how people managed to overcome the obstacles of not having the modern equipment we have today to erect a monument as beautiful as this. Thanks for sharing!

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on April 23, 2013:

Debbie thank you, yes as you say it takes your breath away.

Nell Rose Nell Rose thank you, Taj Mahal has so much to it, that you can keep on admiring each and every aspect lifelong. I have visited it just once and I hope I get to go again.

Nell Rose from England on April 23, 2013:

What a great hub! I have never seen these markings or patterns on the Taj Mahal before, only the photos of the outside, I never realised that there were writings from the koran in there, wonderful and voted up!

Deborah Brooks Langford from Brownsville,TX on April 23, 2013:

Oh wow this hub is wonderful. That would be a sight to see...ot is a sensational beautiful and breathtaking. I love your hub. Blessings to you

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on April 22, 2013:

rajan jolly Taj Mahal is beautiful. I have visited Taj just once and was totally blown away. Thank you for the vote.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on April 21, 2013:

This is a beautiful hub. Lovely pictures. I have visited Taj twice and it's my wish to visit it once more.

Voted up.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on April 21, 2013:

Vinaya it is a unique story and a sad tale. Thank you.

santhov thank you for stopping by and reading.

DDE do visit it sometime. You will enjoy and marvel at the architecture and beauty.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on April 21, 2013:

The Taj Mahal - Story on the Walls, sounds such a pleasurable tour, I have seen many photos and read lots about this extraordinary feature will have to visit thanks for sharing an informative hub on this title

santhov on April 20, 2013:

This Wondeful hub. Like seven Wonders in the world.

Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on April 20, 2013:

Sarjaha's story is a sad tale. His love for Mumataj and Auranjeb's cruelty is one of the fascinating historical happenings in India. Thanks for sharing.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on April 19, 2013:

Ruchira thank you, Taj Mahal represents timeless beauty in this world.

always exploring I hope you do get to visit the Taj someday.

srsddn you are lucky, you keep visiting the Taj. As you say there is so much to learn about the Taj Mahal.

srsddn from Dehra Dun, India on April 19, 2013:

Vellur, Every time I visited Taj Mahal I felt I didn't know much about this Wonder of the World. There is so much to learn about its architectural grandeur and one really needs to devote time for it which normally is not available during a hurried visit to such places. I am glad you described it beautifully and reminded me that my visit was due. Thumbed up.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on April 19, 2013:

I would love to visit ' The Taj Mahal ' Your presentation is well written and interesting. The story surrounding the death of his wife is sad indeed. Thank you for sharing...

Ruchira from United States on April 19, 2013:

Loved reading every bit of it, Nithya. Sharing it across!

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on April 19, 2013:

Jackie Lynnley thank you, as you said it is a sad but a beautiful tale.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on April 19, 2013:

This reminded me of all the great stories I read in art class in college, relating to art. Such a sad but interesting and beautiful tale. Thanks for telling it so well! ^

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on April 19, 2013:

My pleasure!

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on April 19, 2013:

Nellieanna it is a treat to see the Taj Mahal. When you see it in person it just takes your breath away. Thank you for taking the time to write and share your views. Much appreciated. Thank you for the vote and appreciation.

billybuc it is a magnificent structure and one of it's kind, thank you.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 19, 2013:

Thank you for the education and the tour. It is a magnificent structure for sure.

Nellieanna Hay from TEXAS on April 19, 2013:

Oh, my, Vellur! This is, indeed, a treat to see! I've loved pictures of the Taj Mahal since I was a very little girl, which was a very long time ago. But this is the first time EVER that I have had the privilege of seeing pictures or any of its inside!! So magnificent and obviously taken, first-hand by you, yourself. Of course I've read some of its history over the years, but nothing with the detail and fine-tuning as you've shared here. The materials used in its building and decoration are amazing. I've always had an interest in architecture and this is an epitome of that.

The story of how it came to 'be' is touching and beautiful. Such a love!

I hope many people get to see and read your hub. I'm not much for recommending hubs and sites, but this one, I absolutely MUST share! It's exquisite! Thank you!

I'm certainly giving it my votes and putting a visit there on my own 'bucket list'!

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on April 19, 2013:

Mike Robbers I hope you get to visit the Taj one day. By the way my name is NithyaVenkat(Vellur).

Mike Robbers from London on April 19, 2013:

A simple wish: to visit Taj Mahal before i die!!

Seriously, this place is something that if you can, you really must see!! Thanks for this hub Vinaya...

Related Articles