The Taj Mahal is considered to be one of the Wonders of the World and it is most likely the most famous building in all of India. It is a mausoleum and it was dedicated to Shan Jahan’s deceased third wife Mumtaz Mahal. She died giving birth to her fourteenth child. After her death he decided to build her a mausoleum to honor her. The construction began in the year 1631 and it took about twenty years to complete and it cost about thirty-two crore Indian rupees (approximately 32 million Indian rupees is equivalent to 1 million U.S. dollars in today’s value it is important to keep in mind that a million dollars today in the year 1631 is a very large amount of money.) The building type is Islamic tomb. The Taj Mahal was actually built in stages, with the plinth and tomb taking up roughly fifteen years. The building of minarets, mosque, jawab, and the gateway took an additional five years to be completed.
The different types of marble used in the construction of the Taj Mahal were brought over from many different regions and countries: Like Rajasthan, Punjab, China, Tibet, Sri Lanka, and Arabia. One interesting fact is that passages from the Quran are used as Decorative elements throughout the complex. On the side of the actual tomb of Mumtaz Mahal, ninety-nine names of Allah (GOD) can be found as calligraphic inscriptions. The number of workers employed to build the Taj Mahal was about 20,000 men. The transportation of the construction materials took over 1,000 elephants. Another interesting fact is that depending on what time of day it is and if it a moon lit night, the Taj Mahal appears to be of different colors every time. Some even believe that these changing patterns depict different moods of a woman.
As many as 28 different types of semi-precious and precious stones were used to adorn the Taj Mahal with exquisite inlay work. Many precious stones and Lapis Lazuli (a semi-precious stone) were ripped off from its walls by the British during the Indian rebellion of 1857. Before his accession to the throne, Shah Jahan was popularly known as Prince Khurram. The Taj Mahal has a timings schedule that it is open sunrise to sunset and is closed on Fridays. The Taj Mahal is also an UNESCO World Heritage site.
That saying The Taj Mahal has a fee to enter which is seven hundred and fifty rupees for Foreign Tourist, five hundred and ten for citizens of SAARC and BIMSTEC countries, Twenty rupees for domestic Indian Tourist, and no entry fee for children under the age of fifteen Domestic people or Foreigners. What makes it so popular is the architecture which is Mughal (A combination of Persian, Islamic, and Indian architecture style) that kind of architecture is beautiful. Now in 2012 The Taj Mahal attracts 2-4 million people annually with over two hundred thousand people from overseas.