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4 Fascinating Facts About The Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is recognized all over the world as one of the finest man-made structures in human history. It’s considered a wonder of the world and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in India. However, beyond its striking image and the breathtaking architecture, the Taj Mahal remains fairly mysterious to a lot of tourists. That is to say, many who intend to visit it one day don’t actually know much about its history or cultural influence. To help remedy this, here are four interesting facts that make the Taj Mahal that much more fun to visit:

It’s A Tomb For An Emperor’s Wife

This is one of the basic facts about the Taj Mahal and something you’ll probably learn while you’re visiting. But it’s also something a surprising number of travellers are entirely unaware of. The building has a palace-like design (more on that later), so many don’t initially realize that it’s actually an elaborate burial site. Mumtaz Mahal is known for having been the favourite wife of 17th century Emperor Shah Jahan. She died while giving birth to their 14th child, which desolated the emperor. Shah Jahan then dedicated 20 years building the Taj Mahal in memory of his beloved wife. Mahal’s tomb is situated within the iconic building and is said to be the only part of the entire structure that isn’t entirely symmetrical.

India Hid The Taj Mahal During World War II

The idea of “hiding” a building of this size, let alone a building this recognizable, is somewhat ludicrous. However, it appears that the Indian government (and at the time, the British Empire) took enough pride in the country’s most famous building to make an attempt at it anyway – seemingly with some success. Fearing that the building would be targeted and destroyed by German or Japanese bombers during World War II, the British placed bamboo scaffolding over the Taj Mahal. Even this specific idea sounds almost laughable when you think of approaching the building on the ground. From the air, however, it’s believed that the disguise may have made the building look like little more than a forest or stockpile of bamboo. We’ll never know if would-be bombers actually overlooked the Taj Mahal due to the disguise, but it’s still a fascinating bit of history.

It Influenced “Aladdin”

Disney’s Aladdin is believed to have been primarily influenced by Arab culture. Yet we also know that the Taj Mahal heavily influenced the film and in fact some of its contemporary spinoffs and franchise material as well. The building served as the model for the Sultan’s palace and influenced the general architecture of the fictional land of “Agrabah” (keep in mind, the Taj Mahal is located in Agra). Various sequels and computer games based on Aladdin have employed a similar aesthetic, and even material that doesn’t use the official Disney license is similar. Currently, a game called Arabian Nights is circulating online. In this game, which "seems to have gone for an Aladdin route," an arcade slot experience, the background is filled with towers that resemble either mosques or the Taj Mahal’s towers. Again, much of the film has primarily Arab influence. But the Taj Mahal gives India its own claim to this legendary Disney adventure.

The Towers Are Tilted

As a final point about the construction itself, it’s a fascinating detail that the four towers surrounding the main building are actually tilted. They don’t generally appear this way in photographs, and the Taj Mahal overall has a reputation for being an incredibly precise, perfect structure. But apparently there was some concern about the collapse when the building was underway in the 1600s, and as a means of protecting the actual tomb of Mumtaz Mahal, the architects designed the towers to tilt slightly away from the main building. This way, if they should fall, they won’t damage other parts of the Taj Mahal.

4 Fascinating Facts About The Taj Mahal 4 Fascinating Facts About The Taj Mahal Reviewed by Creatikaa on 17:52 Rating: 5

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