For all those coming to India for the first time it deems impossible to not visit the legendary Taj Mahal. The ivory-white marble mausoleum by the Yamuna river – the great Mecca of infinite love – is the country’s most well-known sight. This popular attraction was built in memory of Mughal emperor’s wife who had died when giving birth to their 14th child. The construction process continued for nineteen years – from 1632 to 1653. Both spouses’ tombs were housed inside the mausoleum.
Although much has been written and said about this truly beautiful construction, a lot of things remain a secret. We are throwing some light on Taj Mahal you may have not been aware of so far.
Numerous tricks of vision
The iconic mausoleum’s designers and artisans were extremely good at finding correct proportions and creating optical illusions. For example. If you walk up to the main gate framing the building, the Taj comes into sight as a very close and huge figure. However, while you get nearer, its size starts reducing, as opposed to your expectations. Then, if you are sure that the pillars around the tomb stand vertically, think again, as in reality they are directed outward. This architectural solution serves two purposes: it both adds some aesthetic harmony and ensures that the towers won’t moulder away from the central construction during an epic disaster such as an earth-quake.
Its popular myth may be false
The legend says that the initiator – Shan Jahan – needed the building to be unexceptionable and one-of-a-kind, so there could be nothing alike in the whole world. Therefore, to make sure nobody would ever be able to build anything as beautiful as Taj Mahal, the ruler is believed to have lopped the hands and put out the eyes of those involved in the construction process. Although this dreadful story has become very popular, historians still don’t have any proof that would confirm its credibility. Chances are this tale only adds drama to the tragic story.
The Taj is almost ideally symmetrical
This star of Mughal architecture was designed and founded in flawless proportions in accordance with the theories and systems of that time. The towers attach to the charnel house while the pool mirrors the principal building. Its wonderful gardens representing a worldly picture of heaven are separated into quarter rounds; the identical red constructions of malm-rock give the entire structure a perfect balance. One exception exists here though. Shah Jahan’s cenotaph for some reason was oddly placed to the left from the centre line sweeping away the harmony. This peculiar positioning made a lot of people think the governor was actually not supposed to be entombed there.
The color-shifting Taj
Taj Mahal’s changing shade is what also makes it charming. The sunlight modifies the construction’s appearance throughout the day. So the building looks light gray and pink during the dawn, turns white right at midday and then becomes orange during the sundown. There are even special tickets that can be purchased to admire it during the plenilune and solar eclipse.
A black version of Taj Mahal could appear
Continuing the idea of Jahan cenotaph’s weird location, it should be said that the locals believe the ruler had a plan to build a shadow picture of the Taj on the other side of the river. The copy was supposed to be constructed of black marble, and the ruler would be buried there. But the building process was brought to rest after the emperor was dethroned and laid fast.