1. It was in the year 1631, when Shah Jahan’s favourite queen, Mumtaz Mahal, died giving birth to their 14th child (pheeew!) It was this fateful event that prompted the grieving Shah Jahan to commission the building of the magnificent mausoleum across the Yamuna River, which is known today as the Taj Mahal.
2. Around 8 million people visit the Taj Mahal in Agra every year. At times there are over 50k people visiting on a single day. There goes the chance of an uncluttered selfie! Sigh!
4. The Taj Mahal took 22 years to build. Construction of the Taj Mahal cost an estimated 32 million Indian rupees (the equivalent of over US $1 billion at the time). An estimated 20,000 labourers were recruited from all over Asia. Over 1,000 elephants were used to transport the heavy building material. The structure was adorned with of 28 types of precious and semiprecious jewels. The turquoise came from Tibet, and jade came from China.
5. Did you know that the publically open floor of the Taj Mahal that the visitors see now is not the real tomb of the ruler and his deceased wife? The actual tombs are at the garden level, which is two levels below the raised platform and is closed to the public.
6. The Taj Mahal is 171 metres (561 feet) high, which makes it 5 feet taller than the Qutub Minar.