Interesting facts about Taj Mahal and its architectural features

Are you looking for interesting facts about Taj Mahal? Want to know more about its architecture? Have you heard about the Black Taj Mahal? Do you need some travel tips to visiting the Taj Mahal? Well, then, you have come to the right place.

I have it all covered in this post on the Taj Mahal.

The foremost of many interesting facts about the Taj Mahal is that over 6.9 million people visited the Taj at Agra in India, between the years 2018-2019. And, this UNESCO Heritage monument attracts 7-8 million visitors per year on par with the Eiffel tower and the eclectic Russian city of Saint Petersburg.

No, I am not kidding!

Quick links to plan a visit to the Taj Mahal

1. Combine your Taj Mahal trip with a visit to the Sariska Tiger Reserve with our complete travel guide on Sariska.

2. Visit Alwar, one of the oldest regions in India.

3. Indulge in a train ride to visit the Taj

4. Looking for books on India’s history? Then the ‘Ocean of Churns’ book by Sanjeev Sanyal is a must read. Buy it now on Amazon.

5. Tag along these books based on Taj Mahal and Mughals, on your trip. You can buy them instantly by clicking on the links: The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sundaresan and The Last Mughal

Note : This post may contain affiliate links. Read our affiliate policy for further info

Wah! Taj

The Taj Mahal at Agra does not cease to mesmerise tourists and travellers from around the world. The same holds good for us Indians too, as I am back from my fifth trip to the Taj.

Believe me, nothing like seeping in the beauty of the place with a trip at sunrise to view the Taj Mahal or even better to visit the Taj on a full-moon night. I am yet to tick the latter though.

So, I thought why not consolidate similar interesting facts about the Taj Mahal and its unique architectural features, while taking you on a virtual tour to one of the ‘Wonders of the World’ [in the year 2007].

After all, the Taj Mahal is considered by many to be “one of the greatest man made structures to be ever built”.

Is the Taj one of the greatest man made structures?

No! I beg to differ.

And, Taj Mahal isn’t the greatest man made structures ever built.

For a simple reason, that there are other early medieval architectural marvels around the world, especially in southern India — like the the ones at Gangaikondacholapuram, Tanjore and Darasuram , collectively known as the ‘Great Living Chola’ temples of Tamil Nadu.

These revered structures predate the Taj Mahal by many centuries, and have exemplary architecture — far superior to the Taj’s at Agra. 

Yet, let me promise you, the Taj Mahal complex which we are going to explore together through this virtual tour, is much more than its famed white marbled mausoleum, although, the mausoleum is an astounding piece of architecture.

interesting facts about the TajMahal

Interesting facts about Taj Mahal and its architecture

Since childhood, old monuments and buildings fascinate me to no end, while so do the doors and windows with a vintage touch to them.

I often wonder what stories and mysteries do they hide encapsulated inside them, waiting for us the passers-by to unravel.

Nah! I am not being intrusive. Just that they pique my inquisitiveness.

I am sure, many of you are intrigued by them, too. And, the Taj Mahal is no different.

So, here are some unique and interesting facts about the Taj Mahal that I had observed on my trips, some shared by various tourist guides, and, of course, a few that I read about. Moreover, you might be already aware of many on this list! So, do feel free to skim through quickly.

An interesting Shah Jahan connect to the Taj

The monumental Taj Mahal was built under the patronage of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, who is also known in history as Prince Khurram ( before his ascent to power). Shah Jahan wanted a memorial for one of his wives Arjumand Banu Begum, popularly called ‘Mumtaz Mahal’.

Of course, it’s an altogether another fact that Mumtaz Mahal was the third wife of Shah Jahan and she died giving birth to his 14th child at a place called Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh!

The Makhrana marble of the Taj Mahal

The construction process of the Taj Mahal that started in the year 1632 CE, and completed in 1648 CE had involved around 20,000 workers, who worked day-in and day-out to build this magnificent complex in a span of 22 years.

So, basically it took 22 years to build the Taj Mahal.

The milky white marble used was procured from a place called Makrana in Rajasthan, famous for a kind of marble called the Makrana marble.

By the way, while in Agra, you may also want to take a trip to Asia’s most haunted fort at Bhangarh and the deepest step-well at Chandbaori , as well as go on a tiger safari to Ranthambore Wildlife Sanctuary that has one of the highest number of tigers in Rajasthan.

TajMahal at Agra
Another view of the Taj from a fruit orchard
TajMahal at Agra
A very old pic of the Taj!
Makrana marble from Rajasthan
The white tomb made of Makrana marble from Rajasthan

Hidden fact about the architecture of Taj

The Taj Mahal is considered to have been built around an Indo-Islamic architecture with strong influences of Persian, Mughal and Rajasthani structural elements.

From the lotus symbol on the main dome to the use of chhatris, there are too many Indian architectural elements in the designing of the Taj Mahal.

Hence, the architecture of the Taj Mahal isn’t purely islamic.

Riveting fact about Taj’s architect

We often read that the Taj Mahal was built by Shah Jahan; lest we forget the architect and the workers who actually conceived the design and built it.

So, it is good to know for a fact that Ustad Ahmad Lahouri, a Persian architect, was behind designing of the Taj Mahal.

He was supposedly assisted by another Persian architect by name Ustad Isa Sherazi. And, as any piece of history, the debate over the other original architects still lingers on.

Moreover, as its happening in contemporary times in the middle-east, the names of the Hindu craftsmen and architects don’t find a mention anywhere even at the Taj : Although from the prominent Rajasthani influences, one can conclude that the Hindus of those times were also involved in the conceptualization of the Taj Mahal.

So do remember that Ustad Ahmad Lahouri was the architect of the Taj Mahal.

Surprising and interesting facts about TajMahal and its design

The construction and design of the Taj Mahal aren’t unique.

For, the Taj Mahal has been modelled after the first of the Mughal’s royal mausoleums in India.

Yes! The Taj Mahal mausoleum is designed after Humayun’s tomb — built almost 85 years before the former’s conception.

And, you might want to see it for yourself on a trip to Humayun’s tomb in Delhi, which is another UNESCO heritage site.

Nevertheless, the design prototype of the Taj Mahal is much more refined than that of Humayun’s tomb.

And, even a layman can conclude that the Mughal’s design for a royal mausoleum conceived initially, was perfected with the construction of the Taj Mahal and in its beautifully landscaped gardens.

Humayuns tomb in Delhi
The Humayun’s tomb in Delhi / Credits: Unsplash
TajMahal at Agra

corridors along side the eastern gate of the Taj
Galleries along the eastern side of the Taj complex that houses the offices

A compelling fact about the Taj Complex

The sprawling complex of the Taj Mahal in Agra is spread across 55 acres of land — with the white mausoleum at its fag end, flanked by the river Yamuna on its north and interspersed with beautiful red sandstone structures around the Charbagh gardens.

Apart from the Taj and its surrounding structures, the Taj Ganji and the moonlight garden of Mahthab Bagh on the other side of riverbank are also part of the Taj Mahal complex.

Entered through one of the three gates/sides, the monument welcomes every person with symmetrical corridors, beautiful arcades, and lush green well-manicured lawns numbering four, at the entrance to the Jilaukhana.

One cannot resist but admire the thought process that went into conceptualizing the whole design plan of the Taj Complex.

Unknown fact about the Taj Mahal and its shades of red

On my recent visit, I restrained myself from falling into the trap of the white monument of the mausoleum that lures and engulfs visitors with its awesomeness. Instead, I ventured across the complex and explored the red-sandstone structures that stood majestically in silence.

These red sandstones are a reminder of the contribution of Indian workers, the scores of prayers rendered under its domes by the Muslims, the influence of the Rajputs, and the sea of visitors who were sheltered in these corridors.

They are also the first structures that welcome the thousands of tourists who visit the TajMahal at Agra every day, telling their own tales to the ones who listen.

A striking trivia on the domes of the Taj

The main archway called the ‘Darwaza‘ is a combo of both red sandstone and marble, with Mughal architecture reflected in its engraved calligraphy and geometric ceilings.

There are 22 small domes on the archway that represent the number of years it took to build the Taj.

Supposedly, after every year, a dome was constructed to keep track of the time.

Today, this archway is like a portiere that opens to a spectacle!

Now, isn’t that one of the interesting facts about Taj Mahal to know?

TajMahal at Agra
The main archway to the Taj
TajMahal at Agra
A very old pic of the Taj through the Darwaza

The heartwarming facilities of a bygone era at the Taj

The wall around the complex encompasses huge corridors that would have provided stay for the scores of visitors and in-house workers in the immediate years of the completion of the Taj.

Now, they provide the required respite from the heat by providing shade and a place to rest for the visitors.

It’s said that many dignitaries often visited the Taj Mahal for its beauty even when the Mughals were ruling India. They were supposedly housed and entertained at the ‘Jawab’.

On the right side of the main archway, there is a cookhouse that once had satisfied the hunger of the visitors. However, now, it lies closed reminiscing its past glory.

TajMahal at Agra
Playing to the gallery at the Taj!
TajMahal at Agra
The brilliantly arched corridors of the Taj complex

Taj Mahal‘s well kept secret

The white marble mausoleum of the Taj with its typical Islamic pishtaq, known as the Rauza-i-Munawara houses the graves of both Shahjahan and Mumtaz Mahal. 

The cenotaphs thrown open to the public are duplicates and elaborately decorated, while the original graves of both, Shahjahan and Mumtaz Mahal, are actually situated on the floor below the one that the visitors enter.

Apart from the duo, the complex also is home to the graves of Shahjahan’s other wives and servants.

Did you know that the Taj complex has a functioning mosque?

The white mausoleum of the Taj is flanked on either side by structures in red stone.

The one onto the west is the ‘masjid’ or the mosque, while the right side structure is a guesthouse termed the ‘jawab'(answer).

This was done to balance and fulfill the Mughal architectural needs of symmetry.

The striking prayer mats of the Taj Mahal

The black marble flooring of the mosque at Taj Mahal has outlines of prayer mat numbering 569.

Nevertheless, the masjid and the jawab look the same, barring these differences. 

On Fridays, the masjid brims with Muslim men who visit it to offer their prayers. Hence, the Taj complex remains closed for tourists on Fridays.

The Masjid!
In front of the Jawab or guesthouse during my second visit

An astounding fact about the fountains of Taj complex

As one moves further from the entrance of the Taj towards the white mausoleum, you come across a water body with numerous fountains.

The fountains of Taj are said to be naturally connected to the River Yamuna, on the banks of which the monument of TajMahal is constructed.

So, the flow of the river controls the water in the fountains (so said my guide!)

And, the gardens and orchids of the Charbagh were re-landscaped during the British rule to resemble the lawns back in England.

The Taj’s black counterpart

Did you know that there was to be a Black Taj Mahal?

For the uninitiated, the other side of the riverbank — opposite to the Taj Mahal, has remnants of the foundation structure that was laid for the construction of a Black TajMahal, as a complement to the one in white.

This was conceptualized by Shah Jahan for himself.

Shah Jahan wanted his mausoleum to overlook the Taj.  However, the construction never took off, as he was imprisoned by his son and subsequently, was buried alongside Mumtaz Mahal when he died.

Last week, it rained heavily and one can see the Yamuna gushing with water flowing majestically behind the TajMahal at Agra.

Are you able to get a glimpse of the Agra Fort in the below pic? Else, do plan a visit to the Agra fort with these curated trips while in Agra :

The not-so-lucky Shah Jahan

A not-so-widely known fact is that Shahjahan could only view the Taj from his palace room at Agra fort.

Wondering why?

Well, just a year after the Taj Mahal’s construction was completed, Aurangzeb imprisoned his father Shah Jahan.

It is widely believed that after his imprisonment by his own son Aurangzeb, Shahjahan spent his last years cherishing the time spent with Mumtaz and gazing at the TajMahal from his prison room in the Agra Fort.

Some also believe that Shah Jahan may have visited his wife’s grave stealthily through a tunnel…

River Yamuna behind TajMahal at Agra
River Yamuna behind the TajMahal at Agra
doors of the taj mahal
Another pretty door inside the Taj Complex

Intriguing fact about the doors inside the Taj complex

The mystery of various doors inside the TajMahal complex never ceases to amaze the public!

There are numerous doors inside the complex and one such door which is sealed is said to lead to a tunnel connecting the TajMahal and the Agra Fort. I wonder if it is constructed like the labyrinth at the Bada Imambara, in Lucknow.

Most of these doors have been sealed, for now, barring few that are used to stock items used for Eid celebrations. Another door that lies to the right of the Main Darwaza must have been an entry point for the animal carts that had brought in loads of marbles and sandstone for the construction of the Taj.

Visit the wondrous counterpart of the Taj Mahal

The Bibi-ka-maqbara built in the Aurangabad town of Maharashtra is a mini version and a replica of the Taj Mahal.

It was built by Aurangzeb for his first wife Dilras Banu Begum as a symbol of his loyalty in their relationship.

And, he had three wives. So much for his loyalty…haha!

Have you heard these alternative interesting facts about Taj Mahal ?

Like many of the Mughal era monuments in India, the Taj too is widely believed to have been built by destroying a Hindu temple.

However, there is not much evidence to prove this belief. In spite of all these controversies, it is undeniable that TajMahal at Agra is indeed the pride of India.

Although, I wouldn’t be surprised if ever in the future it is proved that the monument was built over a temple.

Because Mughals were anyway adept at destroying Hindu temples and converting them into royal graves!

Did you know that the Taj Mahal gets a royal treatment?

During outbreaks of war, the Taj monument gets its share of protection through extra scaffolding around it.

This happened during World War II, and also during the wars that India fought with Pakistan and China.

After all, the Taj is one of the most important architectural pride of India, and surely deserves a royal treatment.

TajMahal at Agra
One of the few white doors of the mausoleum
doors of the tajmahal
An old doorway to let in the animals

Try these interesting recommended guided tours in Agra

Some interesting facts about Taj Mahal beyond the Taj !

Yes. This is a fact. Tourists often land in India wanting to see just the Taj or visit ‘God’s Own Country’, Kerala. There is no doubt that the Taj Mahal has no parallels in the world and watching a LIVE Kathakali performance in Kerala is an experience itself.

However, an ancient land like India once called Bharat, has more to offer to its guests exploring its culture, architecture, and traditions.  It’s time, travellers and tourists also explore the ancient temples and caves in the south of India, that have inspired many cultures across South-East Asia. If you want to understand and appreciate the real India, do venture beyond Delhi and Agra!

Did you know these facts about Indian monuments and places?

These are just a few of the many thousands of wonders that this ancient nation of ours takes pride in apart from the Taj Mahal.

So, plan your next India itinerary for a longer period!

The Taj Mahal view
Upclose with Taj on my third visit

Thoughts on the Taj Mahal and its brilliant architectural features

The very first time I came face to face with this teardrop, I was spellbound.

The Taj looked like a delicate piece of milk chocolate flanked and protected by brown choco chunks on either side. Pardon me for this weird analogy, however, these were my first impressions of this monument almost a decade back.

I realized that it looked paler with a yellow tint, as I went nearer. The paleness could be attributed to the dismal level of pollutants in the air over and around the Taj monument.

Isn’t it interesting how these monuments end up revealing themselves in layers on every visit?

Maybe, because, on our first ever visit we end up seeing these heritage monuments through the eyes of a tourist; while during the second visit we see through the eyes of a traveller.

Nevertheless, the third visit makes us explorers, fourth transforms us into historians, and the fifth turn one into a detective. Ain’t it?

And, come up with a list of interesting facts about Taj Mahal like this!

The beautiful Charbagh garden of the Taj
The beautiful Charbagh garden
Interesting facts about Taj Mahal architecture
A view of the Taj from one of the side-doors

Taj Mahal travel tips and suggestions 

  • Visit the Taj Mahal in the morning to avoid heavy crowds. And, I mean early morning, as it opens to the public 30 mins prior to sunrise every day barring the Fridays. Visit the official website for further details as well for entry fees.
  • You can either physically buy tickets at the counters or book them online
  • The Taj Mahal complex has three entry points or gates. I suggest, you avoid the south gate, as it opens late, and sometimes owing to the footfall may also be closed for entry.
  • The east gate would be my recommendation, as it has got ticket counters and visitor amenities at the Shilp Gram, located at a walkable distance of around 500metres from the Taj Mahal monument.
  • Either opt for authorised tour guides or official Incredible India audio guides
  • Night viewing of Taj Mahal is available on five days in a month i.e. on full moon night, as well as two nights before and two nights after the full moon night. And, the timings for the same are 8:30 pm to 12:30 am.
  • You may want to read more about the Night viewing experience of the Taj
My very first glimpse of the Taj more than two decades back

Deals and guided tours to plan your visit to Taj

You may want to check the below deals and options to plan your visit to the Taj Mahal in Agra. Most of them come with an English speaking guide.

Check these hotel deals to plan your Taj Mahal visit

Planning my next trip to the Taj, already!

I am yet to soak in the beauty of the TajMahal during dawn and dusk, as I always end up visiting it at around 10 AM.

Even on my latest trip, it was pretty hot and much of the Taj Mahal complex and its architectural features could not be explored. And for the record, I am still yearning to visit the TajMahal at Agra on a full moon day.

In conclusion, I hope you found this write-up on the interesting facts about Taj Mahal and its architecture, actually ‘interesting’ and informative.

Meanwhile, do share with me your experience of visiting the TajMahal at Agra? Did it leave you mesmerised ? Did it meet your expectations or do you think it is over-hyped?

I would love to hear your views on this…Please express your thoughts in the comment section below…

Until next time, Ciao!


Pin this article for a later read!

UNESCO Site TajMahal

UNESCO Site Tajmahal

tajmahal agra

Exploring the different side of the TajMahal

71 thoughts on “Interesting facts about Taj Mahal and its architectural features”

  1. You’ve done a fantastic job. It was really informative. Your website is very helpful. After reading this amazing post I am as well happy to share my with friends.

  2. Nice coverage of the place, Very informative blog and suggestion for travelers. I really like to this blog its very interesting and informative. Thanks for your amazing travel guide and your photos are mind-blowing.

  3. Really interesting post. I have been there a couple of years back and I too spent some time walking around the red sandstone structures. I guess I go up to level 3 as an explorer or 4 historian in some places in the first visit. My family always has to pull me out of my exploring/ reading/ reverie as I tend to lost track of time lol.

  4. Really lovely new perspectives of the Taj, would love to visit one day! I can see why you’ve visited several times. I imagine each visit you can see it in a different way.

  5. Such beautiful images. I haven’t been to the Taj. But, wish to be there.. and these images are inspiring me to visit

  6. Such a lovely perspective Meenakshi! Loved your captures ( especially the corridors and the doors) It is so so true that the Taj is. It just white and it’s the whole blend of red and white that makes it so unique and majestic!

  7. I have been to TAJ umpteen number of times as there is simply something so awe inspiring about this monument!! I love visiting it a lot but I think I have never paid any attention to the rest of the building around it and your post made me realise what all I have missed there – next time this is definitely on the cards to explore.
    I have also been planning to but never made it for the full moon sighting of the Taj yet!

  8. I have been to TAJ umpteen number of times as there is simply something so awe inspiring about this monument!! I love visiting it a lot but I think I have never paid any attention to the rest of the building around it and your post made me realise what all I have missed there – next time this is definitely on the cards to explore.
    I have also been planning to but never made it for the full moon sighting of the Taj yet!

  9. I drive to Agra, whenever I feel like. I am in awe of Taj Mahal. I don’t know why! And everytime I visit there, it’s just like a new place to me. You have captured all the aspects of the Taj beautifully! Well done!

  10. Very well written post, I have never been to the Taj, But after reading this I am excited to atlest visit the monumnet atleast once. Super like the photography !

  11. All I remember from my first visit to Taj is the tonga ride! And the second trip happened in the month of June so you can imagine how fun that must have been. NOT. I enjoyed going through your post more than my actual trip. I guess third time will be the charm if I visit Taj in winters. 🙂

  12. Have been to this place and its mesmerising ..but this beautiful post makes me fall in love with this place again..thanks for the visual tour.

  13. Loved your post, I had visited Tajmahal when I was a kid but after reading your post, I realized its time to visit again. Thanks for sharing the interesting details

    Neha (Sharingourexperiences)

  14. I would say, what a majestic post… Loved reading it and the photographs are just awesome that make the post even more attractive. Thank you for sharing!!
    You had been 5 times to this majestic creation and I’ve not had a luck yet to visit this once 🙁
    But will soon visit it…

  15. Amazing photography, being born in Agra Taj is the best hang out place for me & friends. I have love & hate relationship with this place but seeing it from your eyes is definitely a refresher.

  16. I haven’t been there. But your description and pics virtually took me there. One of the best descriptions of Taj I have read so far. And it’s my wish too to visit on a full moon day. It would look magnificent nah?
    I wonder what will your 6th visit to Taj will make you? 😀

  17. Living in such a close proximity to Delhi, I have lost count of the number of times we have visited Taj Mahal. Your post had such intricate details of monuments around Taj, the labyrinth of doors and corridors. Loved reading it Meenakshi. Taj would not have been a marvel in isolation if the beauty around it had not supplemented its existence.

  18. I liked your analogy of white chocolate and brown choco chunks ..:) Even though I have visited Taj Mahal but looking at it through your lens was a different experience. And the pictures were like icing on the cake.

  19. Brilliant exhaustive post. we just visited here last year and it brought in some very happy memories going through all the beautiful pics

  20. You are right about being mesmerised by the Taj. I too have visited this monument at different times in my life – once as a teenager, once with family and once as a mom with my kids and once as a real tourist with a firang. Each time the experience was naturally different but each time you look at it differently.

  21. Lovely description and I liked it that you focused on surrounding monuments as well. I am yet to visit Taj, but your description has certainly piqued my interest a bit more.

  22. Your post made justification to reveal the beauty of Taj from a different prespective. Amazingly beautiful clicks. I was also stunned by its beauty when we visited it 10 years back. Happy to connect with you for #MyFriendAlexa !!!

  23. I never tire of seeing pictures of the Tajmahal. It’s gloriously beautiful. I’ve been there once when I was a child. And now I hope I’ll go there again some day with the children. Loved the ‘red’ parts of it that you clicked.

  24. Belonging originally from Lucknow and having my in-laws in Agra I definitely have a connect with the 2 monuments mentioned. But captured beautifully through your camera.
    Keep Sharing.. there are more places in UP that people would love to visit

  25. I have visited the Taj Mahal long back and had completely forgotten about the various other monuments surrounding the Taj. Thanks for this post, the pictures of Yamuna are beautiful .

  26. Just wow! I’m in awe. Can you believe it, I haven’t been to the Taj yet! It has been on my bucket list since forever! Your post is tempting me to take that trip pretty soon 🙂
    P.S: Your photographs have turned out just wow! Also great that you used enlarged pictures this time. Adds to the beauty of the post. And man! I’m waiting for that day when you are known as a well-known travel writer from our country. You have it in you! 🙂

  27. Being a Westerner, I did not know there was more to the Taj Mahal than the white dome. Your pictures are awesome. I’m intrigued by the many doors. There are stories untold a this treasured building. Thank you for sharing.

  28. I loved my visit to taj mahal and understood why it secured a spot in wonders of the world when i witnessed it sheer beauty with my eyes! Those were some stunning pics! Thank for refreshing my memories with this amazing photos.

  29. The white dome when enter and watch it from the pathway is sheer bliss and fascinating in the tomb as you enter inside. Love the view of the river when you are on the top and watching people tendering. It’s sheer bliss and expressed the various cultures that makes Taj Mahal our jewel.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

error: Copyrighted
Scroll to Top