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  • Renowned worldwide for its beauty and symmetry, the Taj Mahal is the most famous landmark

  • in India. Located near the city of Agra, the Taj Mahal attracts millions of visitors each

  • year, who come to see its beauty and remember the romantic story of its origins.

  • The Taj Mahal - its name is Persian for 'Crown of Palaces' - is an elaborate mausoleum, or

  • tomb. It was built more than 350 years ago by Emperor Shah Jahan of India as a memorial

  • for his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who had died.

  • Shah Jahan met his future wife when he was fifteen years old and she was fourteen, although

  • they were not married until five years later in 1612. Their marriage was a happy one, as

  • the two loved each other and were good friends as well. Shah Jahan gave his wife the title

  • Mumtaz Mahal, which means 'Chosen One of the Palace,' and together they had fourteen children.

  • It was while giving birth to her final child in 1631 that Mumtaz Mahal died. Shah Jahan

  • was heartbroken and decided to build a memorial for his beloved wife in Agra, on the banks

  • of the Yamuna river.

  • Construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1632. It was an immense project: more than 20,000

  • workers were involved, and materials were transported by more than 1,000 elephants.

  • The style of the buildings was inspired by Persian, Islamic, and Indian architecture

  • and the tomb was finished with huge slabs of white marble and decorated with many precious

  • and semi-precious stones. Elaborate patterns of tile and even poems written on the walls

  • in careful calligraphy decorated nearly every surface. The tomb took about 12 years to build,

  • but the work was not over yet!

  • The tomb itself is only part of a much larger complex, and is surrounded by elaborate gardens

  • with pathways and pools of water that are positioned to catch beautiful reflections.

  • There are also minarets, a mosque, and a gateway. Construction of the rest of the complex took

  • an additional ten years, meaning that the entire project took 22 years to build. The

  • cost is estimated to have been 32 million Indian rupees, an equivalent of about $827

  • million US dollars today.

  • It is said that Shah Jahan planned to build a second Taj Mahal across the river from the

  • first, made completely of black marble, as his own tomb, but when his son overthrew him

  • and rose to power the plans were discarded. Whether this is true or not, it is probably

  • true that Shah Jahan did not plan to be buried in the Taj Mahal with his wife, but that is

  • where his son buried him when he died. A slightly larger tomb for Shah Jahan was added next

  • to Mumtaz Mahal's, marking the only place in the tomb that the symmetry is broken. Shah

  • Jahan and his Queen are not actually buried in the tombs that are on display: those are

  • empty. Instead, their bodies are buried beneath the Taj Mahal.

  • Through the centuries, the Taj Mahal has survived. It has been described as 'poetry in stone',

  • and 'a teardrop on the cheek of time,' and has been designated a World Heritage Site

  • for being "the jewel of Muslim art in India" and a "universally admired masterpiece". Today

  • it is a symbol of India and one of the most famous landmarks in the world, as well as

  • an enduring symbol of a love that was meant to last forever.

  • I hope you enjoyed learning about the Taj Mahal today. Goodbye till next time!

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The Story of the Taj Mahal for Kids: Famous World Landmarks for Children - FreeSchool

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    薛明璟 posted on 2018/01/14
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