National Geographic Society

  • Connect:

Taj Mahal Facts

The view of Taj Mahal taken from the rooftop of Taj Mahal Museum.

The view of Taj Mahal taken from the rooftop of Taj Mahal Museum. (View larger version)

Photograph by National Geographic Channels/ Kanika Raheja


  • The name of the city Agra may have  derived from the ancient Hindu sage Angira.

  • The waters of the Yamuna river are a main water source for residents of Agra and have been for centuries.

  • The Taj Mahal derived its name is from the queen’s title, Mumtaz Mahal (‘Chosen of the Palace’).

  • Mumtaz Mahal died after giving birth to her and Emperor Shah Jahan’s 14th child on a military campaign in the Deccan.

  • Mumtaz Mahal’s body was first entombed at Burhanpur and later brought to Agra while the Taj Mahal was under construction.

  • Rajput rulers of Amer, nobles of the Mughal court, previously owned the land on which the Taj Mahal now sits. Four mansions (havelis in Hindi) were given in exchange to Mirza Raja Jai Singh for the land.

  • To the west of the tomb is a mosque, and on the east is an identical building, which served as an assembly hall. The structures maintain the complex’s symmetry.

  • The four minarets at each corner of the building are built in three stories separated by balconies supported on brackets, and crowned by dome pavilions.

  • The cenotaph of Arjumand Banu Begum (Mumtaz Mahal) is placed beside the Emperor Shah Jahan’s at the center of the building, the only asymmetrical feature of the Taj Mahal complex.

  • The minarets at Taj Mahal are purely ornamental.
Walter Crawford
Walter Crawford

Craftmanship at its very best.  Beautiful building and a lasting tribute to the architect and the builders.