Being listed as one of the seven wonders of the world seems small in comparison to visiting the Taj Mahal and its majesty in person.
A photo can only show a building as a whole – as a completed piece of phenomenal architecture – but being there in person stretches any notion of being able to comprehend something so great. Maddy Ryan, Semester at Sea student, said, “Being able to make the trek through the opening from the entry gate and led down the path toward one of the seven wonders of the world was an experience beyond comparison. It was more grand than any pictures could have portrayed.”
The Taj Mahal isn’t a palace as many imagine. It’s a burial chamber, a white marble mausoleum in the city of red sanstone, Agra, along the Yamuna River in India. History and lore about the palace credit its creation to emperor Shah Jahan, who built it in honor of his favorite and beloved wife, Mumtaz Majal who died while giving birth to their 14th child.
The mausoleum was completed for the most part in 1643. In 1983 it was given the UNESCO World Heritage Site designation for being “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage”
Many books have been written about the structure – some fiction, some non-fiction.
T is for Taj Mahal is a book created for 1st through 3rd graders to help them see and understand one of the greatest architectural wonders of the world. It is part of a series of books featuring far away places using the alphabet, including E is for Eiffel Tower and C is for Ciao.
Beneath a Marble Sky is a piece of historical fiction that tells the love story behind the Taj Mahal.
Author John Shors, in the book discussion at the end of the book, said “I’d say that 80 percent of Beneath a Marble Sky is historically accurate.” Shah Jahan, who built the mausoleum, was later imprisoned in the Red Fort of Agra, but could see the Taj Mahal from his window. Visitors today can see where the fictional, and non-fictional, Shah Jahan stood to look upon the structure.
Read more about the Taj Mahal and other wonders of the world, including the Colosseum, Stonehenge, the Great Wall, Machu Picchu, Easter Island, The Acropolis. the Vatican and the Great Pyramid in this book, LIFE Wonders of the World