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Encyclopedia entry

Read an encyclopedia entry on the Taj Mahal to practise and improve your reading skills.

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Encyclopedia entry

The Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal (pronounced /ˌtɑːdʒ mə'hɑːl/) is a famous mausoleum next to the river Yamuna in the Indian city of Agra. A mausoleum is a building where people bury the dead. The name Taj Mahal means 'the crown of palaces'.

1. 

The most famous part of the Taj Mahal is the large white dome in the centre. It is 35 metres high and is surrounded by four smaller domes. The rooms inside the building are decorated with beautiful archways and precious stones in the walls. The buildings are surrounded by gardens with pathways, pools, fountains and green gardens.

2.

The construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1632 and finished in 1653. It was built with materials from all over India and Asia, but the main material is white marble. Historians believe that the materials were transported by over 1,000 elephants for the construction.

3.

The emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal as a burial place for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. According to legend, he wanted to build another Taj Mahal in black on the other side of the river, but this never happened. During the Indian Rebellion of 1857, many parts of the Taj Mahal were damaged by British soldiers, who took some of the precious stones from its walls. Over the years, the Taj Mahal has suffered from environmental damage, and there have been many government attempts to conserve its beauty.

4.

The Taj Mahal is one of India's most famous landmarks. There are millions of visitors to the mausoleum every year. The Taj Mahal is almost always included in lists of famous buildings to visit and is considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

5.

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Average: 4.1 (53 votes)
Profile picture for user javibuendi

Submitted by javibuendi on Thu, 12/11/2020 - 17:31

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Dear LearnEnglish Team. I think in the task 2, the response of the first item should be False instead of The text doesn´t say. In the text they are saying that they were about to build a black mausoleum, which means that no-white mausoleums construction is allowed. Thanks for your work!

Hello javi,

I think you have a good point. I'll make a note for us to make the question more clear.

Thanks for taking the time to point this out to us!

Best wishes,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Profile picture for user Mr.hanymabrok

Submitted by Mr.hanymabrok on Thu, 12/11/2020 - 05:16

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It is very interesting story for me, also a got many new words. thank very much for all B.C.C staff

Submitted by Fardhan on Thu, 29/10/2020 - 04:14

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The famous place I have visited is Borobudur Temple, the place with the most Buddhist reliefs in the world, has many Buddhist statues and consists of six squareterraces on which there are three circular courtyards, a Buddhist temple located in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. It is a cultural heritage of Indonesia and is a UNESCO world heritage site.

Submitted by konatenasty on Wed, 28/10/2020 - 12:23

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I have seen three famous places.The pyramids of Giza in Egypt, the Haile selassie museum in Addis-Abeba in Éthiopie and Nelson Mandela's house in South Africa.

Submitted by Lilly098 on Mon, 26/10/2020 - 17:06

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I have been to killing fields and Angkor wat in Cambodia. The architecture in Angkor war is indescribable. It is the most beautiful work that I have ever seen. Moreover, I was so touched by their culture, humbleness and peacefulness. However, I was so shocked when I visited killing fields; it is located far away from the main city. Many local people who had a hope to finish war were killed by local people themselves. I will never forget how important of peace is to the world.

Submitted by shawn peter ru… on Sat, 10/10/2020 - 14:01

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hi teacher could you please provide longer reading such 95 or more lines we need it or if you cant do it please say me that what can i do to find longer reading could you introduce me book or other source?

Hello again shawn peter,

You could try the Magazine and Stories section of our website, where the texts are a bit longer, though in general they're not going to be as long as 95 lines. If you do an internet search for 'practice reading comprehension English', I bet you can find lots of useful sites.

Best wishes,

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Roblox on Mon, 07/09/2020 - 20:09

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I've seen pretty much famous places in the United States and some other countries. They all have different interesting point of view. Borobudur is my favorite place I've had visited. The temple is unique and incredible. It's beyond our imagination how the temple was built.