Encyclopedia entry

Encyclopedia entry

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

Do the preparation task first. Then read the text and do the exercises.

Reading text

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'.


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.


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.


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.


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.



Worksheet139.54 KB

Language level

Average: 4 (42 votes)

Submitted by sonercakal on Sat, 18/06/2022 - 07:25


You should visit Blue Mosque in Istanbul. There many historic places in this area. Besides,There many delicious food in Türkiye.

Submitted by jyoti Chaudhary on Sun, 29/05/2022 - 13:03


What famous places have you seen?
I saw the red fort when I was 15years old on my school trip, I enjoy it a lot and it is a very famous place in Delhi. many people visit and spend in the red fort.

Submitted by Thamarai on Tue, 17/05/2022 - 15:10


Simply majestic. Everyone knows how good it is. It is one of the wonders of the world and it is lovely place to visit.

Submitted by LamVanPhuong on Fri, 05/11/2021 - 10:28


it was Ha Long Bay, it's a landmark in Vietnam and It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you have chance to visit Vietnam once, go to Ha Long Bay.I guarantee it won't let you down.

Submitted by Juanchi Duete on Tue, 26/10/2021 - 17:19


I have been in many famous places. If i have to choose one of them, I’ll definitely choose the Kinkaku-ji temple in Kyoto Japan.

Submitted by Suraj paliwal on Sun, 17/10/2021 - 17:00


I have seen many historical places in India.

Submitted by Dariusz on Sat, 21/08/2021 - 09:27

I haven't seen many famous places. One of the most famous landmarks which I have seen is a famous football stadium - Old Trafford in the England City of Manchester
Profile picture for user iEdd

Submitted by iEdd on Tue, 20/07/2021 - 23:20

I had tha chance to visit the Cologne cathedral in Germany. It was awesome, due is the largest church I know until now. Another interesting place I was is Teotihuacan pyramids in Mexico. A giant place with several pyramids with different meanings. There are also other structures as cemetaries with a rich history behind.

Submitted by GiulianaAndy on Sat, 26/06/2021 - 00:06

I have only seen Machu Picchu in my whole life. Here I have some information about that mausoleum: Machu Picchu is a famous mausoleum which is located in Cusco/ Peru. The most famous parts of Machu Picchu are the large archways located in the difference entrances. They are 3.5 meters high (approximately). The monument is surrounded by green gardens with pathways. Machu Picchu was discovered by a Yale professor, Hiram Bringham in 1911. However, there's a conspiracy which says that a looter, called Augusto Berns, arrived at the city almost 43 years before Hiram Bingham. Historians affirm that the Incas built Machu Picchu around 1450; it was constructed as a royal estate which would have been used by the emperor and his family as a temporary respite to relax, hunt, and entertain guests. When the Spanish conquest arrived to Peru, Machu Picchu was abandoned. Since the year of its discovered, Machu Picchu has been protected by every government. Machu Picchu is one of Peru's most famous landmarks. There are thousand of visitors to the mausoleum every weekend. In 2007, Machu Picchu was considered one of the New Seven Wonders of the world.