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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'.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Submitted by Ibrahimyousef on Mon, 15/05/2023 - 16:32

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I have not seem any famous places but I have seen to pyramid and al haram almaky mosque.

Submitted by I.es91 on Tue, 11/04/2023 - 04:07

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I had opportunity to live In KSA which has holy mosques in Makkah and Madinah and this the most places should everyone visit. I never travel to any famous place before. I only visit Dubai, Nepal and Mauritius. I wish I have opportunity in future to travel around the world and visits much different places across the world.

Submitted by Miss zahra on Wed, 05/04/2023 - 16:07

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I hardly can choose one of my country landmarks. we have many spectualar and historical places in Iran. Just in one city of Iran called Ishehan there are three or more places like: Khajoo Bridge , 33 Bridegs and Mannarjonban. Every year millions of domestic and international tourists come and visit these famous monuments. Isfehan has a long river in the middle of the city that makes the nightlife very specific and memorable. So If you,ll have a chance to visit Iran do not forget to come to Isfehan.

Submitted by AlexandraMT on Wed, 01/02/2023 - 18:22

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I have not visited any famous places. In Colombia there are many beautiful places.

Submitted by EMF_12 on Wed, 18/01/2023 - 20:41

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Fortunately, I had the chance to visit so many spectacular places in different towns across my country.
As we know, Peru has one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, located in Cusco, Machu Picchu. It was a lovely trip, and I won't forget the first time I arrived at the place because I met people from other countries who I still talk to.
Another journey I remember is when I visited Lago Titicaca in Puno. That time concurred with the local festival, and it was the first time I saw my family dancing in public. I was only six years old, but I can recall it like it was two days ago.

Submitted by jmajo on Tue, 27/12/2022 - 17:21

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I haven’t seen any famous places personally but I’d read a lot about many famous places and I have seen lot’s of tourists videos and documental about them, although it’s clearly not the same as it could be visit them, I think it’s an alternative way to get to know them without been there.

Thanks for the lesson.
Great site!

Submitted by Thet Hmue San on Sun, 04/12/2022 - 08:55

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I have never visited any famous places. I wish I could visit one day.

Submitted by janeo.o on Wed, 30/11/2022 - 02:14

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I've never visited any famous place in the world:(
I hope I'll go to Paris to visit the Eiffel tower or Agra to visit the Taj Mahal one day.

Submitted by Eman Samir on Fri, 25/11/2022 - 17:11

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The famous places I have seen are The Pyramids, The Sphinx, Qaitbay Citadel, and The Cairo Tower.

Submitted by farhadwahaj on Tue, 06/09/2022 - 05:39

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In Afghanistan, there is plenty of historical places, unfortunately, so far, I have seen some of them. The one I have seen is Babar Garden in Kabul City. this garden was built in the time of the king of Babar the Mughal Emperor, its boundary walls have been constructed traditionally from mud means from clay and strew.
Inside the garden, the pathway is decorated with stone marble. All the gardens are built in slope places with professional architecture. At the top, there is a historic stone where you can see the story of the garden and a man is standing with the stone who telling you more about the Babar Garden.
It is an amazing place, from where the entire Kabul can see easily.