The new Seven Wonders of the World were announced in July 2007. They are Taj Mahal of India, Christ Redeemer of Brazil, the Great Wall of China, Roman Colosseum of Italy, Petra of Jordan, Pyramid at Chichen Itza of Mexico, and Machu Picchu of Peru.
The sites were selected on the basis of a tally of around 100 million votes cast by people around the world over the Internet and cell-phone text messages. These attractions were on the shortlist of 21 before the announcement of the results in a glittering ceremony in Lisbon, Portugal. The places that were left out were: Acropolis in Athens, Greece; the Statues of Eastern Island, Chile; Cambodia’s Angkor Wat; Turkey’s Hagla Sophia; and Russia’s Kremlin, and St. Basils Cathedral.
The Great Pyramids of Giza, the only surviving structures from the original seven wonders of the ancient world, kept their status in addition to the new seven. The Taj Mahal is located in Agra in the state of Uttar Pradesh. The Mughal emperor Shah Jahan constructed it in 1631 as a mausoleum for his wife Mumtaz Mahal who died but not before asking her husband to build an impressive tomb for her.
Contemporary court chronicles concerning Shah Jahan’s grief for the basis of the love story traditionally hold as the inspiration for the Taj Mahal. The construction work began after the death of Mumtaz in 1632 and was completed in 1648, though the adjoining areas were built five years later. Some controversy surrounds the question of who designed the Taj Mahal, but it has been largely accepted that a team of designers and craftsmen were responsible for the design with Ustad Ahmad Lahauri as the principal designer.
The Taj is considered the finest example of Mughal architecture-a style that combines elements of Persian, Turkish, Indian and Islamic architectural styles. While the white marble mausoleum is the most familiar part of the monument, the Taj is, in fact, an integrated complex of structures. Already a UNESCO World Heritage site, the...
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