Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is seen from the South on May 28, 2013 in Agra, India.Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

The 17th-century spectacular white marble building Taj Mahal in Agra, India, is a symbol of eternal love and passion. The UNESCO World Heritage site was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.

It took 17 years (from 1631 to 1648 AD) to build the beautiful Taj Mahal, which has now become a symbol of love. The queen passed away in 1631 after giving birth to her 14th child and in her memory, Shah Jahan built the beautiful Taj Mahal, which is now considered as one of the wonders of the world.

While all might know the story behind the Taj Mahal, there are some interesting things about the World Heritage site that is known only to a few people. Here are some lesser-known and interesting facts about one of the beautiful monuments of love in India.

Taj Mahal was made using 28 precious and semi-precious stones

The magnificent monument was made using 28 precious and semi-precious stones brought from different places in India, Ceylon and Afghanistan. Jasper stone was from Punjab, jade and crystal were brought from China, turquoise from Tibet, lapis lazuli and sapphire from Arabia and diamonds from Panna. The white marble dominantly used to make the monument was from Makrana in Rajasthan.

Taj Mahal
Tourists walk through an archway during their visit to the Taj Mahal monument in the Indian city of Agra on January 7, 2017.DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images
Taj Mahal

Arms of the artisans were not cut after the completion of Taj Mahal

There is a popular myth that Shah Jahan ordered to cut the arms of the chief artisans and make them blind so they would not create similar monuments. However, many historians find the story baseless, as there is no records or evidence that claims the arms of the craftsmen were chopped and their eyes were taken out.

Taj Mahal was sold thrice

The UNESCO World Heritage site was sold not once but thrice. Yes, that's true. The notorious con man Natwarlal, who was also a lawyer, sold the national monument to tourists thrice for just a few lakhs.   

Taj Mahal
Indian boatman Banwari rows his boat in Yamuna river behind Taj Mahal in Agra on April 16, 2016.PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images

Noted magician PC Sorcar Junior made Taj Mahal "Vanish"

In November 2000, the well-known magician PC Sorcar Junior made it "vanish." He performed a magic and manage to vanish the magnificent monument in thin air, but it reappeared after two minutes.

"No it was not mass hypnotism," Sorcar told Press Trust of India in 2000. "On the contrary, it was a case of application of `Adrishya (disappearance) rasa' to the science of magic."

"I just kept the Taj away from your eyes. It was a perfect illusion," the magician said.

Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is seen at sunrise on September 30, 2010, in Agra, India.Julian Finney/Getty Images

Mud therapy for Taj Mahal

In April 2017, the government told the Rajya Sabha members that a kind of mud therapy is being used on the monument, as the white marble is changing colour.

"The conservation work on three minarets out of four have been completed. This work will only after completion of the forth minaret. At present, therapy on the facade in going on. We will try and start the work by April next year," a senior ASI official told The Times of India.

Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal (built 1632 - 1654) at Agra, in memory of Mumtaz Mahal, wife of Shah Jahan.J. A. Hampton/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images