IELTS Cue Card: Describe an historical place you have been to

Describe an historical place you have been to

IELTS Cue Card Question 141 with Model Answer:

Describe an historical place you have been to.

You should say:
  • what kind of place it is
  • what it looks like
  • where it is
and explain how the place is related to history.
[You will have to talk about the topic for one to two minutes. You have one minute to think about what you're going to say. You can make some notes to help you if you wish.]

Model Answer:
The Taj Mahal, located in Agra, India, is one of the wonders of the world and symbolises love of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to his wife Arjumand Banu Begum, commonly termed as Mumtaz Mahal. This is a unique building in the world that has gained attention from the global travellers and I went there in last year as a team member of German Cultural Affairs.

The Taj Mahal is, in fact, a tomb located on the south bank of Yamuna River in Agra in India. This is a mausoleum and has been made in remembrance of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal to make her memory immortal. The body of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan lies under the large dome. This is the only historical building in India that has been placed on the list of Wonders of the World. The construction date is exactly not known but it is estimated that the construction began around 1600 century. The entire building is made of white marble. Besides, the structure took over 20 years to complete while 20,000 workers were involved with the construction. It is rumoured that the emperor had cut the hands of the workers who made the structure so that they cannot make another such building on the planet. Though the event is highly brutal, it shows the deep love and respect to his wife. One of the important factors about the building is that the colour of the building changes with the change of time in the day time and it looks best on a moonlit night.

The Taj Mahal is also considered as the Crown of Palaces for its huge dome and white marbles. It is a beautiful structure and looks pretty awesome for the construction style and exterior design. The entire complex is situated on around 42 acres of lands and bounded by walls on sides. The traditional Persian designs have been applied here in line with the Mughal architecture. The ideas of the structure have been derived from several Mughal structures and have been customised according to Shah Jahan’s will. Before the construction of the Taj Mahal, the Mughals used red sandstone on their structure while this was the exception from their traditional construction style. The entire building has been made of pure white marble and the tomb has been refined perfectly with precious stones that resemble the choice and preference of the emperor. The top dome is about 35 meters high and cylindrical. The central dome is accompanied with four smaller domes and those are placed at a corner of the roof. The main dome is frequently termed as onion dome for its shape and visually it is great to look at. The minarets are similar to those used in Mosques. So far it is known that the construction of the structure was done by 1643 and it costs over 30 million rupees.        

The Taj Mahal is located in Agra, under the northern part of Uttar Pradesh state in India. The building is placed by the side of the Yamuna River. This is around 204 kilometres away from Delhi. This is also a World Heritage Site and has been selected in 1983 after the UNESCO declaration. Agra is an influential city in India and been playing a great role. The place has also been recognised in some of the Hindu scriptures and epics like Mahabharata. Besides, Agra was the capital of Mughal Empire in the medieval age and been ruled by several powerful emperors like Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan. The city is now one of the major tourist spots in India and the Taj Mahal is playing the leading role here. Despite being a crowded city the site for the Taj Mahal has been picked carefully and always calm and quiet. The location was also picked smartly for some strategic reasons and the most important thing was the view of the building from his palace – Agra Fort.     

The Taj Mahal has been related to the Indian history immediately after its construction in the 16th century. This is considered as one of the Muslim art of India that has been globally recognised. Besides, during the construction process, a varied number of incidents took place which is also remarkable in terms of historical importance. Besides, the entire complex took 20 years to complete which is a rare incident. The most important historical fact is that the Taj Mahal was made when the Mughals were at the peak of their power and wealth. As a result, Shah Jahan has used precious stones and gems to decorate the tomb. After his death, the Mughal Empire started declining and could not stand back like the former days. To make the structure, artists, masons and other workers were recruited from different nations including India, Iran and Turkey. So, this is a great place of historical importance.

Your preparation for this topic will help you to talk about the following cue card topics:  
  • Describe a worth visiting place in your city or country.
  • Describe a famous tourist spot you know about.
  • Describe a place you have recently been to.
  • Describe a famous historic place you know about.
  • Describe a popular tourist attraction in your country.
  • Describe a place you have never been to.
  • Describe a place you have planned to visit in near future.