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The Amazing Story of the Taj Mahal

The Amazing Story of the Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal in Agra, built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and listed as one of the new seven wonders of the world, has a deeply touching story. It is the story of the extraordinary love that Mughal emperor Shah Jahan had for wife Mumtaz Mahal, a tale that has been captivating the hearts of millions throughout the ages.

Prince Khurram, who later came to be known as Shah Jahan, was born in the year 1592. When he was in his teens, he got attracted to Arjuman Banu and fell head over heels in love with her. And when he told his father Jehangir, the fourth Mughal emperor of India that he was in love with Arjuman Banu and desperately want to marry her, the emperor gave his consent and they were eventually married in 1612. After the wedding, the bond of love between them grew stronger and Arjuman Banu received the title of “MumtazMahal” from her husband, which meant "Jewel of the Palace”.  Shah Jahan loved Mumtaz far more than any of his other wives and couldn`t live away from her. When he had to travel on his military expeditions, she was the one who always went with him. And it was due to his deepest affection for his wife that he also gave the Imperial Sea-Muhr Uzah to her. However, destiny had other plans for this royal couple. Shah Jahan`s beloved wife died while delivering their 14th child and this tragic incident overwhelmed the emperor with extreme grief. He was grief-stricken to such an extent that his mourning lasted a whole year. He couldn`t believe that his wife was really dead and even went to the extent of digging up her corpse, taking it to Agra and building a mausoleum for her. And it is this marvelous mausoleum, the monument, the tomb, built at the cost of millons, using exquisite white marbles and other precious stones, that came to be known as the Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world.

Famous worldwide as the embodiment of love, the Taj Mahal is a white marbled monument of  architecture that reflects the glorious combination of Islamic, Turkish, Persian, Indian and several other art styles. What is also remarkable is that the Taj Mahal was made by using the best available materials  brought from myriad locations throughout Asia. The precious turquoise stone was brought from Tibet, white marble from Rajasthan, sapphire from Arabia, crystal from China and so forth. With regard to this amazing mausoleum, it is also  noteworthy that it was not built in a few months or one or two years; rather, the construction of the Taj Mahal was completed in more than a decade and it involved over 20,000 labourers and 1000 elephants. According to historical sources, it was Ahmed Shah Lahauri who was appointed as the chief architect to build the Taj Mahal. His efforts, assisted by thousands of workers, resulted in this grand monument that attracts millions of visitors per year from all over the world.

Both Shah Jahan and MumtazMahal are no more but their love is still alive and breathing, in the form of the Taj, the epitome of everlasting love. It is the very existence of this glorious piece of architecture that speaks out that true love never dies, that true love is everlasting. What can be more magnificent than this glorious and extraordinary monument that an emperor has built as a memorial to his beloved wife and which has been recognized by the UNESCO as the World Heritage Site? All you have to do is to visit or revisit the Taj Mahal and what you will gain will be no less than the experience of a lifetime.

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