Love, Loss, and the Taj Mahal

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Love, Loss, and the Taj Mahal

by Enigma Life
Legends Experiences India Taj Mahal

Once upon a time, a young boy went to the Meena Bazzar. He happened to catch a glimpse of a beautiful young girl, hawking silk and glass beads. When Prince Khurram first gazed upon the beauty of Arjumand Banu Begum, he went home and declared to his father that he would marry her. Although Arijumand was a Persian princess whose father wanted to wed her for more political power, in 1612, she married Prince Khurram.

In 1628, Prince Khurram became Emperor Shah Jahan. He entrusted the royal seal to his favorite wife, Arijumand; bestowing on her the title of Mumtaz Mahal, meaning “Jewel of the Palace.” The emperor had other wives, but they were nothing compared to Mumtaz Mahal, who accompanied him everywhere including military campaigns. In 1631, while giving birth to their fourteenth child, Mumtaz Mahal suffered complications. While on her deathbed, Shah Jahan promised her he would never remarry and that he would build the richest mausoleum over her grave.

It is said that Shah Jahan was so heartbroken after her death that he ordered the court mourning for two years.

Sir Edwin Arnold described the Taj Mahal as “ Not a piece of architecture as other buildings are, but the proud passion of an emperor’s love wrought in living stones.” True to his word, Shah Jahan built the world’s most beautiful monument in the memory of his beloved. It took 22 years and the labor of 22,000 workers. The entire Taj complex consists of five major constituents, namely Darwaza (main gateway), Bageecha (gardens), Masjid (mosque), Naqqar Khana (rest house) and Rauza (main mausoleum).  Monument with a unique blend of Persian, Islamic, and Indian architectural styles came into its own,

In 1666, his body was laid to rest in a tomb alongside Mumtaz Mahal.