Today I will narrate the story of an illustrious epitome of an epic love story. I am talking about a splendid example of art and a symbol of true affection between two lovers, a wonder of world “Taj Mahal” (The crown of buildings). Taj Mahal described as “A tear drop on the cheek of time” by Rabindranath Tagore is a finest example of Turkish, Persian and Mughal architecture. The Mausoleum was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz mahal.
Shah Jahan was 14 years old when he fell in love with a Persian princess Arjumand Bano Begum and decided that she is the one he will marry. She was 15 at that time. After few years they got married and he named her Mumtaz Mahal (Chosen one of the Palace). He was crowned in 1628 AD. She always accompanied him, even on military expeditions. On one such expedition in 1631 AD, she was expecting their 14th child. She died while giving birth to the baby. Before dying she took four promises from her husband. She asked him to build the most beautiful monument for her and not to remarry. She loved her children so she wanted a promise that he will stay kind to them and will visit her tomb. Via Link.
Some stories say that Shah Jahan was so overwhelmed and devastated that he locked himself in a room. According to some historians he banned music, feasts and any kind of party for about two years in his regime. He decided to build a monument entirely in white marble, expressing their pure love and decorated with jewels. In 1633 AD, the construction began on the banks of the Yamuna river in Agra. The place was visible from his Palace and he could see her whenever he wanted to.
20,000 skilled craftsmen from allover the subcontinent and the neighbouring countries worked for 17 years to complete the monument. The chief architect was Ustaad Ahmed Lahori. The main dome of Taj Mahal measures about 110 yards in circumference and is about 107 yards above the ground. The monument is standing in a lush green garden amongst fountains and floral plants and trees. The tomb is standing on a platform of red stones. The material was brought in from all over India and central Asia and it took a fleet of 1,000 elephants to transport it to the site. Taj Mahal’s construction costed 50 lac rupees at that time. Taj Mahal is decorated with Gold, Rubies, Turquoise, Lapis lazuli, Sapphire and Diamonds. The verses of Quran are written in the passages in beautiful calligraphic styles. There is a beautiful mosque inside the monument.
Emperor Shah Jahan himself described the Taj in these words:
Should guilty seek asylum here,
Like one pardoned, he becomes free from sin.
Should a sinner make his way to this mansion,
All his past sins are to be washed away.
The sight of this mansion creates sorrowing sighs;
And the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes.
In this world this edifice has been made;
To display thereby the creator’s glory. Via Link
Taj Mahal is symmetrical and one side mirrors the other. Many don’t know this but the building is still incomplete. This symbol of true love is incomplete because a part of the structure was never built. Shah Jahan wanted to build a similar mausoleum for himself, facing the mausoleum of his wife. He felt that this would keep them together but he was not able to fulfill his wish as he was overthrown by his own son and spent the last eight years of his life in imprisonment. Via Link
The mesmerizing beauty of the monument makes it special but what makes it more special is love. People die but love never dies. Muslims believe that soul never dies and one day they will be together with their family in heaven.