The Taj Mahal is found in Agra, which is in the state
of Uttar Pradesh, and is situated about 200 km south of
New Delhi. Agra was the capital of the Mughals, Muslim
emperors who ruled Northern India between the 16th and
Not only is the Taj Mahal one of the
most beautiful and famous buildings in India, it is also
the most romantic. As such, it is one of the favorite
sites for wedding photo shoots. it is also a popular
spot for honeymooners, who are thrilled by the story of
undying love between an emperor and his empress.
According to the legend, the dashing prince met the
lady, Arjumand Banu Begum, when he was 14 and she was 15
years old. The lovely girl was tending her stall of
silks and glass beads at a bazaar when he spotted her.
pointing to a piece of glass at her stall, he asked its
price. She naughtily replied that it was diamond and not
glass, and that he could not afford it. In response, he
handed her 10,000 rupees, picked up the piece of glass
and left. After that meeting, the prince could not stop
thinking of her. It was love at first sight. He went to
his father and announced his desire to marry the pretty
young stall keeper.
Their wedding only took place five
years later, in 1612. From that moment, they were
inseparable and, over the next 18 years, she bore him 14
children. After becoming emperor in 1628, Shah Jahan
entrusted Arjumand Banu with the royal seal. He changed
her name to Mumtaz Mahal, meaning "the jewel of the
Mumtaz Mahal was a woman of legendary beauty.
Even during her lifetime, poets would write about her
beauty and gracefulness, saying that even the moon would
hide in shame from her beauty. Mumtaz was also a strong
woman. She accompanied her husband all over the Mughal
empire and even on military campaigns. On top of this,
she was tender-hearted, giving allowances tot he poor
people, especially widows and orphans.
In 1631, in
Burhanpur, Mumtaz Mahal gave birth to her last child,
for she died in childbirth. As her dying wish, she asked
her husband to build a beautiful tomb for her, as a
monument t their love. Her husband was so heartbroken at
her death that he remained behind closed doors for a
week. When he emerged, his hair had turned white, his
back was bent and his face aged. He spent the next two
decades and much of the money in the royal treasury,
fulfilling her dying wish: creating the most beautiful
mausoleum on Earth.
It is believed that an Indian
architect, Ustad Ahmad Lahori, was the architect of the
Taj Mahal. as soon as construction began, masons,
craftsmen and sculptors were summoned from Persia, the
Ottoman Empire and Europe to work on the monument.
Taj Mahal stands amid acres of beautifully designed
gardens, consisting of trees, pools and fountains. The
most famous part of the monument is the tomb of Mumtaz
Mahal, with its white marble dome, but the complex also
includes mosques, and other buildings.
The style of
the Taj Mahal combines elements of Persian, Central
Asian, and Islamic architecture. most impressive are the
black and white chessboard marble floor of the main
tomb, the four tall minarets at the corners of the
structure and the white dome in the middle. The
beautiful artwork on the walls of the tomb is made of
In 1657, Shah Jahan fell ill, and,
in 1658, his son Aurangzeb took the opportunity to
imprison his father and seize the throne. Shah Jahan
remained in captivity until his death in 1666. It is
said he spent the last days of his life weeping and
staring into a small piece of glass at the reflection of
the Taj Mahl; and, in fact, he died with the mirror in
his hand. His body now lies buried in the Taj Mahal with
the believed lady he could not forget.