As said by Mark Twain, ‘’ The world is split into two parts, those that have seen the Taj Mahal and those who have not’’. The Taj Mahal of Agra is one of the Seven Wonders of the World for reasons more than just looking magnificent. It’s the history of the Taj Mahal that adds a soul to its magnificence. It depicts a clear example of how deeply a man loved his wife, that even after she remained but a memory, he made sure that this memory would never fade away. This man was the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, who was head-over-heels in love with his wife Mumtaz Mahal fig.1. She was a Muslim Persian princess and he was the son of a Mughal Emperor. It was at the age of 14 that he met Mumtaz and fell in love with her and five years later in 1612, they got married 1.
Mumtaz Mahal, an inseparable companion of Shah Jahan, died in 1631, while giving birth to their 14th child. It was in the memory of his beloved wife that Shah Jahan built a glorious monument as a tribute to her, which we today know as the "Taj Mahal". The construction of Taj Mahal started in the year of her death, 1631. Calligraphers, painters and carvers were a few of the many artisans requisitioned from the whole of the empire and also from Central Asia and Iran to build this historic monument. This epitome of love took approximately 22 years to build and made use of the services of 22,000 labourers. The mausoleum was built entirely out of white marble, which was brought in from all over India and central Asia. After an expenditure of approximately 32 million rupees (approx US $68000), Taj Mahal was finally completed in the year 1653 the complex consisted of 6 main parts; Gateway, Pavilions, Gardens, Rest House, Mosque and the main Mausoleum and is 22.44 hectares in size 2.
It was soon after the completion of Taj Mahal that Shah Jahan started on the construction of another similar mausoleum for himself, out of black marble. He was... [continues]
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