Experiencing the Taj Mahal without being cognizant of
its history is grossly irrelevant and absurd. The extravagant expression has
not come easy. There underlays an ocean of emotions and a wild passion that
led the king to erect such a masterpiece in snow-white marble. It's a
monument, the only one, where perhaps, ever inch of the edifice, from one
corner to the other, expresses the beauty of Mumtaz Mahal. Mughal emperor's
Shah Jahan's intense feelings and warmheartedness can be felt at the very
first instant as you arrive here to fix your gaze upon one of the most
phenomenal structures in the world. History of Taj mahal
splendid love story begins in 1612, when a Persian princess Arjumand Bano
married Shah Jahan (then prince Khurram), the fifth Mughal emperor. Arjumand
Bano, who later became known as Mumtaz Mahal (the Chosen of the Palace), was
a second wife to the emperor. Both a companion and an advisor, the queen
followed the emperor on his journeys and military expeditions. Such was the
effect of the queen on his emperor-husband that Shah Jahan was inspired to
perform acts of charity and benevolence all throughout his life.
The love story took a serious turn when, on a campaign at Burhanpur with
her husband, Mumtaz Mahal took his last breath giving birth to their 14th
child. So heartbroken was the emperor that the whole court went into
mourning for a span of over two years. It is said that, within a few months
after the queen's death, the hair and beard of the king had turned white.
And Shah Jahan was recklessly determined on building a monument in his
consort's loving memory that the world had never seen.
The dead body of the queen was brought to Agra and buried in a garden on
the banks of river Yamuna. A group of the finest architects was assembled to
devise a plan for erecting the tomb. Eventually, Ustad Isa, a Persian
architect, was called upon to design the structure. The master architect
along with his pupil Ustad Ahmad began the construction of the edifice. The
dome, however, was fashioned by Ismail Khan. A total of 20,000 labourers
from across the country and the world were employed to work for 22 years
continuously. Finest of the marbles were procured from the district of
Markana near Jodhpur. Precious and semi precious stones were brought from
far off places.
the mausoleum was provided with luxuriant furnishings. Persian carpets and
gold lamps embellished the interior of the Taj. Two silver gates, that were
set up at the entrance, were taken away by Suraj Mal in 1764. Amir Husein
Ali Khan looted the sheet of pearls that covered the stone coffins.
It is said, that after the completion of the construction, when emperor
Shah Jahan viewed the Taj, he ordered his men to cut off the right hand of
the master architect Ustad Isa, so the later may not be able to erect such a
stately and imposing edifice again in his life. There's another legend that
says Shah Jahan was contemplating to build yet another Taj Mahal across the
river in black marble.
Now, it's up to you how many more legends you can make yourself aware of
while on a trip to Agra, the city of the Taj. Get accompanied by a travel
guide and begin exploring the myths and legends, poring over the glorious
chapters of the history.