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History of Taj Mahal

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The Mughal Monarch Shah Jahan ruled from 1628 to 1658 and was married to Arjumand Bano Begum in 1612 A.D. He later changed his wife’s name- Mumtaz Mahal or Crown of the Palace, because she was so valuable to him. Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal had 14 children and she accompanied Shah Jahan everywhere, even on battlefield.

An incident took place at one of these campaigns, in Burhanpur in central India that Mumtaz Mahal died in 1631 due to some complications, while giving birth to their last (14th) child. Her last wish to Shah Jahan was that he should"construct a tomb in her memory such as the world had never seen before." So the initiative of the Taj Mahal begins with Mumtaz Mahal's sad end.

Shah Jahan satisfied her last wish, building the most beautiful mausoleum the world had ever seen. It took 22 years in completion of the Taj Mahal. A large number of labor force of 20,000 workers led by Muhammed Hanif, the chief of the masons and the Persian architect Ustad Isa or Ustad Ahmad Lahauri, were employed in its construction. Completed in 1648, the Taj Mahal cost the Mughal revenue of 32 million rupees. In the praise of Taj Mahal poet Sir Edwin Arnold described it-"Not a piece of architecture, as other buildings are, but the proud passions of an emperor's love wrought in living stones."

Shah Jahan was imprisoned in-house by his son Aurangzeb. He spent the last time of his life under house arrest in the Agra Fort. He used to spend his time looking across the Yamuna River at the beautiful tomb he had built for his beloved empress, waiting for the day they could be united again. During the last time of Shah Jahan in 1666, when he was on his deathbed, his last wish was to be kept at window facing the Taj Mahal, to murmur again the name of his lifelong love. After Shah Jahan's death in 1666 A.D., he too was laid to rest beside his beloved Mumtaz Mahal. Their actual tombs are in a vault of the Taj Mahal. The two lavishly decorated tombs on the ground floor, sheltered by the dome of the Taj Mahal are part of the stylistic design of this beautiful monument in Agra India. The history of the Taj Mahal is the history of the committed love of a Mughal Emperor for his Queen.