Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal

Grieving emperor who built the Taj Mahal for his late wife

In 1612, a teenage girl, Arjumand Banu, married 15-year-old Shah Jahan, ruler of the Mughal Empire. Renamed Mumtaz Mahal, she bore Shah Jahan 14 children and became his favorite wife. After Mumtaz died in 1629, the grieving emperor resolved to create a fitting monument.

It took 20,000 workers and 1,000 elephants nearly 20 years to complete this monumentthe Taj Mahal.

Built of white marble, the Taj sits on a sandstone platform. A 137-foot high dome tops the mausoleum. The interior is lavishly decorated in lapis lazuli, turquoise, agate, jasper, and colored marble. The exterior is paved with semiprecious stones that sparkle in the sun. The surrounding garden contains four water channels representing the four rivers of Islamic paradise.

Shah Jahan was never able to complete a black marble mausoleum he planned for himself. Deposed by his son, Shah Jahan was imprisoned in the Red Fort of Agra, and spent lonely hours staring across the Jamuna River at the monument to his beloved queen. He was eventually buried beside her in the Taj Mahal.


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    Love, romance and relationship quotes for your soul

    • 'Bitterness imprisons life; love releases it. Bitterness paralyzes life; love empowers it. Bitterness sours life; love sweetens it. Bitterness sickens life; love heals it. Bitterness blinds life; love anoints its eyes.'
      ~ Harry Emerson Fosdick
    • 'To keep your marriage brimming,
      With love in the loving cup,
      Whenever youre wrong, admit it;
      Whenever youre right, shut up.'
      ~ Ogden Nash
    • 'I have been astonished that men could die martyrs for their religion - I have shudder'd at it. I shudder no more.
      I could be martyr'd for my religion. Love is my religion.
      And I could die for that. I could die for you.'
      ~ John Keats
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