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By Way of History………..

February 7, 2009

The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum located in Agra, India, built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Shah Jahan was married to 4 women – but only Mumtaz Mahal had any children. She died when she was giving birth to their 14th child. His name was Gauhara Begum. He survived the birth, even though his mother did not, and lived for 75 years.

Shah Jahan was so devastated by the death of his wife that he ordered the construction of the Taj Mahal as a place to bury her. It took 20,000 people working every day for 22 years to complete the Taj. Shah Jahan also started building a mausoleum across from the Taj Mahal for himself. It was to be built in all black stones. However, his son stopped him from finishing that project.

Soon after the Taj Mahal’s completion, Shah Jahan was arrested by his son. Aurangzeb imprisoned his father in the Red Fort in a chamber with a view of the Taj Mahal. When Shah Jahan died his daughter buried him in the Taj Mahal near his wife.

Emperor Shah Jahan himself described the Taj in these words:

Should guilty seek asylum here,
Like one pardoned, he becomes free from sin.
Should a sinner make his way to this mansion,
All his past sins are to be washed away.
The sight of this mansion creates sorrowing sighs;
And the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes.
In this world this edifice has been made;
To display thereby the creator’s glory.

(Much of this information came from Wikipedia.)

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Mukunthan permalink
    April 14, 2010 3:28 am

    Hey, there’s a small correction. It’s not the Red Fort.
    Red Fort is in Delhi.
    Whilst, Shah Jahan was imprisoned in Agra Fort which is in Agra, a few miles from the Taj. From here, through a window, he was able to keep the Taj within his sight.
    Though, both/ all the three were constructed by Shah Jahan only. So, he’ll forgive you and wiki too… 🙂

  2. February 16, 2009 7:23 am

    Rizwan – that was the history that I have read and what was told to us by our guide – I am sure there are several versions of the story with the truth somewhere in between

  3. Rizwan Ullah Khan permalink
    February 16, 2009 6:56 am

    I do not agree, he was arrested. He was in his own Palace and free to see the going on construction from there. Because of age and illness use to stay in his chamber.

  4. February 8, 2009 10:01 pm

    Nugo – thanks – I checked out your blog too – your daughter has quite the toothbrush. Welcome!

  5. February 8, 2009 9:33 pm

    Josie – you will see

    Loco – he thought he was wasting away his inheritance – and no worries on the mistakes – how many times do I repeat myself to you?

    Lola – it is really a tremendous love story.

  6. February 8, 2009 8:32 pm

    I did not know that!

  7. February 8, 2009 7:03 pm

    I wonder why his son had him arrested, I meant to say…
    geez I hate not being able to edit my comments. i always find mistakes even after I’ve checked it twice. Like some kind of comment blind spot

  8. February 8, 2009 7:00 pm

    I wonder why would his son had him arrested…children, whatchagonnado. Can you imagine one of your lovely children locking you up for building a temple to your Husband number 1? All is fair in love, stevie wonder sang. (-:

  9. February 8, 2009 1:43 pm

    i am a total stranger but i absolutely LOVE [and admittedly ENVY] this adventure your family is on. what a gift to your children!

  10. February 8, 2009 7:45 am

    Thanks for the history lesson! Great and very interesting. What prompted it?


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