The Taj Mahal Reveals a Great Love Story
One of the most famous buildings in the entire world, the glorious Taj Mahal in India has been described as ‘a teardrop on the cheek of eternity.’ It’s known and recognized by people all over the world, even those who aren’t avid travelers.
How much do you know about the Taj Mahal? You’ve probably seen photos of the magnificent exterior, but are you aware of its inner beauty? Even more interesting, do you know about the love story that surrounds its creation? Read on to find out some amazing facts about the stunning palace that is the great Taj Mahal.
The incredible building has origins of fairy tale quality. Shah Jahan wanted to construct an emotional memorial for his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth to their 14th child in 1631. Legend says that the emperor was so incredibly heartbroken by her death that his hair turned gray virtually overnight.
Construction of the Taj began the following year. The main building is thought to have been built in eight years, but the whole complex was not finished until 1653.
Shah Jahan received a devastating blow shortly after completion of the Taj Mahal. His son Aurangzeb deposed him. Betrayed by his own flesh and blood, he was imprisoned in Agra Fort for the rest of his days, where he could only gaze out at the beautiful Taj Mahal through a small window.
Shah Jahan eventually came to a bittersweet ending. He died in 1666, and his body was buried alongside his beloved Mumtaz. So the two lovers were eventually reunited inside his incredible creation the Taj Mahal.
A group effort…
Of course, the project of constructing and building the Taj Mahal can’t be credited fully to Shah Jahan. In total, there were roughly 20,000 people from all over India and Central Asia who worked tirelessly on the building to make it to its exact specifications and design. In fact, specialists were even brought in from as far away as Europe to produce the exquisite marble screens and pietra dura (marble inlay work) made with thousands of semiprecious stones.
The incredible Taj Mahal was designated a World Heritage Site in 1983 and looks as immaculate today as when it was first constructed, proving it’s really standing the test of time. It underwent a huge restoration project in the early 20th century.
As far as love stories go, you’d be hard-pressed to find something more exquisite than the Taj Mahal as a representation of love. If you are lucky enough to visit the beautiful structure, take a moment to reminisce about its beginnings and the love that laid the foundation for the very building itself. Don’t forget to spare a thought for the late and great Shah Jahan who had a heart as big as the building itself.