You Are At: AllSands Home > Travel > Places > The Taj Mahal of India
A hundred miles east of Delhi in Northern India stands the city of Agra and within this city can be found perhaps the greatest architectural monument to the love of a man for his wife that has ever been created. Designed by a Turkish architect, the building is made of white marble. It stands as a monument to the love of Shah Jahan for his favorite wife Mumtaz Mahal who died in 1631. The building took 20 years to complete and required some 20,000 workers.

The monument has a distinctly Muslim feel to it with its slender minarets that rise to a height of 133 feet. The outside walls are also decorated with texts from the Quran. The courtyard features a beautifully serene pool which gives the scene an air of peace and serenity. his peacefulness, however, belies the violent history that is embodied in this most costly of Tombstones – the Taj Mahal.

Events began to unfold in 1611 when Emperor Jahingar marries his childhood sweetheart – after having her husband murdered. To consolidate her position, the new Empress soon arranged for the marriage of her niece to one of the Emperor’s sons – Prince Khurram. For the next five years the dashing Prince was involved in warfare- fighting for his country. Throughout this dangerous time, his wife was never far from his side. Thus they lived a adventurous and dangerous existence.

Prince Khurram proved, however, to be both an ambitious and a ruthless man. On his return from war he set about eliminating his royal rivals, and he assumed the throne in 1628. His ever faithful bride, Arjumand Banu, now became the Empress. Prince Khurram, never known for his modesty, assumed the title Shah Jahan – King of the World – while the Empress was conferred the Royal name Mumtaz Mahal – Chosen of the Palace.Yet, despite the heights to which they had ascended the royal couple still involved themselves directly in the battle campaigns of their nation. In fact, while pregnant with her 14th child, Mumatz Mahal was encamped with her husband’s army regiment to suppress a revolt in the area of Burhampar. It was here that the Empress died while giving birth to her daughter in June, 1631.

The Shah was totally grief stricken at the loss of his life’s companion. For two years he remained in a state of dark melancholy. After this time he poured his grief into plans for an unequalled monument to his Queen. Assembling international experts in architecture and building, he oversaw the construction of a wooden model that was made to his exacting requirements.

No expense was spared in the mammoth construction project. Gold, jasper, diamond, jade, crystral, turquoise, sapphires and coral from around the world were furnished to decorate the inlay work of the building. The Taj Mahal’s furnishings were just as lavish. Exquisite Persian carpets, a tapestry of pearls, and a screen and oil lamps in pure gold.The Cronw of the Palace – Taj Mahal – was finally completed in 1648. For 350 years, then, this marvel in marble has stood as a monument to a King’s undying love for his Queen. – a love that gave rise to a magnificent memorial.