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Agra

In Agra, India, the capital of the Mughal Empire, a tourist attraction is Taj Mahal, which is probably the most photographed  building in the world.

 

As a sign of his great love of Shah Jahan, the Taj was in the 17th Century as a mausoleum for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal built, which at the birth of her 14th Child had died. More than 20,000 artisans and various architects worked 17 years at this masterpiece of Indo-Islamic architecture in white marble and inlaid with many precious and semiprecious stones. Because of the perfect harmony of its proportions, it is considered one of the most beautiful and important examples of the Mughal style in Islamic architecture.

On the opposite bank of the Yamuna River, a few kilometers away from the Taj, Agra is the second attraction: the Red Fort, a fortress and palace complex of about the same historical period. Akbar the Great, who preferred the red sandstone from Rajasthan, moved 1565 with the construction of the Red Fort, the capital from Delhi to Agra. His successor, Shah Jahan, the fortress in the first half of the 17th Century expanded. He was fond of white marble with ornaments made ​​of glass and semi-precious stones, and gave his new palace buildings inside the forts their magical touch.

Both buildings, the Taj and Red Fort are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

0 6 1014 03 June, 2012 Visiting Asia, Visiting Other June 3, 2012

6 comments

  1. avatar
    Rei

    So beautiful! Especially the first building, so beautiful *____* I’d love to visit it and I like the water and the way those trees are arranged *__*

    Reply
        1. avatar
          Post author
          Sailor Rishi

          Male Protagonist: Shah Jahan (Prince Khurram)
          Female Protagonist: Mumtaz Mahal (Arjumand Banu Begum)

          Taj Mahal, the magnificent monument that stands at the heart of India has a story that has been melting the hearts of millions of listeners since the time Taj has been visible. A story, that although ended back in 1631, continues to live on in the form of Taj and is considered a living example of eternal love. It’s the love story of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal, two people from the course of history who set an example for the people living in present and the future to come. An English poet, Sir Edwin Arnold best describes it as “Not a piece of architecture, as other buildings are, but the proud passion of an emperor’s love wrought in living stones.” The story that follows next will prove why the statement is true.

          Shah Jahan, initially named Prince Khurram, was born in the year 1592. He was the son of Jehangir, the fourth Mughal emperor of India and the grandson of Akbar the Great. In 1607 when strolling down the Meena Bazaar, accompanied by a string of fawning courtiers, Shah Jahan caught a glimpse of a girl hawking silk and glass beads. It was love at first sight and the girl was Mumtaz Mahal, who was known as Arjumand Banu Begum at that time. At that time, he was 14 years old and she, a Muslim Persian princess, was 15. After meeting her, Shah Jahan went back to his father and declared that he wanted to marry her. The match got solemnized after five years i.e., in the year 1612.

          It was in the year 1628 that Shah Jahan became the Emperor and entrusted Arjumand Banu with the royal seal. He also bestowed her with the title of Mumtaz Mahal, meaning the “Jewel of the Palace”. Though Shah Jahan had other wives also, but, Mumtaz Mahal was his favorite and accompanied him everywhere, even on military campaigns. In the year 1631, when Mumtaz Mahal was giving birth to their 14th child, she died due to some complications. While Mumtaz was on her deathbed, Shah Jahan promised her that he would never remarry and will build the richest mausoleum over her grave.

          It is said that Shah Jahan was so heartbroken after her death that he ordered the court into mourning for two years. Sometime after her death, Shah Jahan undertook the task of erecting the world’s most beautiful monument in the memory of his beloved. It took 22 years and the labor of 22,000 workers to construct the monument. When Shah Jahan died in 1666, his body was placed in a tomb next to the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal. This magnificent monument came to be known as “Taj Mahal” and now counts amongst the Seven Wonders of the World. This is the true story of the Taj Mahal of India, which has mesmerized many people with its bewitching beauty.
          (origin text taken from the Taj Mahal Love story)

          Reply

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