India is known for its rich culture, remarkable history and attractions. One of these attractions is the renowned Taj Mahal. Built in beauty and splendor, the Taj Mahal is known as the epitome of unending love; a love that knows no bounds. Get to know more about the majestic Taj Mahal as you read on and unveil the story behind this amazing structure.
Many people from across the globe visit this popular mausoleum to see and experience a true symbol of lifetime love and passion, but not all know the rich Taj Mahal history which made this famous landmark a one of a kind piece of historical structure.
The Origin of Taj Mahal
The history of this magnificent structure can be traced back to 1631 during the time of Shah Jahan, the emperor of the Mughal Empire’s period of greatest prosperity. The inspiration came after the death of Mumtaz Mahal, the third wife of Shah Jahan. Mumtaz Mahal’s death occurred upon giving birth to Gauhara Begum, the couple’s 14th child.
A year after her death, construction began. This is in memory of Mumtaz Mahal. The primary mausoleum along with the other buildings and garden surrounding it was completed in 1648. The Taj Mahal was completed in 1653. It took 22 years to build this remarkable mausoleum – 12 years to complete the mausoleum’s tomb and plinth and another 10 years to finish the enitre complex. 99 names of Allah were calligraphically written on Mumtaz Mahal’s tomb. The name Taj Mahal is translated as “Crown of the Palace” or “Crown Palace” in English.
During the construction, a large workforce was required in building the tomb. About 20,000 craftsmen and workers were needed to finish the whole structure. In fact, a number of elephants were also used to cart the materials needed in building this magnificent work of art.
Slaves, calligraphers, peasants, and workers worked hand in hand to finish the whole structure. About 28 types of semi-precious and precious stones were used to ornament the mausoleum. Indeed, the whole complex was built with sophistication and artistry.
Shah Jahan’s Sorrow
Shah Jahan’s heart was truly moved upon the death of his beloved wife. His expression of grief and sorrow is reflected on the white marble mausoleum. Not long after the mega structure’s completion, Shah Jahan was forcefully dethroned by his own son Aurangzeb. He was then put under house arrest near Agra Fort. Shah Jahan died and was buried right next to his wife in the mausoleum. Today, millions of visitors and tourists pay a visit to this wonderful mausoleum to witness how great their love was – even death did not set them apart.
Taj Mahal’s under Siege
In 1857 during the Indian rebellion, the Taj Mahal became a casualty. Some sections of the complex was destroyed as government officials and British soldiers chiseled out the lapis lazuli and other precious stones from its walls. Fragments of agate and carnelian from the flowers were also extracted.
The architecture of the great mausoleum was inspired by different design traditions such as Persian, Turkish and Indian. British architecture later came into the scene when the Taj Mahal was in dire need of reconstruction.
The Taj Mahal surely had tough times. It faced threat from German, Japanese and Pakistan air bombers during the time of wars in the 19th century. Nonetheless, it remains the crown jewel of Mughal architecture.
With the richness of Taj Mahal’s history, you will be enamored and inspired. Its existence has made a great mark not only in the history of India but also of the world. Also, the wonderful accomplishment in the field of architecture was recognized by UNESCO as they were officially made a World Heritage Site.
With its rich and amazing history, it is indeed true that the Taj Mahal has withstood the test of time. For the past decades, the Taj Mahal is still standing proud despite of everything it had gone through. Today, thousands and thousands of people visit this famous mausoleum to witness a great epitome of long-lasting love.