Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Taj Mahal built as a monument to love

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted

1631 [Sources differ as to date.] While on a campaign with her husband (Shah Jahan, Mughal Emperor of India), Mumtaz Mahal (born Arjumand Banu Begam), died.

The Taj Mahal, described by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore as "a tear on the face of eternity", is often said to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, and is her tomb. The grand Taj Mahal stands as a monument to the love of a man for a woman.

As she lay on her deathbed, it is said that Mumtaz whispered to Jahan a dying wish for him to build a monument that would express the beauty of their love for each other. Stricken with grief, Shah Jahan remained indoors for a week; when he emerged his hair had turned white, his back was now bent, and his face lined with despair. He ordered his entire kingdom into mourning for the next two years, and it is said he was inconsolable to the point of contemplating abdication in favour of his sons.

Some believe the great building was designed by Geronimo Verroneo, an Italian in service to the Mughal (Moghul) Empire, and certainly many European craftsmen were among the 20,000 workers who worked on the tomb, bringing with them Renaissance skill and vision – not that the Moghul culture was lacking in either skill or vision. Craftsmen from as far as Turkey came to join in the work ...

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