The magnificent Taj Mahal is a mausoleum made of white marble that was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for his loving wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal, which is located near Agra, India, on the southern bank of the Yamuna River, took 22 years to build and was ultimately completed in 1653. Spouse, Shan Jahan’s construction of the Taj Mahal was an expression of his unwavering devotion to his departed lover. However, in this blog, we are going to learn about the complete Taj Mahal history.
Complete Taj Mahal History
The Love Story
Prince Khurram, as he was known at the time, was sixteen years old. He flitted about the royal bazaar flirting with the females working the booths who were from prominent families. At one of these booths, Prince Khurram met Arjumand Banu Begum, a 15-year-old girl whose aunt was married to Prince Khurram’s father and whose father was soon to become the prime minister.
Despite the fact that they fell in love immediately, they could not get married right away. First, Prince Khurram had to wed Kandahari Begum. Prince Khurram wed his lover, whom he named Mumtaz Mahal (“chosen one of the palace”), on March 27, 1612. Mumtaz Mahal was gorgeous, as well as intelligent and kind. Mumtaz Mahal would be killed by the birth of the 14th child.
The Death of Mumtaz Mahal
Mumtaz Mahal, who was heavily pregnant, remained by Shah Jahan’s side as usual.
She gave birth to a healthy baby girl in a lavishly furnished tent in the heart of the camp on June 16, 1631. Mumtaz Mahal passed away in her husband’s arms early on June 17, barely one day after the birth of their daughter. According to reports, On the note of Taj Mahal history, Shah Jahan went to his tent and sobbed nonstop for eight days as a result of his distress.
Bringing Mumtaz Mahal Home
After the dispute with Khan Jahan Lodi was settled, Shah Jahan asked that Mumtaz Mahal’s body be dug up and carried 435 miles (or 700 kilometers) to Agra in December 1631. Thousands of troops carried her body back in a magnificent parade, and mourners lined the streets to see her.
Mumtaz Mahal’s remains were momentarily interred on land given by the nobility Raja Jai Singh when they arrived at Agra on January 8, 1632. This was not far from the site of the Taj Mahal.
Plans for the Taj Mahal
In his sadness, Shah Jahan invested all of his might into creating a lavish mausoleum that would surpass all others and put them to shame. The fact that it was the first sizable mausoleum devoted to a woman added to its distinction.
Although the Taj Mahal’s original architect is unknown, it is assumed that Shah Jahan, who had a passion for architecture, worked on the plans personally with the assistance of some of the top architects of the day. The Taj Mahal, known as “the crown of the region,” was meant to stand in for Jannah, or Heaven, on Earth. Shah Jahan spent all available resources to make this happen.
Building the Taj Mahal
To increase output, an estimated 20,000 laborers were brought in and housed close by at Mumtazabad, a town made especially for them. Prior to beginning construction on the massive, 624-foot-long plinth or base, workers laid the foundation. This would serve as the foundation for the Taj Mahal structure and the mosque and guest house buildings that would border it in red sandstone. The Taj Mahal was to be an octagonal edifice made of brick coated with marble, sitting on a second plinth. The construction workers built a scaffolding in order to build higher, as is typical for most big projects. Historians are still baffled by their strange selection of bricks for this construction.
The Taj Mahal’s use of white marble is one of its most notable and observable features. At Makrana, 200 kilometers away, the marble was quarried. According to reports, to bring the enormous marble to the construction site, 1,000 elephants and an unknown number of oxen were needed.
The gigantic marble pieces were able to reach the Taj Mahal’s higher regions thanks to a lengthy, 10-mile-long earthen ramp. The Taj Mahal is topped by a huge 240-foot-tall double-shelled dome constructed of white marble. Four tall, slender white marble minarets stand at each corner of the second plinth, surrounding the tomb.
Calligraphy and Inlaid Flowers
The mosque, guest house, and large entrance gate are calligraphed with passages from the Quran or Koran, the Islamic holy book, near the southern end of the compound. The master calligrapher Amanat Khan, whom Shah Jahan hired, was the author of these inlaid poems. The 22 verses from the Quran are said to have been individually chosen by Amanat Khan.
In Taj Mahal history, It’s interesting to note that Shah Jahan only permitted Amanat Khan to sign his work on the Taj Mahal. Nearly as impressive as the calligraphy are the lovely inlaid flowers that can be seen all over the Taj Mahal complex. Intricate floral designs were carved into the white marble using a process called Parchin Kari, and these designs were then inlaid with precious and semi-precious stones to produce intertwined vines and flowers.
In Islam, paradise is represented as a garden. So the Taj Mahal’s garden played a crucial role in creating Heaven on Earth.
The garden of the Taj Mahal comprises four quadrants and is located to the south of the mausoleum. These are divided by four “rivers” of water, which are another significant Islamic representation of Paradise and congregate in the middle of it. The Yamuna River refilled the gardens and waterways through a sophisticated underground water system. Sadly, there are no records left to identify the precise plants in these gardens.
Shah Jahan’s Death
Aurangzeb, the fourth son of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan, took advantage of this chance to assassinate his father and jail his three older brothers. Shah Jahan was deposed in 1658 and imprisoned in the opulent Red Fort in Agra after reigning for 30 years. Shah Jahan spent the last eight years of his life staring from a window at the Taj Mahal, unable to move but still enjoying most of his customary comforts. On January 22, 1666, Shah Jahan passed away. Aurangzeb arranged for his father to be buried next to Mumtaz Mahal in the vault beneath the Taj Mahal. Mumtaz Mahal is the owner of the one in the room’s center, while Shah Jahan is the owner of the one to the west.
Destruction of the Taj Mahal
On the note of Taj Mahal history, Jahan had the means to finance the Taj Mahal and its enormous maintenance requirements, but as the Mughal Empire lost its income over the years, the Taj Mahal began to deteriorate.
By the 1800s, the British had driven the Mughals from India and taken control. The British chipped gemstones from the Taj Mahal’s walls stole silver candlesticks and doors and even tried to sell the white marble abroad because of how beautiful it was. Lord Curzon, the British viceroy in charge of India, initiated this. Curzon strove to restore the Taj Mahal rather than plunder it.
The Taj Mahal Now
With 2.5 million visitors a year, the Taj Mahal has once again become a spectacular location. Visitors can go during the day and observe how the white marble seems to change color during the day. Visitors have the chance to stop by for a quick visit once a month during a full moon to witness how the Taj Mahal appears to shine from the inside out in the moonlight.
UNESCO included the Taj Mahal in its World Heritage List in 1983, but this designation hasn’t ensured its security. It is currently vulnerable to air pollution from surrounding companies and high levels of humidity brought on by those who visit.