The Love Story
Prince Khurram (aka Shah Jahan), Mughal crown price, was our Hero,
The heroine was Arjumand, grand-daughter of the Empire’s CFO
You may imagine, between them, a cute, love-at-first-sight story
But this is India, ladies and g’men, we do arranged marriages only!
Married in 1612, Arjumand and Khurram’s love knew bounds none
As his favourite wife, she was titled Mumtaz Mahal (the Palace’s chosen one)!
Since he loved no one as much, he had many, many children by her
One child every 16 months? Mumtaz was one heck of a mother!
In her 14th pregnancy though, tragedy struck the couple loving
Mumtaz passed away; leaving a distraught, heart-broken king
For two years he mourned, his hair turned grey, dress a white gown
An uncle admonished him ‘Mumtaz is in paradise, time to move on’
But deep in his mourful heart, a monumental idea took birth
For his beloved Mumtaz, he would bring Paradise down here on earth.
A marble dream takes shape
One of the richest rulers was building a memorial for his dearest spouse,
He could’ve gotten the world’s best architect; but there was one inhouse
A gifted architect, Shah Jahan supervised and changed designs on his own
The world’s greatest monument took shape, brick by brick, stone by stone
For his beloved it would be only the best: marble – pristine, pure, white
Enhanced by a striking technique – pietra dura – it makes for a stunning sight!
One overarching design theme across the monument is made to stick
It was: ‘Ensuring Paradise Is Certain’ (for Mumtaz); in short, EPIC!
What happened Next
‘Move on’ an uncle had said and Shah Jahan later did so (literally)
Five years after the Taj was built, he moved his capital from Agra to Delhi
A majestic Fort Palace was built – The Red Fort (as it is now known)
Luxury, riches, entertainment – it was a good lifestyle to own
Until a tragic (and yes, embarrassing) incident occurred in 1657, September
And then Shah Jahan was overthrown and imprisoned in an Agra Fort chamber
What was that incident? Had Shah Jahan ‘moved on’ too far?
Would Mumtaz be waiting in heaven with flowers (or with a crowbar)?
In short, was that immortal love story all that it was cracked up to be?
For answers to all these questions, take the Taj Mahal CaptivaTour: its free!
Shah Jahan and Mumtaz: Sourced from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Shah_Jahan_and_Mumtaz_Mahal.jpg; See page for author [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Rest own pic