A visit to the Taj Mahal is worthless unless you are familiar with the history of this monument. Known as the undying symbol of love, the origin and history of Taj Mahal goes back to the early 17th Century. This wonderful piece of art in white marble was built by the fifth Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. Though Shah Jahan had many wives, Mumtaz Mahal was his favorite wife. She was not only a companion in good and bad times but also a sound advisor to her husband. Read on further to know about Taj Mahal history.
In the year 1612, Prince Khurram (Shah Jahan's name) married a
beautiful Persian princess Arjumand Bano. She proved to be his better
half and never left her husband's side in any situation. She even
followed him on his military expeditions and hunting journeys. She gave
him so much love that Shah Jahan was motivated to lead life in a
benevolent and compassionate way. He regularly donated money and other
necessities to charities and made sure that people in his kingdom never
had a complaint.
While accompanying Shah Jahan on one of his camps, Mumtaz Mahal
breathed her last while giving birth to their 14th child. Shah Jahan was
devastated and was so heart broken that he locked himself up in a room
for two years. The whole court and empire went into mourning when Mumtaz
Mahal died. It is said that when Shah Jahan finally emerged after two
years of mourning, his hair had turned white. Shah Jahan was determined
on building the most beautiful monument as a symbol of his undying love
for his wife. Thus began the construction of the Taj Mahal.
A council of the finest architects from across continents was appointed
to design the Taj Mahal. The chief architect for building the monument
was a Persian by the name of Ustad Isa. He alongwith his devoted pupil,
Ustad Ahmed started the construction of this monument. Though the credit
of designing the monument goes to Ustad Isa, the dome was designed and
decorated ornately by Ismail Khan. A workforce of around 20,000
craftsmen from across the country was employed and it took a period of
around 22 years to build the monument. When the monument was finally
built, the grave of Mumtaz Mahal was shifted to the grave chamber in the
lower part of Taj Mahal.