The Taj Mahal history is essentially the tale of an emperor's undying love for his beloved queen. This magnificent edifice was erected by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his queen Mumtaz Mahal. Shah Jahan was the fifth ruler of the powerful Mughal Dynasty which held sway over vast swathes of India between sixteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Empress Mumtaz Mahal, also known as Arjumand Banu, was Shah Jahan's
second wife and apparently the one the emperor was most enamored of.
Queen Mumtaz too was devoted to her husband and accompanied him to most
of his military campaigns. In 1631 when Shah Jahan set out for an
expedition in Burhanpur to quell an uprising, Mumtaz decided to be a
part of the entourage despite being pregnant with their 14th child.
The hardships encountered during the campaign proved to be fatal for
Empress Mumtaz who breathed her last after giving birth to the baby,
Gauhara Begum. It was as if the world around Shah Jahan came crashing
down. The untimely demise of his most beloved queen shattered the
emperor and he went into a long phase of mourning.
Legend has it that in her dying hours, Mumtaz Mahal extracted a promise
from the emperor that after her death he would build for her a mausoleum
of such unsurpassed beauty that it would immortalize their love forever.
The emperor kept his word and channeled all the might of the empire into
building the magnificent Taj Mahal which has come to be known as the
eternal edifice of love.
Read for information on the history of Taj Mahal. Learn about the Taj Mahal India history.