Taking a Walk through the Historic Alley of the Taj!
The Taj Mahal of Agra is one of the World Heritage Sites and Seven Wonders of the World, for reasons more than its great design. It’s the historical backdrop of Taj that adds a spirit to its wonderfulness: a spirit that is loaded with affection, misfortune, regret, and love; all in one.
Had it not been for affection, the world would have been looted of a fine illustration whereupon individuals base their connections with. An illustration of how profoundly a man adored his wife that even after she remained a memory, he ensured that this memory would never fade away. This man was the Moghul Emperor ShahJahan, who was head-over-heels in love with his beloved Mumtaz Mahal, his dearest wife.
Mumtaz Mahal was a Muslim Persian Princess, named Arjumand Banu Begum before marriage, and ShahJahan was the child of the Moghul Emperor Jahangir and grandson of Emperor Akbar; all were great rulers of the Moghul Dynasty. It was at the delicate age of 14 that he met Mumtaz and set eyes on her. Henceforth, he never stopped starring and marveling at her beauty. He looked all starry eyed at her. Soon, they were betrothed to each other and after five years, in the year 1612 AD, they got married.
Mumtaz Mahal, an inseparable confidante and companion of ShahJahan, kicked the bucket in 1631, while bringing forth their fourteenth child. It was in the memory of his darling wife that ShahJahan fabricated an eminent monument as a tribute to her, which we today know as the "Taj Mahal". The development of Taj began in the year 1631. Bricklayers, stonecutters, inlayers, carvers, painters, calligraphers, vault builders and different artisans were commissioned from the entire realm and furthermore from Central Asia and Iran, and it took around 22 years to assemble what we see today as the Taj – an embodiment of affection. Close to 22,000 workers and 1,000 elephants were used to construct the Taj. The monument was fabricated totally out of a single white marble, of which the major chunk was specially ordered from Rajasthan, and a few were acquired from other parts of India and Central Asia. After spending close to 32 million rupees, the Taj was at last finished in the year 1653.
It was not long after the consummation of the Taj that ShahJahan was taken into house arrest by his own child, Aurangzeb, and was imprisoned at a residence close to the Agra Fort. ShahJahan himself lies buried in this catacomb alongside his wife. Moving further down the history, it was toward the end of the nineteenth century that British Viceroy Lord Curzon requested a sweeping rebuilding project, which was finished in 1908, as a measure to restore what was lost during the Indian Sepoy Mutiny of 1857.
The Taj was flawed by British fighters and government authorities who likewise denied the monument of its perfect excellence by etching out precious stones and lapis lazuli from its walls. Likewise, the British style gardens that we see today, which add to the excellence of the Taj, were rebuilt around the same time. Despite prevailing controversies, threats from World War II, dangers from the Indo-Pak war and present-day climate conditions and pollution, this embodiment of adoration and beauty persistent to sparkle and pull in individuals from every corner of the globe to marvel in its extraordinary simplicity.