Empress Mumtaz Mahal - The Reason why Taj Mahal Exists
Arjumand Banu Begum, prominently known as Mumtaz Mahal was born on April, 1593 to a Persian Noble Family. Her name signifies the "Cherished Jewel of the Palace." She was an Empress of India during the Moghul Dynasty. Her father was the sibling of Empress Nur Jahan, who was betrothed to ruler Jahangir. Religiously, she was a Shi'a Muslim.
Betrothed to Prince Khurram in 1607 AD at the young age of 14, she was wed five years after the engagement on May 10, 1612, a date chosen by the court soothsayers as the most helpful for guaranteeing a successful marriage to Prince Khurram, who later ascended to the Peacock Throne of India as the fifth Moghul Emperor and was famously known as ShahJahan I. She was his second wife, and turned into his most beloved of all.
After their wedding festivities, Khurram, discovering her in appearance and character, elect among all the women of that era, gave her the title of 'Mumtaz Mahal' Begum (The Chosen One of the Palace). The mediating years had seen Khurrum take on two other wives.
Mumtaz Mahal had a profound and cherishing marriage with ShahJahan. However, during her lifetime, artists would laud her magnificence, elegance and kindness. Mumtaz Mahal was ShahJahan's trusted partner, and travelled with him everywhere he went, across the Moghul Empire.
His trust in her was great to the point that he even gave her his supreme Imperial seal - the ‘Muhr Uzah’. Mumtaz was depicted as the ideal wife without any desires for political stature or power.
She likewise took delight in watching elephant battles performed for the court. It was entirely basic for ladies of honorable birth to commission engineering in the Moghul Empire. Mumtaz committed some of her time into having a riverside garden made in Agra and it might have been her love for this garden that incited the possible design of her monument.
In spite of her continuous pregnancies, Mumtaz went with ShahJahan's company all through his prior military battles. She was his consistent friend and trusted associate and their relationship was solemn.
Whence Mumtaz was pregnant with their fourteenth child, she was traveling with ShahJahan during his battling a crusade in the Deccan Plateau in Burhanpur, in the year 1631 AD. When they were in the Deccan (currently Madhya Pradesh), she was in labor and took her last breath after kicking the bucket while giving birth to their fourteenth child, a little princess named Gauhara Begum. Her body was briefly buried at Burhanpur in a walled garden known as Zainabad, which was initially built by ShahJahan's uncle Daniyal on the bank of the Tapti River. Her first grave still lies here.
As for ShahJahan, Burhanpur was never expected to be his beloved wife's last resting place. Therefore, her body was disinterred in December 1631 and transported in a brilliant coffin escorted by her child Shah Shuja and the head lady in waiting of the deceased Empress, back to Agra. There, she was buried in a small crest on the banks of the Yamuna River.
ShahJahan stayed behind in Burhanpur to close the military crusade that had initially brought him to the area. While there he started arranging the blueprint and development of a suitable sepulcher and funerary greenery enclosure in Agra for his beloved wife, an undertaking that would take over 22 years to finish - the Taj Mahal.
Today, the Taj stands as a definitive monument to love and reverence to her distinction and life.
The contemporary court writers paid an abnormal measure of thoughtfulness regarding Mumtaz Mahal's demise and ShahJahan's sadness at her death. In the prompt fallout of his mourning, the Emperor was apparently hopeless and completely devastated.
Clearly after her passing, ShahJahan went into detached grieving for a year. When he showed up, his hair had turned white. His back was twisted, and his face worn out. Since Mumtaz had kicked the bucket on a Wednesday, all celebrations were banned on that day. ShahJahan surrendered listening to music, wearing adornments or rich and bright garments and utilizing fragrances for a long time. His eldest daughter, Jahanara Begum, steadily brought him out of anguish and assumed the position of Mumtaz at court.
The Empress Mumtaz Mahal's own fortune esteemed at 10,000,000 rupees was divided by ShahJahan between Jahanara Begum, who got half, and the rest equally divided among her surviving children.
Promptly after the internment in Burhanpur, ShahJahan and the majestic court gave themselves to the design and plan of the sepulcher and garden in Agra, now known as the Taj Mahal or affectionately - The Taj!
Here are Quick Facts about Mumtaz Mahal
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