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Home » Taj Mahal Tourism » About Mumtaz Mahal

About Mumtaz Mahal

Taj Mahal

The story of Taj Mahal is inseparable from the life of Mumtaz Mahal who was the chief queen of Shahjahan. Prince Khurram, as Shahjahan was known before he became the Mughal emperor, was a handsome twenty-year-old man, when he was betrothed to Mumtaz. It is said that the imperial capital of Agra was agog with the description of her beauty at the time of the betrothal. The maiden name of Mumtaz Mahal was Arjumand Banu Begum. Prince Khurram had been married twice before he met and married Mumtaz Mahal. Mumtaz bore him 13 children and accompanied him wherever he went.

On June 17, 1631 Mumtaz Mahal breathed her last after delivering her 14th child, at the age of 39. Saddened by her sudden demise, Shahjahan resolved to immortalize their love. It is said that Mumtaz Mahal on her deathbed had herself asked her husband to create a symbol of their love for posterity. Shahjahan is said to have accepted her proposal and resolved to do so. According to another school of thought however, no such conversation transpired between the two and the grief stricken emperor decided to build the Taj Mahal to immortalize the memory of his beloved queen, on his own. Either, way the Taj remains as whimsical in conception as it is majestic in construction. Before the construction of Taj Mahal began, Mumtaz Mahal was given a temporary burial in the Zainabadi garden in Burhanpur for a period of six months, before the body was exhumed and brought to Agra, for the final burial.

Taj Mahal is a monument of love. Taj is the pride of India. The story behind Taj Mahal is also as beautiful as the monument. It is the love story of a prince and a beauty girl that turned into a legend.

Arjumand Banu a shopkeeper was sitting at her shop in Meena Bazar, the private market attached to the harem, when Prince Khurram saw her for the first time. He saw a piece of glass at her shop and asked for it's worth she replied that it is a diamond and not glass. The prince picked up the piece of glass and gave her rupees ten thousand (an amount she boldly said that he could not afford).

Next day the prince went to emperor Shah Jahan to seek his permission to marry Arjumaand Banu. Emperor Jahangir gave the permission at once but it took five years for him to marry his beloved. Meanwhile he was married to a Persian Princess Quandari Begum due to some political reasons.

On an auspicious day, 1612 they tied the knot. It was a grand wedding. It was a perfect match; she was inseparable from Khurram and even accompanied her when he went to fight wars.

Emperor Jahangir entitled Prince Khurram as 'Shah Jahan' And when he became emperor he entitled his wife as Mumtaz Mahal 'the chosen one of the palace'. Mumtaz was very compassionate, generous and demure. She was also involved in administrative work. She continually interacted on behalf of petitioners and gave allowances to widows. She is said to have enjoyed the spectacle of man in combat with animals.

In 1630 Mumtaz Mahal died in childbirth. Before dieing she extracted a promise from Shah Jahan that after her death he would build the most beautiful building of the world as a tribute to their love.

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