Posted on January 29, 2012
Prince Khurram ascended the throne of the Mughal Empire, in 1627, at the age of 35. In 1607, he was engaged to Arjunamand Bano Begum, and married her in 1612. She died in 1631, giving birth to their 14th child. She was temporarily buried in two locations, before she was finally shifted to her final burial spot at the Taj Mahal.
Prince Khurram is known to the world as Shah Jahan, or King of the World. The lady is known as Mumtaz Mahal, or Jewel of the Palace.
The Taj was constructed between 1631 and 1635. It is said that 22,000 worked on it, and the sum spent on it was 22 crores.
It is built, using the Mughal octagonal design, representing the 8 divisions of the Koran. Shah Jahan was an able ruler, and a builder of great buildings, gardens and palaces. His legacy has been left behind largely in Agra, Delhi and Lahore.
Yet, for all his great accomplishments, somehow, he could not resolve life between his four sons. Ultimately, his younger son, Aurangzeb prevailed. He had his elder brothers killed, and ascended the throne. In 1657, he declared his father incompetent to rule, and had him imprisoned in the Red Fort at Agra.
In 1666, Shah Jahan fell ill, and died. His son refused to see his father, and to have him properly taken care of. The body of Shah Jahan was quietly buried in the Taj, next to his beloved wife. The stories we have heard, is that as he died, he looked across the river Yamuna, from his room in the Red Fort, to the Taj, where his wife was buried. He was to join her soon.
Posted on January 21, 2012
Itmad ud Daulaf, or Etmad Ud Daulah, if you pronounce it the way we do in Hindi, is the place where the parents of Nur Jehan were buried. The photograph above is the entrance to the main tomb enclosure and the gardens. The tomb has been built on the left bank of the Yamuna, which you can see as you walk to the gardens at the back.
Jehangir was the son of Akbar, and the fourth of the great Mughal Emperors. He ruled for 22 years, from the death of his father. Those were troubled times indeed, much like our own. Soon after Jehangir came to power, one of his sons wanted to overthrow him. The son was defeated, and blinded by his father. The fifth Sikh Guru, Guru Angad, who aided the young fellow, was tortured for five days, and then he disappeared.
Many years later, another young fellow, who later called himself Shah Jehan, murdered his brother, to ensure that there would be no opposition to his own accession to the throne.
Jehangir was a highly tolerant king, barring the Sikhs, and he had a highly elevated sense of justice. His twentieth wife, (and this shows he had stamina!), was Nur Jehan. She was by far his favourite, and as he increasingly battled his addiction to opium and alcohol, she became the real power behind the throne.
Mirza Ghiyas Beg, Nur Jehan’s father came from Persia. He was received by Akbar and rose quickly. He was an important official in Jehangir’s court, and was the grandfather of Mumtaz Mahal, who is the inspiration behind the Taj. In that sense, we can credit Mirza Ghiyas Beg for two of the more famous tombs in India.
Posted on January 8, 2012
Posted on January 7, 2012
Posted on January 1, 2012
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