Taj Mahal History :: The Taj Mahal is one of the best mausoleums ever built. It is a monument made of ivory-white marble located in Agra (Uttar Pradesh). It has made India proud many times by making it a place among the seven wonders of the world. Millions of tourists are attracted by its beauty and majesty. The Taj Mahal history has its own inspiration and an interesting story behind its construction.
Taj Mahal Story – History of Taj Mahal
In the sixteenth century, this mausoleum was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (son of the Mughal emperor Jahangir) as a tribute to his wife Mumtaz Mahal after her death.
Shah Jahan married a Persian princess, Mumtaz Mahal, at the age of 14. He had many wives, but he was very much in love with Mumtaz. Mumtaz was known for her beauty.
Mumtaz Mahal was a Persian princess. She was the daughter of Abdul Hasan Asaf Khan. She was born in Agra in 1593 and met the future young Mughal emperor while he was still Prince Khurram. Khurram was captivated by the magic of its beauty and got engaged to her in 1607.
The wedding was celebrated 5 years later in 1612. From there began one of the greatest love stories we know, although she was one of Shah Jahan’s three wives (already married twice), her favorite. They even named her Mumtaz Mahal, which means “Jewel of the Palace”. Her real name was Marjumand Banu Begum.
Throughout her life, Mumtaz Mahal was very close to her husband. He was his trusted companion and traveled with him throughout the Mughal Empire, not with his two other wives, Akbarabadi Mahal and Kandhari Mahal, with whom the emperor had simpler, less passionate relationships. , In addition, it is believed that he had great influence on political power, playing the role of an informal advisor, and secretly enjoying the warlike struggle of the Empire’s militias.
Mumtaz Mahal passed away::
In 1630 Mumtaz Mahal accompanied Shah Jahan to the Deccan Plateau where a military campaign was going on. Little did he know that this would be his last journey. A baby girl (later named Jahanara) Mumtaz Mahal passed away on June 17, 1631, after unfortunately giving birth to her 14th child. And at the time of his death he was buried in Burhanpur.
But this tomb was temporary, it was the one that was decided by Shah Jahan, who, devastated by grief, made his wife a tomb as beautiful as his love for her. He took 22 years in this task and partially ruined the treasury of the Mughals, but the matter lived up to his expectations. Then the Taj Mahal was born.
Full History of Taj Mahal
Shah Jahan’s last wish was to have a palace built as an essence of his infinite love. This was the year when Shah Jahan started the construction of the monument for his beloved wife. Then it was necessary to choose an architect. To make sure there were no mistakes, Shah Jahan hired not one but nine builders who worked together.
Architect of Taj Mahal:
History has not left much information about the builders of the monument, but “Ustad Ahmad Lahori” is probably the chief architect, who was in regular contact with Shah Jahan and understood his wishes. It was Ustad Ahmad Lahori, an Indian of Persian origin who was later credited with designing the Red Fort in Delhi. Construction began around 1632 and continued for the next two decades.
More than 20,000 workers, along with about 1,000 elephants from India, Persia, Europe and the Ottoman Empire, were brought in to build the Taj Mahal’s mausoleum complex.
Design and construction of Taj Mahal
Named the Taj Mahal in honor of Mumtaz Mahal, the mausoleum was constructed from a white marble lattice with precious stones (jade, crystal, lapis lazuli, sapphire and turquoise) known as pietra dura.
Its central dome reaches a height of 240 feet (73 m) and is surrounded by standing minarets at all four corners. At the arched entrance to the tomb, some verses from the Quran were inscribed in calligraphy.
Inside the tomb, an octagonal marble chamber decorated with carvings and precious stones is the fake tomb of Mumtaz Mahal. The original grave, containing his original remains, is placed below on the level of the garden.
After the creation of the work area and the organization of the construction site, the main tasks were the elevation of the northern roof and the construction of the mausoleum. The rest of the complex was built up a little later, especially in the gardens and the inner courtyard.
The inscriptions on the south gate, and in particular the various signatures of Abd-ul-Haq that were engraved on the inscriptions in the buildings, indicate that this door was started before the end of the mausoleum and ended after that.
Shah Jahan intended to build a second grand mausoleum across the Yamuna River from the Taj Mahal, where his own remains would be buried when he died; The two structures were to be connected by a bridge.
In fact, Aurangzeb (Shah Jahan’s third son along with Mumtaz Mahal) arrested his ailing father in 1658 and took power himself. Shah Jahan spent the last years of his life under house arrest in the Agra Fort (where he had built a royal resting place for his wife); When he died in 1666, he was buried next to her.
British Supremacy – Taj Mahal Information
In 1857, the British Empire took control of India. This was the result of an Indian rebellion in the country, which was put down by the colonialist. During this year, the Taj Mahal goes through difficulties as it was dismantled by the British to extract the precious stones given in the monument. Some precious stones have been unearthed, but we know little about the extent of the damage and its repair.
The British ruled a part of their cultures without much regard for existing traditions and religions. He did not consider the Taj Mahal to be a representation of heaven, but to him it was only a garden like others. He did what was previously unimaginable. He made substantial repairs to the monument.
It was later initiated by the Governor-General of India from 1899 to 1905 by Lord George Curzon. This eccentric man directed the restoration works of the Taj Mahal which were completed after his departure in 1908.
They were successful in removing a large proportion of trees, plants and flowers to create a perfectly arranged square lawn, a so-called “French Garden”. If the result is spectacular, it no longer corresponds to the origin of the project.
Also, at the end of the British Raj, Indians did not recreate the original garden but only preserved the lawns, which can still be seen today.
Wars of the 20th Century – Taj Mahal Information
Every country wanted to attack this great country which makes Taj Mahal a privileged target. They were ready to destroy this monument, to symbolically injure the country. That is why it was covered repeatedly during the 20th century. For the first time, scaffolding was installed in 1942 along with the Taj Mahal.
The idea was to protect the wood around the dome to hide it from aerial view, so as not to make it an easy target to attack. At that time the enemy of the Taj Mahal was the Luftwaffe aircraft. Before the end of the war, Japan also tried to target the Taj Mahal.
They were still used between 1965 and 1971 during the Indo-Pakistani War. In 2001, another crisis broke out between these two neighboring countries. The defenses of the Taj Mahal were further strengthened, and it was decided to cover it with a large khaki canvas to prevent it from being attacked.
Taj Mahal Today | taj mahal today
Today, about 3 million people a year (or about 45,000 a day during the tourist season) visit the Taj Mahal.
Air pollution from nearby factories and automobiles became a constant threat to the mausoleum’s shiny white marble façade, and in 1998, the Supreme Court of India ordered a number of anti-pollution measures to prevent the building from deteriorating. gave. Some factories were closed, while vehicular movement was restricted in the immediate vicinity of the complex.
Controversy over Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal History – The original name of the Taj Mahal was Tejo Mahalaya, which was built in 1155 AD as an ancient Shiva temple. This controversy has been going on for a long time, which you can read more about here.