Mumtaz Mahal - Life history

Mumtaz Mahal in one word can be described as an inspiration; an inspiration for Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan to erect the breathtakingly beautiful memorial, Taj Mahal.

Mumtaz Mahalwas born to Abdul Hasan Asaf Khan in 1593 and was a princess from Persian nobility. Her immaculate beauty impressed Khurram, who later came to be known as Shah Jahan and both were married in 1612. In love with her brilliance and beauty, Shah Jahan bestowed her with the highest honour of the land,’ Mehr Uzaz’ and named her as Mumtaz Mahal, which meant the Jewel of the Palace in Persian language.

Mumtaz Mahal was the third wife of Emperor Shah Jahan but was nearest to the king. From military fields to hunting campaigns, Mumtaz Mahal always accompanied Shah Jahan; she was no less than a friend, philosopher and guide to the emperor. Unlike her mother-in-law, Nur Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal had no inclination towards political power and was a happy wife and counsellor to her husband. Some passions of her own included watching elephants, combat fights and loved nurturing gardens. She was gentle and compassionate and always in help for the poor and needy.

Mumtaz Mahal left for abode in 1631. She was on a journey with Shah Jahan at the Deccan Plateau, where a war was going on between the Mughals and the local kings. She died giving birth to her 14th child and the king was completely devastated. Mumtaz Mahal was temporarily buried in Burhanpur but was later shifted to Taj Mahal, at Agra. After the demise of his beloved, Shah Jahan decided to commemorate Mumtaz Mahal by building an incomparable memorial. Shah Jahan spent 22 years in building the memorial and the hard work of 22000 workers gave birth to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, Taj Mahal.

Taj Mahal is a gift of love with silver entrances, gold leaved designs, engraved with semi-precious stones, with floral paintings and motifs. The four by four lush gardens encircling Taj Mahal portrays the love of the queen for gardens while the River Yamuna ripples by, narrating the saga of eternal love. Taj Mahal is henceforth known as the memorial of love and couples folk to Agra to rekindle their love, sitting in front of the white edifice on moonlight nights.

Taj Mahal was named after Mumtaz Mahal; Taj being the short form of Mumtaz. This white beauty changes colour with every phase of the day and as per folklore, every changing colour exhibits the changing moods of the empress. Taj Mahal is pink under the soft glow of the sunrise, while it glitters like gold under the afternoon sun and Taj is a shining pearl at the backdrop of the blue skyline on full moon nights.

Hence, spend this vacation with your special ones, exploring the famous love story of Emperor Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal at Taj Mahal. The evening light and sound show held at Agra unfolds the colours of love of the duo; the show is known by the name of Mohabbat, meaning love in Hindi.

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