The Taj Mahal
Meet the Taj Mahal
It wasn't an easy build
The Taj Mahal was built by Shah Jahan (1592-1666), the fifth Emperor of India, in memory of his late wife Ajumand Banu. Ajumand was Shah's favorite wife and therefor renamed her Mumtaz Mahal meaning "the chosen one of the palace." They fell deeply in love and as a sign of her loyalty she bore him 14 children and died in childbirth.
Shah mourned for two years before deciding to build a palace in her honor. According to Islamic culture, a woman who dies in childbirth is a martyr; her barial place is holy and must be attained justly. (A martyr is someone who dies because of their religious beliefs.) To comply with this Shah traded four of his properties in exchange for this one piece of land.
If you've ever seen a traditional palace like those in fairy tales, think again. The Taj Mahal is exactly the opposite. The palace sparkles in the sunlight with all the gems imbeaded in its white walls. It's well known as the white domed mausoleum, but it is a intricately built structure. People today still think its archicictural beauty has never been surpassed. Comments have been made like, "elegy in marble" and, "architecturly beautiful."
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