A Symbol of Eternal Love: Taj Mahal

A symbol of eternal love, Taj is one of the most famous and beautiful buildings in the world. Mughal emperor Shah Jahan built Taj in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. In 1631, Mumtaz Mahal, died during the birth of their 14th child, Gauhara Begum, when Shah Jahan was on an expedition to the south and, like always, Mumtaz Mahal accompanied him. When Mumtaz Mahal died, she was just 39 years old. She was emperor's beloved wife and also Shah Jahan's trusted companion, travelling with him all over the Mugal Empire.

Shah Jahan initially known as Prince Khurram met Persian Princes ‘Arjumand Banu’ and fell in love with her. After five years, in 1612, they got married. In 1628, Shah Jahan became emperor and he bestowed her with title ‘Mumtaj Mahal’ meaning ‘Jewel of Palace’


With its white shining marble, the Taj is actually one of the most iconic sites in India as well in the world.
With its white shining marble, the Taj is actually one of the most iconic sites in India as well in the world.

On death of Mumtaj, Emperor was so heartbroken that he ordered the court into mourning for two years. Sometime after her death, Shah Jahan decided to erect the world's most beautiful monument in the memory of his beloved. Before she passed, she had her husband promise to build something unique in her memory.

Taj Mahal stands in the city of Agra, in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, on the banks of the Yamuna River. It took 22 years and the labor of 22,000 workers to construct the monument, which is also said to be the last wish of Mumtaz Mahal.

Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan
Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan
Mumtaj Mahal
Mumtaj Mahal

Built as the ultimate expression of love, Taj remained a fascination for many poets and lovers.

Here are lines, from a very beautiful song written by Shakeel Badayuni:

"Ek Shahanshaah Ne Banavaa Ke Hasi.N Taajamahal
Saarii Duniyaa Ko Muhabbat Kii Nishaanii Dii Hai"

(In having the beautiful Taj Mahal built, an emperor has given the whole world a token of love"

Rabindranath Tagore described Taj as "a teardrop on the cheeks of time".

Emperor Shah Jahan himself described the Taj in these words:

Should guilty seek asylum here,
Like one pardoned, he becomes free from sin.
Should a sinner make his way to this mansion,
All his past sins are to be washed away.
The sight of this mansion creates sorrowing sighs;
And the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes.
In this world this edifice has been made;
To display thereby the creator's glory.

It is best described by the English poet, Sir Edwin Arnold, as "Not a piece of architecture, as other buildings are, but the proud passions of an emperor’s love wrought in living stones."

Located in Agra, once the capital of Mughal Empire during 16th and early 18th century, Taj is centre of pilgrimage. Tourists from all over the world visit Agra to see Taj. It is 125 km in south of New Delhi, capital of India. Travelling through road route takes you approx 4 hours to reach Agra from Delhi. There are regular luxury bus and coach services between Delhi and Agra. If you catch a flight from Delhi to Agra, in just 30 minutes you find yourself at the Kheria Airport of Agra, 7 km from the city centre and 3 km from the railway station.

There are different entrance gates to visit Taj. Main entrance gate is made of red sandstone. It is 150 ft. wide and nearly 100 ft. high and consists of a lofty central arch with double storeyed wings on either side. The whole courtyard of Taj is framed in symmetrical. The only asymmetrical object in the Taj is the casket of the emperor, which was built beside the queen’s as an afterthought. The symmetry of the structure is there even in the flowerbeds and the small gardens dotting the place.

The real tragic part of love story lies in final years of Shah Jahan. When he was 65, his son Aurangzeb imprisoned him in Red Fort at Agra and became the successor of the throne. While he was in prison, he some how managed to have a gaze at Taj from the grill of prison.

Surrounded by beautiful gardens and fountains Taj attracts you to see the ultimate beauty designed in stones. A green carpet of garden runs from the main gate to the foot of the Taj Mahal. According to the holy Koran, a garden is symbolic of paradise.

Close up View of Taj Mahal: One of the most beautiful monuments of the world
Close up View of Taj Mahal: One of the most beautiful monuments of the world
Taj Mahal as it look from Red Fort, where Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb
Taj Mahal as it look from Red Fort, where Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb
Stunning more than I ever expected.
Stunning more than I ever expected.

I visited Taj while my recent visit to Delhi on 23rd of February. I went Delhi to receive Bhawana who was coming from Australia and we planned visiting Agra before coming back to our place. It was all time fascination for me to be there and breath in air touching Taj. Beauty of Taj has everything to create lifelong impressions on everybody's mind. I still feel all vibrations; I felt being over there. Though it was very short visit, we really enjoyed being there. Our 'guide boy' described all details related with Taj. The size of the monument looked huge as we entered, but as we approached it, it just receded to its actual size. This is called geometric illusion.

Very interestingly, Taj changes colors with changing daylight. It is built to reflect the sky so it is pinkish in the morning, milky white in the evening and golden by moonlight. As the day turns to night and sun completes its journey and moon comes to heal the world, Taj becomes a mystery in itself. You may even forget to breathe or blink wondering it to be real or some illusion. Changing colors of Taj are said to signify the changing moods of a woman.

Impressed by flawless beauty of Taj, I wish to visit Taj again and again. Long live Taj and long live feelings of undying love, it is made for.

Article is written in 2011, so dates mentioned regarding my visit to Taj belongs to 2011

Taj Mahal: Music of Ancient India

© 2011 Jaspal Singh

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Comments 36 comments

Bhanu.Jas profile image

Bhanu.Jas 5 years ago from Australia

Jaspal this monument is symbol of love and beleieve in eternity.And ur writng for this shows ur love for a heavenly abode.good luck.


shampa sadhya profile image

shampa sadhya 5 years ago from NEW DELHI, INDIA

History students will definitely benefit from the minute details mentioned in your hub.

Other than history, this hub deals with "love monument" and quite naturally it's ought to be beautiful.


Jaspals profile image

Jaspals 5 years ago from India / Australia Author

Dear Bhawana. Thanks for appreciating this hub. We visited this monument of Love together.


Jaspals profile image

Jaspals 5 years ago from India / Australia Author

Dear Shampa Sadhya. Thanks a lot for your words. You are right. This monument belongs to feeling of undying love, so it has to be beautiful.Thanks for reading Hub.


ParadiseForever profile image

ParadiseForever 5 years ago from Chennai, India.

Very minute historical details of Taj are very elaborate and unique. Great informative hub. Even though I am Indian, no chance of visiting this wonderful Love Monument so far. Keep writing!


sonia05 profile image

sonia05 5 years ago from india

great hub! We have admired Taj Mahal right from our childhood and feel proud that this majestic and beautiful monument which is symbol of love,is in our country! voted up awesome!


Aamna Aamad profile image

Aamna Aamad 5 years ago from Pakistan

Jaspal please correct me if i am wrong anywhere, what i have heard is Shah Jahan (then Prince Khurram) fell in love with her at the first sight. It was in 1607 that she was betrothed to Prince Khurram and soon became the unquestionable love of his life. Five years later in 1612, their marriage was solemnized and from then on, started one of the most popular love stories of the world. Although she was one of the three wives of Shah Jahan.she died in 1631, while giving birth to their 14th child and soon after her death shah jahan married her younger sister.

no doubt there is no alternate for taj mahal but love was only in building a monument, i don't find love throughout her biography, third wife, fourteenth child and marrying her sister.

what do u say?


Jaspals profile image

Jaspals 5 years ago from India / Australia Author

@Aamna Aamad. Thanks for adding your comments. Today, the Taj Mahal stands as the ultimate monument to love, and an homage to beauty of Mumtaj. She was Emperor's third wife and was his favorite. She was his constant companion and trusted confidante, and their relationship was intense.Although he was having two other wives and Mumtaj was third wife, he was having all attachments with Mumtaj only. According to the official court chronicler, Motamid Khan (as recorded in his Iqbal Namah-e-Jahangiri), the relationship with his other wives "had nothing more than the status of marriage".


Aamna Aamad profile image

Aamna Aamad 5 years ago from Pakistan

And jaspal dear i agree with the statements that she was dearer then the other two wives but what about the fourth wife? mumtaz's sister, did he marry her so that he could memorize her as mumtaz :-)

these kings were not aware of what love is dear me


Jaspals profile image

Jaspals 5 years ago from India / Australia Author

Dear Aamna. I never know this fact. Even tried to find this but nothing authentic is available. If you have some information, you are welcome to share. I appreciate your interest here in topic.


Jaspals profile image

Jaspals 5 years ago from India / Australia Author

@Aamna Aamad. History is a subject we always get mixed and distorted views. Even then if some controversy arises, we should rely only on authentic source. Information taken from personal blogs without some authentic reference can't be taken to make some final verdict. Let't try to find more authentic source. I am also working on same. Be in touch to find TRUTH. Jaspal


Aamna Aamad profile image

Aamna Aamad 5 years ago from Pakistan

For sure i will keep searching coz this has ended up in confusion


saffim 5 years ago from Nigeria

I agree with you the Taj is definitely one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. It looks like it was just lowered from the sky rather than built. I hope to visit it someday.

Nice hub!


Jaspals profile image

Jaspals 5 years ago from India / Australia Author

@Saffim. Thanks for adding your valuable comments. The beauty of this astronishing monument is such that the words are not sufficient for its description. Standing majestically on the bank of River Yamuna, Taj Mahal is a second name of love and romance. This great structure is made up of pure white marble and red sandstone, with 28 types of precious stones.


Mandeep Singh sachdev 5 years ago

Jaspal the hidden talent of yours I never knew . Keep it up and keep me posted.


lovaza 5 years ago

What fascinating monument for a beloved one! I always marvel its beauty and hope one day to visit...right now it's in my dreams. Thank you for sharing about the Taj Mahal. :)


Jaspals profile image

Jaspals 5 years ago from India / Australia Author

@ Lovaza. I wish your dream come true very soon. You are welcome to visit TAJ. Thanks for your VALUABLE comment.


chanroth profile image

chanroth 5 years ago from California, USA

This is fascinating! I never knew about this, very interesting! Thank you! :)I would wish to go there someday!


Jaspals profile image

Jaspals 5 years ago from India / Australia Author

@Chanroth. Taj is really a wonderful monument. You must see it some time. Thanks for your comment.


upal19 profile image

upal19 5 years ago from Dhaka

World people are divided into two groups-one has visited The Taj and the other hasn't. I'm in the second group. I wish some day I'll visit the wonderful monument in Agra. Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures.


professionalhub profile image

professionalhub 5 years ago from Pakistan

No doubt Taj Mehal is very beautiful.But we should not forget the dark side of it. It was constructed by using the money of poor people.The hands of all the masons were cut off soon after the completion of Taj Mehal so that they could not be able to built such a wonderful Mehal again.I don't believe that a person who love somebody is so cruel to other people


dilipchandra12 profile image

dilipchandra12 5 years ago from India

Beautiful Hub Jaspals.... Taj is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world and a symbol for love :)


Angelladywriter profile image

Angelladywriter 5 years ago from Media, Pennsylvania

Jaspals, you write beautiful hubs full of information and history. Keep up the good work. These are places I will probably never get to travel to. It is encouraging to see your professional looking photos and interesting information.


Jaspals profile image

Jaspals 4 years ago from India / Australia Author

@angelladywriter. Thanks for your valuable and encouraging comments. Taj, surely, deserves your visit once and more.


Jaspals profile image

Jaspals 4 years ago from India / Australia Author

@DilipChandra. Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder! But in regard to Taj Mahal, the axiom is just the other way round.The Taj is the beauty personified! The Taj displays its different moods through its varied shades. The Taj has as many shades as any kind of beauty can ever have! The Taj is pinkish in the morning, milky white in the evening, golden when the moon shines and the intermediary variants during different hours of the day and during different seasons in a year. It certainly belongs to Lovers.


Ruchira profile image

Ruchira 4 years ago from United States

A beautiful monument indeed. I got the opportunity to see this couple of years back. Wonderful write up.


Jaspals profile image

Jaspals 4 years ago from India / Australia Author

Dear Ruchira. Thanks for reading and adding your valuable comments. Taj Mahal is one of the best preserved and definitely one of the greatest man-made structures in the world. It is widely considered as one of the most beautiful buildings in the world and stands as a symbol of eternal love.


jainismus profile image

jainismus 4 years ago from Pune, India

Jaspals,

It is a great Hub. Thank you for sharing it. Voted up and shared with my followers and facebook friends.


Angela Kane profile image

Angela Kane 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

Very good hub and information, thank you. I voted it up and useful.


dinkan53 profile image

dinkan53 4 years ago from India

@Jaspals Beautiful pictures and interesting article. Please take care of the spelling of the heading, I think it is Taj Mahal and not Mehal. Rated as interesting.


sen.sush23 profile image

sen.sush23 4 years ago from Kolkata, India

Jaspal, Taj is something that probably the Indians fantasize about and the foreign tourists consider as the one tourist spot on their map of 'must visit'. I have been several times to the Taj,and Agra is one of my favorite cities. The beauty of Taj to me is in the stupendous ability of science and engineering that is displayed in this monument, combined with the playfulness and aesthetic excellence, that only a very Romantic and creative person can visualize. As the actual designer of the Taj is not known, the praise cannot be bestowed where it belongs; but the Mogul emperors, particularly Akbar onwards were men who were not just the 'conqueror emperors' as the rest in the world. These men did have a strong sense of pure beauty and grandeur; that has been our inheritance.

Also, if you will allow me, I will like to tell @Aamna Aamad that the sense of Romantic love, as we understand it today, is a very western concept. Love in the eastern and the Mediterranean was a Divine feeling, mostly ascribed to religion or institution or guru or parent and for the Procreator, in whatever form we were thinking of him. Judging the love of Shah Jahan and Mumtaj by our standards may not be very appropriate, the historical perspective needs to be there. If a man today was to dedicate a mausoleum to his third wife who died in childbirth due to negligence of the husband would definitely not be applauded. Jaspal, the Hub has been value added by the two videos and I hope people will take some time out to listen and view both to get the ambiance you have tried to create. Well written and voted up- interesting and beautiful.


pinto2011 profile image

pinto2011 4 years ago from New Delhi, India

You have rekindled the passion inside me to visit this masterpiece again. I have visited this place eight times and would like to visit it at least 92 more times to make it a 100.


rahul0324 profile image

rahul0324 4 years ago from Gurgaon, India

A great hub and an amazing tribute to the world's most prized possession according to me..

Great work Sir!


Rusti Mccollum profile image

Rusti Mccollum 4 years ago from Lake Oswego, Oregon

I just read an article about Princess Diana, she was pictured sitting in front of it. i couldn't help but be amazed by the beauty of it. I would like to see it someday for real. Thankyou for explaining the meaning of it and why it is there. It truly is spectacular ,as was your article on it!


Jaspals profile image

Jaspals 4 years ago from India / Australia Author

Dear Rusti. Thanks for reading and adding your appreciating words. Your words are really valuable. Thanks again.


sunilkunnoth2012 profile image

sunilkunnoth2012 2 years ago from Calicut (Kozhikode, South India)

Good one. Informative and prompting to make a visit there. Though I went to Delhi and nearby place, I've never been to this beautiful monument of India. But surely, it is my target and I will land here in the near future. Taj Mahal is one of the seven wonders of the world, and everyone especially, we the Indians should at least visit the beauty spot once in our life time. Thank you for sharing.

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