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Mumtaz Mahal

Mumtaz Mahal was the inspiration behind the construction of one of the most beautiful symbols of love, the Taj Mahal. She was born Arjumand Bano Begum in April 1593 in Agra. She was essentially a Persian and a devout Muslim. Shah Jahan fell in love with her at the first sight and he was hell bent on marrying her. After capturing the throne, Shah Jahan became the fifth Mughal emperor and immediately married her. Though a biography of Mumtaz Mahal does not quite exist, we try to provide some elements of Mumtaj Mahal life history.

It is said that her beauty was unparalleled. She had smooth and flawless milky white skin and was the object of poetry for many poets in the court of Shah Jahan. She proved to be a loving and caring wife to her husband. Though she was the second wife, she was his favorite. She accompanied him on his hunting expeditions and took part in all court proceedings, providing him with sound advice and encouraging him to perform acts of charity and compassion.

Together, they had fourteen children. They had lived together for 18 years. While accompanying him on one of his war expeditions, she died during childbirth. She extracted a promise from him that he would build something so exquisite in her memory that would be admired for all the times to come. He was devastated when Mumtaz Mahal died and went into seclusion and mourning for almost 2 years. It is said that when Shah Jahan finally emerged from mourning, his hair had become white. Such was the love of Mumtaz Mahal that inspired Shah Jahan to construct the most beautiful tombs of all.

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