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Mumtaz Mahal

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Mumtaz Mahal : The Pristine Beauty

Arjumand Banu was the daughter of Asaf Khan, the brother of the emperor Jahangir's consort, Noorjahan. Exquisitely pretty she stole the heart of Emperor Shahjahan. Shahjahan was besotted with Arjumand’s beauty and asked for her hand in marriage.

A Royal Marriage
The astrologers chose 1612 as auspicious for Khurranb's union with Arjumand. By now he was 20, and she, 19. It was a grand wedding, as befits an Emperor's son. Jahangir and Khurram went in procession, surrounded by nobles, musicians and dancers, acrobats, rare animals in cages, slaves and priests. Jahangir himself adorned Khurram with the wedding wreath of pearls. On the bride, he bestowed great honours.

Mumtaz Mahal
The Bond
Arjumand is described as compassionate, generous and demure. Court poets woud celebrate her beauty saying the moon hid in shame before her. She was inseparable from Khurram and often accompanied him with an entourage when he went to fight wars. In her 19 years of marriage, she bore him 14 children, 7 of whom died in infancy.
Mumtaz Mahal
The Inevitable Separation
Mumtaz Mahal died in childbirth in 1630 ib the Deccan where she had gone accompanying Shah Jahan as he went to war with Khan Jahanb Lodi. As she lay on her death bed, it is said that she whispered to him to build for her a monument that would symbolize the beauty of their love. For a week Shah Jahan remained behind closed doors. When he emerged his hair had turned white, his back was bent, his face worn with despair. The entire kingdom was ordered into mourning for two years.

Mumtaz MahalTribute To Love
As a tribute to a beautiful woman and as a monument to enduring love, the Taj reveals its subtleties at leisure. The rectangular base of Taj is in itself symbolic of the different sides from which to view a beautiful woman. The main gate is like a veil to a woman's face which should be lifted delicately, gently and without haste on the wedding night. Shah Jahan surely had his chaste and exquisite bride in mind when he planned the Taj Mahal.

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