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Taj Mahal , copyright Picturejockey : Navin Harish 2005-2012

16th August 2012

Taj Mahal

Fourteen kids in seventeen years is a pretty impressive achievement. This is what Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal did and when Mumtaz died delivering the 14th kid, Shaj Jahan was devastated. To immortalize his love for his wife, he spent about Rs.32 Million and 20 years in building Taj Mahal, which is essentially a place where he wanted to bury his wife. The other end of the family relations and affection spectrum was his son Aurangzeb who was not happy with his father Shah Jahan's succession plan and imprisoned his own father to become the king.

Another contrast is the legacy of Aurangzeb which includes, apart from barbaric slaughter of Hindus, making caps himself and selling them to collect money for his grave. His wish was to be buried in a simple grave, not covered in marble or having any other decoration or at least this is what the guide told me at his grave in Aurangabad. However his wife has a mausoleum built for her which takes inspiration from Taj Mahal and though is not as impressive as Taj Mahal, it still is a fairly impressive structure. It is called Bibi ka Maqbara and was made by Aurangzeb's son Mughal Prince Azam Shah for his mother Rabia Durrani (the first wife of Aurangzeb).

Although it is not confirmed but it is said that Shah Jahan cut the hands of all the people involved in making of Taj Mahal to prevent them from making something like Taj Mahal ever again. If it was indeed true imagine how they must have felt when they saw Bibi ka Maqbara.