“…the thing seemed full of sorrow—the
sorrow of the man who built it for the woman he loved…the
Taj flushed in the sunlight and was beautiful, after the beauty
of a woman who has done no wrong.” (Rudyard Kipling, From
Sea to Sea, 1887)
Legend recounts that at sixteen, future Mogul emperor Shah Jahan
fell in love with Mumtaz Mahal at first sight. Five years later
they were wed, and in nineteen years of marriage, Mumtaz ruled
with him almost as an equal. She died in childbirth in 1631.
He was grief-stricken but determined to build what is perhaps
the finest monument to the love shared by two human beings.