Mumtaz Mahal died in 1631. She was the favorite wife of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and her tomb the Taj Mahal is thought to have been built to reflect her beauty in its perfection of design. Mumtaz was the mother of 14 of Shah Jahan’s children which were all born during an 18 year period. Shah loved Mumtaz so much that she accompanied him on his military excursions which included defeating the Rajput chiefs. She died at the age of 38 shortly after giving birth to the 14th child while living in a military camp in Burhanpur.
Following Mumtaz’s death Shah entered a long period of mourning observing Islamic rituals for the dead but reducing his military activities and forsaking the symbols of status such as jewelry, perfume or music for two years. Six months after her death with the military campaign over Shah returned to Agra. Mumtaz’s body was brought home and a site selected for her tomb on the banks of the Yamuna. Twelve years later Shah was living an opulent life in Delhi which he was laying out as the new capital when he became ill. His three remaining sons realizing that the throne was soon to become available argued and conspired among themselves for succession. Victorious, Shah’s son Aurangzeb chased his brothers around the country to remove their threat to the throne and exiled his father to the luxurious apartments at the Agra Fort where Shah spent the next 8 years of his life gazing on the Taj Mahal while enjoying every luxury apart from freedom.
|The view Shah Jahan "enjoyed" of the mausoleum for 8 yrs. prior to his death|
|The apartments where Shah Jahan was confined|