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Love Story of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal

The epitome which transcends and debunks the modern day romanticizations of love at every point.

"The world believes it was built by love but reading Shah Jahan’s own words on the Taj, one could say it was grief that built the Taj Mahal and it was sorrow that saw it through sixteen years till completion." – Aysha Taryam

Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal Love Story

We all know that Taj Mahal is nothing short of the epitomized love of love, a symbol of purity, adoration and eternity, which unlike the modern day romanticization transcends all the narrowly conceived boundaries of love and emerges as something glorifiable.  

Who was Shah Jahn?

The prince Shahabuddin Muhammad Khurram was born to Emperor Jahangir and the Hindu Mother Jodhabai in the year 1592. He had the title name as Shahjahan later which signifies the “Emperor of the world”.

He was born in a dynasty which served him with quite a lot on the platter. A proficient in academics, theology and warfare, he was the grandson of none other than ‘Badshah Akbar’. He was the person who built TajMahal for his wife Begum Mumtaz Mahal as the symbol of their Love.

Suggested Plan : Sunrise Taj Mahal Tour

For Shah Jahan it was love at first sight!

Once, as usual, taking a stroll through the celebrated Meena bazaar of the Agra Fort, he had a glimpse of a beautiful Persian girl hawking the handicrafts and jewelry.

The first sight of this paragon of beauty ignited a sense of love feeling in him. So, it's right, Begum Mumtaz mahal was the love at first sight of Shah Jahan & Taj Mahal become the unforgettable symbol of their love story.

Maritalization of the bond

Love enamored prince could not have slept for a couple of days and enquired about the whereabouts of the Persian chit, he came to know that this girl is no one else but the niece of his step mother-Noor-Jahan and the daughter of Asaf Khan.

Thus the story of amour started in the year 1607 when both of them were almost 15 years of age. With the due cause of time, this passion of fondness multiplied in both the hearts and finally 5 years later the betrothal the marriage of them was solemnized.

Thus both of them were yoked together in the legal marriage bond in 1612 and started living together like a pair of swans.

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Dark Phase in Mughal History

However, this period did not last long and was overtaken by the dark phase in the Mughal history, when Dara was declared as successor by Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb was fumed in the longing for power, and amidst this there came a time when Shah Jahan was confronted by Khan-i-Jahan Lodi, which compelled Shah Jahan to lead an expedition South and was accompanied by the pregnant Lady Mumtaz who had turned quite feeble by this time.

Last days of Begum Mumtaz Mahal

After defeating Lodi, Shah Jahan started spending most of his time with Mumtaz Mahal who was turning weak day by day. Once Mumtaz craved for having apples and a Sufi hermit brought the same and warned him of a man with black eyes and white skin, although Shah Jahan ignored it but later on it was his son, Aurangzeb with the same physical disposition who captured him.

Also Read: Why Taj Mahal is a must visit in a life ?

Mumtaz Mahal and Her last born

Mumtaz Mahal in her tent was  surrounded by the expert midwives and physician. Jahan-Ara her elder daughter and sat-ul-Nisa, her selected maid is standing close to her. Shahjahan is outside the camp and waiting for the good news.

After groaning for 35 hours with labor pain, she gives birth to a daughter Gohar- ara. On the cursed day of 17th June 1631, Shahjahan sitting close to Mumtaz Mahal puts her head on him and caves her with tears in his eyes. He murmurs and prays to Allah; perceiving that she is on the brink of collapse.

What are the three promises of Begum Mumtaz Mahal?

Before dying Mumtaz Mahal asks Shah Jahan to promise her 3 things:-

  1. 1. He will take good care of children and subjects.
  2. 2. He will never marry again.
  3. 3. He will build a monumental manifestation of their love.

Epitomization of Love

As Burhanpur is 800km away from the Mughal capital Taj Mahal, Mumtaz was entombed there for the time being and later Shah Jahan erected the tomb in Taj Mahal, which was built between 1631 and 1648 by order of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan.

Shah Jahan is the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage and an indelible tear on the cheek of time, which commemorated what being truly in love means.

It is something which mesmerizes even the ones who visit it on regular basis.


Lastly we can say that Taj Mahal isn’t just a piece of architecture, rather every stone, every single piece of stone embedded in the mammoth structure, even single grain of grass dancing in the lawns is symbolic of the pervasive freshness that continues to linger through the Taj Mahal, and every ounce of sunlight falling on the cascade reflects the warmth that Shah Jahan held for his beloved Mumtaz.

There love isn’t over it is written with indelible ink on the road to history. It is a revelation and a lesson for all those who end up shackling love in the dynamics of time and location.