The story of love between Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal is famous in the History of India.
In 1612, Prince Khurram (Shah Jahan) was married to Arjumand Bano Begum (Mumtaz Mahal). At the time of marriage, Mumtaz Mahal was only nineteen and was younger to Shah Jahan by two years.
Shah Jahan bestowed upon her greatest degree of love because of her unusual charm, sincerity and pleasing manners.
Queen Mumtaz Mahal was noted for her many fine accomplishments and her sincere sympathy for the poor and distressed. She was empress Noorjahan’s daughter-in-law. Mumtaz Mahal possessed divine charm and extraordinary gift of common sense and intelligence. Mumtaz Mahal had major say in the administration during the reign of Shah Jahan. She was the chief adviser to Shahjahan and the seal of authority was always in her possession.
On Jahangir‘s death Prince Khurram ascended to the throne in 1627 and was named Shah Jahan. Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan conferred the title of Mumtaz Mahal on Arjumand Bano Begum. This beautiful and mentally alert lady stood by Shah Jahan even during the tough times. She continued to be a faithful and beloved assistant to Shah Jahan even for those eight long years when Shah Jahan was made to quit the empire by his father and was truly homeless. This goes to exemplify her sterling character that she was not only a beautiful and efficient lady, but was also a fully dedicated housewife.
Mumtaz Mahal spent 18 years of married life with Shah Jahan. During this period she solved many an administrative problems and gave a good account of her presence of mind. She was also popular for her social welfare activities. She did a good job for the widows and the orphans. She was regarded a good refuge for all those who were really distressed and poor.
Mumtaz Mahal gave birth to 14 children. She fell seriously ill at the time of her fourteenth delivery. At that time Shah Jahan was engaged in a war. Every effort was made to save Mumtaz Mahal but to no avail. At last, thinking her end to be closer, she transferred the responsibility of Shah Jahan’s care to her elder daughter, Jahanara Begum. Shahjahan gave a word to erect a befitting memorial for her, the beauty of which would continue to be cherished in the world for ages. Mumtaz Mahal died thereafter leaving Shah Jahan alone and sulking for the rest of his life.
Soon after the death of Mumtaz Mahal, Shah Jahan announced a memorial to be erected in loving memory of his queen. And finally Taj Mahal was built. Taj Mahal is a symbol of love between Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal.
Shah Jahan could hardly bear this grievous personal loss and began to decline. In utter agony he gave up the royal dress and started wearing white clothes. He was now no longer interested in the Durbar and other related Royal functions.
During his old age, Shah Jahan was kept as prisoner by his son, Aurangzeb. It is said that there was an excellent view of Taj Mahal from the prison cell and Shah Jaha used to sit and look at Taj Mahal for hours. After the death of Shah Jahan, his dead body was buried beside Mumtaz in the Taj Mahal. Thus, he joined his beloved from whom he had long been separated for more than 36 years.