Mumtaj Mahal

Mumtāz Mahal (April, 1593 - 17 June 1631) ( ممتاز محل; pronounced ; meaning "beloved ornament of the palace") मुमताज़ महल is the common nickname of Arjumand Banu Begum, an Empress of India during the Mughal Dynasty. She was born in Agra, India.Her father was the Persian noble Abdul Hasan Asaf Khan, the brother of Empress Nur Jehan.She was married at the age of 19, on 10 May 1612, to Prince Khurram, who would later ascend the Peacock Throne as Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan I.

She was his third wife, and became his favorite. She died in Burhanpur in the Deccan (now in Madhya Pradesh) during the birth of their fourteenth child, a daughter named Gauhara Begum. Her body remained at Burhanpur for 23 years until the Taj was completed. Only then was her coffin shifted to Agra. Her body was then buried in the Taj Mahal in Agra.

In 1607 AD (1016 AH), Prince Khurram was betrothed to Arjumand Banu Begum, who was just 14 years old at the time. She would become the unquestioned love of his life. They would however, have to wait five years before they were married in 1612 AD (1021 AH), on a date selected by the court astrologers as most conducive to ensuring a happy marriage. After their wedding celebrations, Khurram "finding her in appearance and character elect among all the women of the time", gave her the title 'Mumtaz Mahal' Begum.

Mumtaz Mahal had a very deep and loving marriage with Shah Jahan.His trust in her was so great that he even gave her his imperial seal, the Muhr Uzah. Mumtaz was portrayed as the perfect wife with no aspirations to political power in contrast to Nur Jehan, the wife of Jahangir who had wielded considerable influence in the previous reign

Mumtaz died in Burhanpur in 1631 AD (1040 AH), while giving birth to their fourteenth child. She had been accompanying her husband whilst he was fighting a campaign in the Deccan Plateau. Her body was temporarily buried at Burhanpur in a walled pleasure garden known as Zainabad originally constructed by Shah Jahan's uncle Daniyal on the bank of the Tapti River. The contemporary court chroniclers paid an unusual amount of attention to Mumtaz Mahal's death and Shah Jahan's grief at her demise. In the immediate aftermath of his bereavement, the emperor was reportedly inconsolable.Apparently after her death, Shah Jahan went into secluded mourning for a year. When he appeared again, his hair had turned white, his back was bent, and his face worn. Jahan's eldest daughter, the devoted Jahanara Begum, gradually brought him out of grief and took the place of Mumtaz at court.

Her personal fortune valued at 10,000,000 rupees was divided by Shah Jahan between Jahanara Begum, who received half and the rest of her surviving children.Today, the Taj Mahal stands as the ultimate monument to love, and a homage to her beauty and life.

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Mumtaj Mahal