I was fortunate to go visit the Taj Mahal in India. The only words that come to mind are epic, spectacular and "WOW just WOW"! It was beyond my wildest dreams.
I literally gagged...it IS epic:
The love story of the Taj Mahal had me by my chest. The story ended long ago, 1631 to be exact, yet a testament to eternal love. And of course royalty was involved: a handsome Prince named Khurram (also know as Shah Jahan) fell in love with a lovely maiden selling silk and glass beads in a typical Indian Bazaar. Her name was Arjumand Banu Begun who was around 15 at the time. He was 14. He went to his father and declared his love and that he wanted to marry her. They wed 5 years later, in 1612.
When Khurram/Shah Jahanbecame emperor 1628 he entrusted his favorite with the royal seal and he presented her a new name Mumtaz Mahal, meaning the "Jewel of the Palace". Now this man had NUMEROUS wives but Mumtaz was the favorite. She went EVERYWHERE with him, even on military missions. They had the love affair of a lifetime and she bore him 14 children. It was in the delivery of the 14th child she would die. She made Shah Jahan promise her three things (or so the story goes) on her deathbed:
1. to always take care of her daughters. She had two and wanted to ensure that they would be ok.
2. Make a memorial in her honor bigger than anything he has or would do for his other two wives.
3. NEVER marry again
She died and he was inconsolable. Her remains were buried in Burhanpur, but this was NOTpermanent as Shah Jahan, was going to keep his word. It took 22 years and basically all of his wealth but he built the most beautiful monument for his royal jewel: The Taj Mahal.