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The World - Countries - India Teamwork OP 05
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India
Teamwork Oral Presentation
By Inmaculada (01 Intro), Sonia (02 History), Carlos (03 Gandhi), Adela (04 Spirituality), Montse (05 Taj Mahal), Diana (06 Women), Encarna (07 Microcredits),
Irene (08 Food), Miguel MM (09 Music 1), Tere (10 Music 2), Esther (11 Bollywood)
Y5C, 2006-07

Taj Mahal
by Montse

(with slide show below)

Taj Mahal is one of the wonders of the world.

The story of Taj Mahal reflects the intensity of love. The tale began when Prince Qhurram saw a girl as he was walking through the bazaar of Agra. The girl was exceptionally beautiful. It was a love at first sight for both of them. After five years they were married.

Prince Qhurram was the fifth son of emperor Jahangir. He was a man of extraordinary brilliance, a great diplomat, a soldier and a lover of art.

In honour to his numerous victories Jahangir called him "Shah Jahan", The King of the World. After his father's death all his sons argued. After fighting for years Shah Jahan killed all his brothers under suspicious circumstances and became the emperor.

Shah Jahan called his wife Mumtaz Mahal, which means 'Crown of the Palace', because she was very precious to him. Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan had 14 children and the queen accompanied Shah Jahan everywhere, even on military campaigns. It was on one of these campaigns, in Burhanpur, central India, that Mumtaz Mahal died, shortly after giving birth to her 14th child. Her dying wish to Shah Jahan was that he should "build a tomb in her memory such as the world had never seen before."

Shah Jahan fulfilled her wish, creating the most beautiful mausoleum the world had ever seen. Soon after the Taj Mahal's completion, Shah Jahan was ill and his son Sha Shuja declared himself emperor in Bengala. Meanwhile Murad, with the support of his brother Aurangzeb, did the same in Gujarat. When Sha Jahan was so ill that he could not fight against his sons anymore, he surrendered to his sons’ attacks. Aurangzeb allowed him to live, but he was deposed and put under house arrest nearby Agra Fort. Legend has it that he spent the remainder of his days gazing through the window at the Taj Mahal. Upon Shah Jahan's death, Aurangzeb buried him in the Taj Mahal beside his beloved Mumtaz Mahal, the only disruption of the otherwise perfect symmetry in the architecture. Their real tombs are in a basement of the Taj Mahal. The two ornately decorated tombs on the ground floor, sheltered by the dome of the Taj Mahal, are part of the stylistic design of this beautiful monument in Agra India. The history of the Taj Mahal is the history of the steadfast love of a Mughal Emperor for his Queen.
It took 22 years for the Taj Mahal to be completed. A huge labour force of 20,000 workers led by Muhammed Hanif, the head of the masons and the Persian architect Ustad Isa or Ustad Ahmad Lahauri, were employed in its construction. Finished in 1648, the Taj Mahal cost the Mughal exchequer 32 million rupees (approx. €584,000). The Taj Mahal has been described by the poet Sir Edwin Arnold, as "Not a piece of architecture, as other buildings are, but the proud passions of an emperor's love wrought in living stones."

The aesthetic beauty of this beautiful mausoleum is enhanced by the romantic story that inspired its construction. Tourists come from around the world come to Agra, to feel the aura of eternal love that surrounds the Taj Mahal. The history of the Taj Mahal is a love story that transcends time and continues to be retold each day to the tourists who visit the Taj Mahal in Agra India.