To tell the story of the Taj, it’s best to start with Agra Fort. The walls of which harbor the whispers of four generations of men and their love for women and power. 1565, Akbar Jhangir kicks off the 95 years it took to build the fort. Featuring Moguel geometric designs, you see the stars unifying man and women,the inverted female triangle over the male triangle surrounding black dot of the third eye.
To unify the people, His son Jahangir, married both a Hindu and Muslim wife. He created a quarter for each of them in the fort, but to was not enough, he wanted more. 32 more mistress, for them he created the Hareem, a courtyard with grape vines for wine, and a bath with 32 seats for all the mistress and himself to bathe. Next to this he made a ‘playing chamber’. Hollow walls, filled with water to be both sound proof, but when inside the chamber you can tap one wall and hear it in the next room like you are stood next to each other. He would run through the the labyrinth of rooms playing blind-man’s bluff chasing the mistresses, once he caught them he would take them to the concubein, designed to be cool, overlooking the imported crocodiles and tigers strolling borders for protection, away from prying eyes to have his way.
Next in line was, Shahjahan, who unlike his Father would chase just one girl, and ultimately, as a declaration of his love go on to build the Taj Mahal. When out at the baazar a young girl momentarily removes her burkas to sneeze, her eyes meet the young prince and he falls in love. Perusing her, despite the girl being considered lower than him, they marry. They were considered to be deeply in love. He would grow the fort like his Father, this time building a pond for the amusement of his queen. They would sit across from each other on opposite balconies, shooting arrows at the fish, when successfully hitting their target the other would run around the balcony to kiss the other. During their marriage the queen fell pregnant 14 times, with 6 children surviving. During her last pregnancy, Shahjahan was called to fight, she insisted to come with him to not be apart. Whilst at war, she gave birth. The King in excitement ran to her quarters, entering a hushed silence he knew something was wrong. The baby had died and soon would his Queen. She made him promise to never marry again, to equally love all of his children, and to put a rose on her grave every year, to make a token of his love for her. In her last moment a tear fell that he caught in his hand and he is said to have felt like the poorest man in the world. In despair he fled back to the fort, morning in the walls, away from the people for months. When finally arising the young King was meant to have turned; he was grey and withered. He had decided the token to his love, on her grave, would be the Taj Mahal and inside she would be buried on the gardens where they first courted.
After the 20 years it took to build the Taj, Shajahan not only cut off the thumbs of all the workers so they could never built anything of such beauty again, but decided need his own black Taj. His eldest son, decided enough was enough he could no longer use the tax money of the people for such elaborate indulgences. With that he imprisoned his father in the fort in his step mothers old chambers, with only slight view on the Taj to live out the rest of his years.
Such stories show you the excessive wealth and power these kings had to do all they wanted. Owning the land and taking whatever they wanted within it.