It is said that when Mumtaz Mahal, third wife of Emperor Shah Jahan lay on her deathbed, she extracted three promises from her lovesick husband:
- That he would take care of her children after her death.
- That he would never marry again.
- That he would build a memorial as a symbol to honor her and their love.
Now, proof of her famous beauty that captured Shah Jahan’s eyes and heart, other than hearsay and the words of numerous poets, is not actually attainable. However, the fact that 22 years and much of the royal treasury were spent in creating a monument that immortalized their love story across generations around the world, makes her pretty powerful in my books. How many Miss Worlds or America’s Next Top Models can put that on their resume?
So here’s to the Taj Mahal, aka Promise #3. Although I won’t claim that it’s India’s single, most beautiful treasure (there are so many more temples, monuments, and gorgeous natural scenes in India that are little known to the rest of the world), it’s an iconic image of the country in its intricate grandeur. Definitely worth the second trip. 🙂