The Taj Mahal—Monument to Love
It has been described as a delicate jewel, as a love song in stone, as the exquisite epitaph of a mourning husband to his lost wife.
A hundred miles [160 km] east of Delhi, in northern India, is the city of Agra, where this prize of Muslim architecture stands—the Taj Mahal. Designed by a Turkish architect and made of white marble, this beautiful building stands as a monument to the love of Shah Jahan for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1631. The tomb took about 20 years to build and involved some 20,000 workers.
The Muslim influence is clearly seen in the slender minarets that rise to a height of 133 feet [40.5 m] and by the texts taken from the Qurʼān that decorate the outside walls. A serene pool lends a romantic reflection to the mausoleum, especially in the moonlight or with the rising and setting of the sun.
The Shah’s deep love for his wife reminds one of King Solomon’s expressions of love for the unattainable Shulammite shepherd girl, found in the Bible in the Song of Solomon.