A Teardrop on the Cheek of Time: The Story of the Taj Mahal by Michael Preston Diana Preston

By Michael Preston Diana Preston

In 1631, the heartbroken Moghul Emperor, Shah Jahan, ordered the development of a monument of unsurpassed splendour and majesty in reminiscence of his liked spouse. Theirs was once a unprecedented tale of passionate love: even though nearly always pregnant - she bore him fourteen kids - Mumtaz Mahal her husband on each army crusade. yet then Mumtaz died in childbirth. Blinded via grief, Shah Jahan created an attractive and indulgent memorial for her at the banks of the river Jumna. The Taj Mahal took 20 years to construct and depleted the Moghul treasuries. yet Shah Jahan used to be to pay a better rate for his obsession. He ended his days imprisoned via his personal son in Agra citadel, looking at around the river on the monument to his love. The construction of the Taj Mahal had set brother opposed to brother and son opposed to father in a savage clash that driven the 17th century's strongest empire into irreversible decline.

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Humayun means ‘fortunate’, but by no means all his fortune would be good. Other sons from different wives followed: Kamran in 1509, Askari in 1516 and Hindal in 1519. Beginning in 1519, Babur made four preliminary expeditions into Hindustan before unleashing a full invasion in the autumn of 1525. At this time the Muslim sultanate of Delhi, who had dominated much of northern India for over three hundred years, was riven by internal feuding against the ruling sultan Ibrahim. Therefore Babur had descended the snowy passes of Afghanistan and Pakistan, crossed the Indus, marched on through the foothills of the Punjab and reached Panipat on the hot, dusty plains only fifty miles from Delhi before, in April 1526, he had to face any determined opposition.

Eventually Hindal marched angrily away to Kandahar and Humayun’s mother induced Hamida to accept her thirty-three-year-old son on the grounds that, ‘After all, you will marry someone. ’ Humayun ‘took [an] astrolabe into his own blessed hand’ and himself carefully worked out the astrologically most auspicious date for their marriage – 21 August 1541. When Hamida and Humayun left Sind in May 1542, it was to cross the Rajasthan desert back into India where Humayun had hopes of alliance with the Raja of Marwar (Jodhpur).

This book is a work of non-fiction. A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, resold, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition, including this condition, being imposed on the subsequent purchaser. uk The Random House Group Ltd Reg.

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