An Ode to Love
Pure poetry of form characterises this sublime mausoleum – the Taj Mahal – built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal after her untimely death. There is nothing remotely morbid, or eerie about this monument. It could quite easily be mistaken for a pleasure palace, and in a way it is, albeit of the heavenly variety. It is a recreation of paradise on earth, and certainly fit for a queen, with its elegant landscaped gardens; pools and fountains; trees; flowers; and fruits. It is an imaginative, splendid, feminine creation complete with a delicate white marble facade, slender minarets, arches, beautifully formed domes, arabesque mouldings and pietra dura made from dazzling semi-precious stones. The building was completed in 1653, and remains to this day, an enduring and poignant symbol of love, loss, and eternity.