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A Teardrop on the Cheek of Time

Nobel Prize-winning poet Tagore called the Taj Mahal a teardrop on the cheek of time , the words inspired by the famous monument of flawless symmetry and elegance.It was built to mark the passionate love of a great Moghul emperor for his Empress. Yet the construction of this architectural jewel bankrupted the Moghul dynasty, set brother against brother and son against father in bloody conflict, and pushed the C17th's most powerful empire into religious fundamentalism and decline. Emperor Shah Jahan married Mumtaz Mahal in 1612 in an unusual love match. Jahan involved his wife on all matters of state, and she followed him on all his military campaigns in spite of being almost constantly pregnant. She bore him 14 children, but her sudden death in childbirth caused Jahan inconsolable grief. His only solace was in creating the perfect memorial to his lost love on the banks of the Jumna River at Agra. The mausoleum, made from milk-white marble and studded with a fortune in precious jewels, took 20 years to complete, involved over 20,000 labourers, and incurred catastrophic costs which led to bloody rebellion by the offspring of his own great love match. Shah Jahan spent his final ye
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Full of passion and tragedy, the story of the Taj Mahal- one of the greatest love stories of all time

About the Author

Diana Preston's most recent books are Wilful Murder- The Sinking of the Lusitania (now also being made into a major BBC1 documentary), A Pirate of Exquisite Mind and Before the Fall-Out (chosen for the Samuel Johnson Prize longlist). Her co-author is her husband Michael Preston, an historian and traveller.

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