This postcard and yesterday’s arrived back to back. It makes sense… the two sites are very nearby and even the message text feels like a continuing thought!
Less than 2mi (3.2km) from the fort is the magnificent and world-renowned monument, the Taj Mahal. Built by Shah Jahan over a period of 22 years, the Taj is a memorial to Mumtaz Mahal, his favourite wife, companion of 19 years and mother of his 14 children. Theirs was a deep love affair that lasted throughout their entire marriage. She was his closest adviser, travelled everywhere with him and even when he was exiled for a short time she was by his side. Mumtaz died in childbirth, leaving Shah in mourning for the remainder of his days.
The postcard continues, about the Shah’s relationship with his wife, his decision to build the memorial, his regular visits to the site, and the lavish decor.
It finishes by telling us:
In front of the Taj is a walled garden laid out in the usual quadrilateral design with water channels criss-crossing. At the centre was a large marble pool with fountains, representing the place where human and divine meet. Fruit trees and scented flowers were planted in the gardens creating a vibrant, aromatic experience. These were replaced by the British with lawn.
The Taj Mahal was added to UNESCO’s list in 1983.