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 used to be a unprecedented tale of passionate love: even though virtually continuously pregnant - she bore him fourteen little ones - Mumtaz Mahal her husband on each army crusade. yet then Mumtaz died in childbirth. Blinded through grief, Shah Jahan created a stupendous and lavish memorial for her at the banks of the river Jumna. The Taj Mahal took two decades 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 through his personal son in Agra citadel, watching around the river on the monument to his love. The development 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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Additional info for A Teardrop on the Cheek of Time: The Story of the Taj Mahal
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. No. 954009 2 4 6 8 10 9 7 5 3 1 Contents Cover About the Book Title Copyright Dedication Acclaim for A Teardrop on the Cheek of Time About the Author Also by Diana and Michael Preston Acknowledgements Genealogy Map Prologue 1 ‘A Place of Few Charms’ 2 Allah Akbar 3 ‘Peerless Pearls and Heart-pleasing Stuffs’ 4 The Warrior Prince 5 Emperor in Waiting 6 Chosen One of the Palace 7 The Peacock Throne 8 ‘Build for Me a Mausoleum’ 9 ‘Dust of Anguish’ 10 ‘The Builder Could Not Have Been of This Earth’ 11 ‘This Paradise-like Garden’ 12 The Illumined Tomb 13 ‘The Sublime Throne’ 14 ‘Sharper than a Serpent’s Tooth’ 15 Fall of the Peacock Throne 16 ‘His Own Tomb on the Other Side of the River’ Postscript Bibliography Notes and Sources Illustration Credits For friends and family Acclaim for A Teardrop on the Cheek of Time: ‘The Prestons’ delightful and definitive book tells the monument’s full, extraordinary story, not only of the vast undertaking of the building itself, but also the operatic sweep of the dynastic and romantic convulsions behind the project … Combines tremendous scholarship with a host of cracking stories well told’ Sunday Telegraph ‘Although Diana and Michael Preston’s book is centred on the Taj, it is largely taken up with an enthralling history of extraordinary kings and their peerlessly cultured and opulent lives … truly unforgettable’ Daily Mail ‘Considerable research leavened by colourful story-telling … every page offers a vivid image or telling detail that captures the deeply weird and violent world of the Moghuls.
After months of siege Akbar saw flames and smoke rise suddenly from different areas of the fort. An onlooker explained that the Rajputs saw defeat as inevitable but, before the men sallied out to die in their saffron-yellow wedding robes of martyrdom, their families were making jauhar – ‘the last awful sacrifice which Rajput despair offers the gods’. The fires were those of the funeral pyres on which the Rajput women were throwing themselves. After the Rajput warriors had died fighting and in contrast to his usual policy of reconciliation, Akbar ordered a massacre of those remaining alive within Chitor, mostly farmers seeking shelter.
Theirs was an extraordinary story of passionate love: although almost constantly pregnant – she bore him fourteen children – Mumtaz Mahal followed her husband on every military campaign, in order that they might never be apart. But then Mumtaz died in childbirth. Blinded by grief, Shah Jahan created an exquisite and extravagant memorial for her on the banks of the river Jumna. A gleaming mausoleum of flawless symmetry, the Taj Mahal was built from milk-white marble and rose sandstone, and studded with a fortune in precious jewels.
A Teardrop on the Cheek of Time: The Story of the Taj Mahal by Michael Preston Diana Preston