by Roger Thomas

This content is part of a series.

He Loves You This Much (1 of 5)
Heaven Series
Roger Thomas
1 Peter 1:3-9

The Taj Mahal stands as one of the architectural wonders of the world. The magnificent structure sits on the bank of the River Yamuna in central India not far from New Delhi. It's name means "Crown Palace," but it is actually a mausoleum or a tomb. Emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj in memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The queen died shortly after giving birth to their fourteenth child. It is said that her death so crushed the emperor that his hair and beard all turned white within a few months.

The emperor built this huge monument to remember and honor his beloved wife. Construction began in 1631. For twenty-two years, twenty thousand people and a thousand elephants toiled to build the two hundred thirteen foot tall marble shrine. It cost over thirty-two million rupees to construct. The white marble dome of the tomb stands out in contrast the lush plain of the Yamuna River valley. This background and the flowing waters of the river work a magic of changing colors as the sun moves across the sky. Like a jewel, the Taj sparkles in moonlight when the semi-precious stones inlaid into the white marble on the main mausoleum catch the glow of the moon. The Taj is pinkish in the morning, milky white in the evening and golden when the moon shines. These changes, they say, depict the different moods of woman. So exquisite is the workmanship that the Taj is said to have been "designed by giants and finished by jewelers."

One Indian poet calls the Taj Mahal "a teardrop on the cheek of time". English poet, Sir Edwin Arnold, wrote of the Taj, it is "not a piece of architecture, as other buildings are, but the proud passions of an emperor's love wrought in living stones." Historians commonly call it a "symbol of eternal love."

The entire project was not about money or even architecture. It represented the love of an emperor for his queen. The emperor wanted all who gazed upon ...

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