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2020-10-06 Other articles >

A miracle available to everyone

The majestic monument of love - the tomb of the Taj Mahal - impresses with its grandeur. It takes your breath away to think that it was built by the hands of 22 thousand of the best craftsmen, collected not only in the baburid Empire (in the 17th century it was located on the territory of modern India), but also in neighboring Persia, Central Asia and the middle East.
for 20 years, padishah Shah Jahan built a mausoleum for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, wishing to magnify the history of their love for centuries. There is a very beautiful legend about how Shah Jahan met his future main wife (he had 6 of them in total, not counting concubines).

Driving through the market one day, he saw a beautiful girl selling fruit. The padishah fell in love with her at first sight and soon took her as his wife. Before her marriage, her name was somewhat different - Arjumanad Banu Begam, but during the wedding ceremony, the new name 'Mumtaz Mahal' was given to her by her father-in-law. In translation, it means 'Decoration of the Palace'. It must have been very romantic.
In fact, beautiful fairy tales about Cinderellas are very rare in practice. It is unlikely that a noble ruler of the Mughal Empire, a representative of the ancient baburid dynasty, would have disgraced his family by marrying a market merchant. Arjumand Banu Begum was the daughter of the vizier Asaf Khan, and the marriage was a carefully considered step of state importance. The heirs of a padishah should not be half-breeds, so that no one would be tempted to put a person of noble blood on the throne in their place.
for 17 years of marriage, Mumtaz Mahal gave birth to her beloved husband 13 children (!), but the birth of the 14th was fatal for her. The heartbroken padishah decided to perpetuate the memory of his beloved and their family happiness by building a wonderful mausoleum, which has no equal in the entire Universe.

Indeed, the Taj Mahal is an amazing creation of architectural thought. A picturesque place on the coast of the jamna river was chosen as the place for construction. Semi - transparent marble was delivered from Makrana, and precious stones for its inlay (sapphires, Jasper, turquoise, carnelian - 28 types of expensive minerals in total)-from China, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, and Tibet.
Mixing Persian, Indian and Central Asian elements (after all, the architectural composition was truly international), the architects created a unique project of a five-domed mausoleum with four forty-meter minarets in the corners. The maximum square footage of the building is 74 m. Previously, the entrance was decorated with luxury doors made of pure silver, but, like many other luxury elements of the interior, they were vulgarly stolen during numerous troubles and wars.

The most 'magical' thing about the Taj Mahal is its color. Thanks to the translucent marble, it turns pink in the morning sun, Golden in the evening, and melts in the rain, merging with the dark sky before your eyes.
According to rough estimates, the construction of the tomb took about 32 million rupees at that time. Shah Jahan could afford this luxury because his reign was one of the heyday of the Empire. However, the financing of endless wars with the Persians in an effort to push the borders of the state to the Northwest undermined its power. In addition, millions of dead rayats (i.e. subjects) as a result of the drought did not add authority to the ruler.

Every self-respecting padishah puts into circulation a coin of his own design. Shah Jahan was no exception - his silver rupees, which are of great interest to numismatists.
The topic of the coup d'etat and the overthrow of the legitimate ruler still touched on Shah Jahan. His personal tragedy was that he was deprived of the throne by his own son, the child of his beloved wife - Aurangzeb, whose name translates from Persian as 'decoration of the throne'.

In 1658, it was rumored that the Emperor Shah Jahan had died. His sons immediately began internecine wars for the throne, which were won by Aurangzeb. Having exterminated his brothers and their families (do not stand on ceremony with relatives, if we are talking about unlimited state power!), he took the throne, imprisoning the living, as it turned out (and lived for another 8 years), his father in the Red Fort fortress built by himself, 2.5 km from the Taj Mahal.
The story is often more improbable and much more instructive than even the smartest fairy tale. Stained with blood, the son of Shah Jahan lived a long 88 years. He squandered the vast treasures of the Empire to suppress endless internal rebellions, but could not preserve the illusory unity of the country: the collapse of the huge state began after his death in 1707.
The Republic of Cambodia has issued a commemorative coin of the 'Wonders of the world' series dedicated to the Taj Mahal. It dates from 2005/2006, the material is gold (3.5 g) and silver (31.1 g). On the reverse, against the background of other wonders of the world, the mausoleum is depicted, shining gold in the sunlight. The number of copies is 3 thousand.
In 2010, the French in the series 'UNESCO World heritage' issued coins with the image of the mausoleum-mosque. Moreover, they were minted 5 varieties, weighing from 22.2 g. the largest coin (the name, of course, is not quite appropriate) weighs 1 kg of gold! The nominal value is 10, 50, 200, 500 and 5,000 euros. All of them have a single design, the material is silver and gold.
In 2009, at the commemorative coin contest 'coin constellation-2009', held in St. Petersburg, among 170 coins from 20 countries, an original product was exhibited. It was represented by the state of Liechtenstein represented by the Covin Invtst Trust. A coin with a face value of 500 tugriks and a circulation of 2,500 pieces is made of 925 silver. Coinage was made in Germany. The reverse shows the Taj Mahal reflected in the waters of the pool.
But perhaps the most interesting is the kilogram coin issued in France in 2010. It is made of 999 gold and encrusted with 68 Carttier diamonds. The print run is only 29 pieces. The product is sold in an elegant package and will be the pride of any collection.
The Taj Mahal mausoleum has survived numerous wars and earthquakes and has never (!) been damaged. But the 21st century brought negative changes for the memo. Under the influence of polluted air, its walls began to lose their pristine color, so now they have to be bleached with a special clay. The Jamna river began to become shallow, which caused cracks in the walls of the tomb. Therefore, UNESCO is taking urgent measures to save one of the new seven wonders of the world.
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