The Taj Mahal was literally a work of love. Created by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, the Taj was constructed as a mausoleum for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The structure in Agra, India is considered to be one of the world's seven modern wonders as well as occupying a place on the UNESCO World Heritage List, which recognizes the Taj as one of the "universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage."
But the remarkable structure's enduring aesthetic quality is more than just the expertise of the renowned architects of the age who designed it, or the highly skilled artisans and workers who utilized the finest available materials to build it, for the structure embodies the incredible love of Jahan for his wife. The famed Indian poet and Nobel Prize laureate Rabindranath Tagore described the edifice as "a drop of tear on the cheek of history." The onion-shaped dome indeed resembles a tear drop, while the grace and subtlety of the design provides an almost overwhleming sense of honor and respect for the interred.
When Emperor Jahan was deposed by his son, it is said that he was held under house arrest in view of the Taj Mahal. He could look out at his wife's final resting place each day, and have, one could imagine, a sort of spiritual communion with the grandeur of the magnificent mausoleum he created. Upon his death, his son had him buried in the Taj next to his beloved Mumtaz.
Love has the power to transcend life's obstacles, including jealousy, hatred, prejudice, loneliness, and even betrayal and imprisonment. In fact, people were made to love; it is a "built-in" quality that we all possess. While some just use their capacity to love more than others, we nonetheless have an infinite capacity to love. Love can even transcend time, and death, just as Shan Jahan has done in this elegant, evocative tribute to his love.