The fairy tale of a prince and would-be-king and a commonplace girl selling souvenirs in a local market outside his palace, the love story of Shah Jahan and Taj Mahal was not less dream like. One can still see numerous evidences of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan's love for finesse and beauty etched in the number of beautiful buildings that he had he constructed in his lifetime. However, it reached its zenith in Taj Mahal, rightly said to be 'elegy in marble'.
Emperor Jehangir named his heir and son, Khurram, who later came to be
known as Shah Jehan after ascending the throne in 1628. He ruled for
thirty years and was famed as a great patron of the arts and
architecture. Especially, the steep rise of Indo-Persian style of Mughal
painting and increasing finesse in architecture during his reign is
legendary. He replaced the rough-textured sandstone, favorite of his
predecessors, with the elegant and luxurious marble. The abundance of
white marble buildings that were raised during his time even tempted a
scholar to venture his period as the reign of marble.
The introduction of the cusped arches and pillars with tapering shafts
were just some of the very few refinement and changes that were brought
about in the architecture during his time along with the increasing use
of European motifs and imperial and paradisiacal themes. It is said that
he died while seeing Taj Mahal, the best and most graceful expression of
his dream, while lying in the Muthamman Burj (translated as 'Jasmine
Tower') in Red Fort of Agra, where he was forced to pass the rest of his
days in captivity by his son, Aurungzeb, who revolted against him in the
struggle for the throne.