Despite her frequent pregnancies, Mumtaz traveled with Shah Jahan's entourage throughout his earlier military campaigns. She was his constant companion and trusted confidant and their relationship was intense.
She died in Burhanpur [1631 AD] in the Deccan (now in Madhya Pradesh) during the birth of their thirtheenth child, a daughter named Gauhara Begum. She had been accompanying her husband whilst he was fighting a campaign in the Deccan Plateau. Her body was temporarily buried at Burhanpur in a walled pleasure garden known as Zainabad originally constructed by Shah Jahan's uncle Daniyal on the bank of the Tapti River. Her original grave still lies here.
Burhanpur was never intended by her husband as his wife's final resting spot. As a result her body was disinterred in December 1631 and transported in a golden casket escorted by her son Shah Shuja and the head lady in waiting of the deceased Empress back to Agra. There it was interred in a small building on the banks of the river Yamuna.
Shah Jahan stayed behind in Burhanpur to conclude the military campaign that had originally bought him to the region. While there he began planning the design and construction of a suitable mausoleum and funerary garden in Agra for his wife, a task that would take more than 22 years to complete, the Taj Mahal.
Today, the Taj Mahal stands as the ultimate monument to love and homage to her beauty and life.
The contemporary court chroniclers paid an unusual amount of attention to Mumtaz Mahal's death and Shah Jahan's grief at her demise. In the immediate aftermath of his bereavement, the Emperor was reportedly inconsolable.
Apparently after her death, Shah Jahan went into secluded mourning for a year. When he appeared again, his hair had turned white. His back was bent, and his face worn. Since Mumtaz had died on Wednesday, all entertainments were banned on that day. Shah Jahan gave up listening to music, wearing jewellery or rich and colourful clothes and using perfumes for two years. Shah Jahan's eldest daughter, the devoted Jahanara Begum, gradually brought him out of grief and took the place of Mumtaz at court.
The Queen Mumtaz Mahal’s personal fortune valued at 10,000,000 rupees was divided by Shah Jahan between Jahanara Begum, who received half and the rest of her surviving children.
Immediately after the burial in Burhanpur, Shah Jahan and the imperial court devoted themselves to the planning and design of the mausoleum and funery garden in Agra, now known as the Taj Mahal or fondly, The Taj!
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