A story of love and empire.
Shah Jahan, ruler of India, murdered three of his brothers in his bloody rise to power. Yet when his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal died, the emperor was said to have wept for a week. He expressed his love and grief by building the world's most beautiful tomb as a monument to her memory.
Shah Jahan was the fifth emperor of the Mughal dynasty. The Mughals combined brute force and fierce ambition with an artistic sensitivity and a love of beauty. Theirs was a world where even forts were architectural gems, where emperors had their life stories told in exquisite miniature paintings, where each new ruler competed with the previous one by building a grander palace, fort, mosque and city.
This is the story of a remarkable dynasty as told through its greatest artistic achievement. From the soaring domes, to the marble columns inlaid with precious gems, to the vast gardens, to the perfect symmetry of its design, the Taj Mahal expressed the ambition, power, grandeur, and beauty of the Mughal world.
Nonfiction Honor Book, 2009
"The ongoing Wonders of the World series hits a high point with this dramatic retelling of the construction of the Taj Mahal. Startling details abound: Shah Jahan's founding of an entire city to house all the necessary nobles, the irrigation system keeping flood waters from Mumtaz Mahal's tomb, and the shocking decapitation that brings about the next ruler. The photos of priceless relics bring the story alive, and young readers will love the fold-out Taj Mahal diagram, which resembles a game board. Shah Jahan's excesses helped bring about the demise of the Mughal Empire, and this insightful book will bring readers closer to understanding the meaning of what has been left behind."
, School Library Journal
"A beautiful book that highlights a stunning accomplishment in architecture…A double foldout gives an impressive aerial view of the entire complex. Captioned photographs of artifacts and original paintings enhance the well-written text. Beautiful full-page illustrations in the detailed style of Mughal miniature paintings depict scenes of the construction process. A list of important historical dates and dimensions of the building are included."
School Library Journal