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Learn English > English lessons and exercises > English test #46217: Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal.
In 1612, a prince called Jahan, met a pretty girl who was selling jewels in a market. Mumtaz Mahal was nineteen years old and of Tatar origin. They fell in love and decided to get married.
Sixteen years later, the prince became Shah Jahan, Emperor of India. As Mumtaz Mahal did not want to live like the other eastern women who were submissive and only looked after their children, she gave her husband advice about the administration of the country. She showed great intelligence and determination when she chose to give more money to the poor and less to the rich.
Unfortunately she died when giving birth to her fourteenth child in 1630. Stricken with grief, the Shah ordered the court to mourn for two years.He wanted to abdicate but it was not possible, as his children were too young to take his place as Emperor.
In memory of his wife and as a token of his love, he erected a sort of temple on the bank of the Jumma River in Agra that he called the Taj Mahal. Seventeen years later, the monument,built by twenty thousand workers, was finished. It became Mumtaz Mahal's resting place. Her tomb is situated in the middle of a room magnificently decorated with jewels, pearls, gold and silver, precious stones and rich carpets. The Taj Mahal , with its four minarets and its sixty-five meter high dome, is totally made of white marble , the colour of which changes with the time of the day and the weather.
According to a legend, the Shah wanted to build another Taj Mahal in black marble on the opposite side of the river but he did not have the time to erect it because his son took over his throne. So when he died, he was buried next to his beloved Mumtaz Mahal.
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