National Geographic : 1959 Dec
ALL KODACHROMESBY MELVILLE BELL GROSVENORI NATIONALGEOGRAPHICSOCIETY Jailed in This Fort, Shah Jahan Died With the Taj Mahal Before His Eyes Three hundred years ago tragedy struck the world's most opulent court. Shah Jahan. mightiest of Moslem Moguls, lost his empress, the beloved Mumtaz-i-Mahal, bearing her fourteenth child. Grieving, the emperor summoned Asia's greatest artisans to raise a tomb for her. At Agra, builders massed white marble 187 feet high for gleaming domes. They cut and fitted inlays of jasper, agate, and other stones. Ingeniously, they pierced walls in lacelike patterns to curb sun glare and capture cooling drafts. After 22 years' work the Taj Mahal was complete. Then tragedy struck again. The emperor's son usurped the throne and imprisoned Shah Jahan in the Jasmine Tower of Agra's Fort for his last 7/2 years. Here, on a balcony near the royal prison, 844 visitors admire the emperor's view of moat, Yamuna River, and the Taj.