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Taj Mahal

In 1629, the Mogul emperor Shah Jahan's favorite wife (Mumtaz Mahal) died while giving birth to their fourteenth child. As Jahan rushed to her side, she uttered a dying wish: that he build a monument to commemorate their love.

The result? The Taj Mahal, a building which took 22 years to complete. According to legend, Jahan took drastic measures to ensure that his master carvers would never produce anything more beautiful. How so? He ordered the amputation of their arms.

[Jahan died with his eyes open -- facing the Taj Mahal.]

[The Taj Mahal was scheduled to be torn down in the 1830s so that its marble facing could be shipped to London and auctioned to the landed English gentry. Wrecking machines were moved into the garden grounds and work was about to begin when word came from London that another auction of marble facades (from Indian monuments and edifices) had been a failure and it would not be worth proceeding.]

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