Secrets of the Taj Mahal (2011) Movie Script

The Taj Mahal, symbol of India
architectural jewel,
monument to a grand passion
The Taj Mahal was built
in the 17th century
by Shan Jahan, king of the world
ruler of India's mighty Mughal Empire
This great warrior king gave the
world an architectural masterpiece
have a kind it never seen before
this is how it came to be made.
It's also the legend of his
queen the beautiful Mumtaz Mahal
And of that love to perfect to survive.
the choosen one of the palace
will have her final resting place
in the world's most beautiful building
but the magnificent chamber at
the Taj Mahal hide the secret
and Shah Jehan will pay a terrible
price to complete his life's work
as a turning point in India's history
today the Taj Mahal is one of the
world greatest tourist attractions
every year more than three million peole
come to see humanities lovliest building
to see humanities lovliest
building with their own eyes
but for the Indian Nation
the Taj Mahal is much more than
an architectural masterpiece
This is one of the monuments
that makes India what it is
gives people their
identity, makes them proud
This building is the
symbol for the whole nation
The Taj Mahal was built in the most
glorious periods of Indian history
the time of the Moguls
with their mighty Empire
and fabulous riches
Its creator, a man who
dedicated his life to a dream,
the great Mughal Shan Jehan
The building that emerged from his plans
perfectly combines of grace
and scale, power and beauty
The Taj Mahal, Crown of the Palace
the inner center of the Taj is a tomb
for Mumtaz Mahal, the
love of Shan Jehan's life
in his memory the great Mughal created
this etternal love poem in stone
the building of the Taj commence in 1632
an armies and elephants began to
dragging construction materials
to the Mughal Capital
This would be the biggest
building project of the age
in a few short years, shale
Taj Mahal was completed
ready to be clad in flawless and marble
at colossal expense
the location of the Taj on the bank
of Yamuna river was a special challenge
"Close to water you ready to
ground find solid enough to build on
so you had to dig down
until you hit hard dry earth
they came up the brilliant
solution to this problem
that still used today in slightly different
form. They decided to build a well foundation
that was a revolutionary
idea for those time
the great Mughal engineer dig deep wells
to below the water table.
and fill them up with rock and mortar.
On the space The Master
Builders erect stone collumn
linked together by massive arches
The result, a solid mountain of stone
to support the Foundation
slap with the building
protecting the Taj from the
current of the Yamuna River, forever
The Taj Mahal must always stand as a
testament to the eternal power of love
it will be the legacy of Shah Jehan
Shah Jehan was the favorite son
of the Emperor, the Great Mogul,
raised in a world of
the wealth and splendid.
In 1607, he granted a rare honor.
on his lunar birthday, his
weight in gold and precious stone.
that doesn't mean he's been chosen
to become the new Great Mogul
but there are high hopes
for this young prince
and great dangers too
his own brothers as
his deadliest rivals.
The firstborn Prince does
not always become king
all the rulers sons will
fight to claim the throne
even to the death
the education of the
crowds means nothing
the court chronicles will be
our guide to Shah Jahan's life
to its triumphs and disasters
the prince is given a child bride
an arranged marriage
for political reasons
it couldn't been an empty contract
but this love will lust for eternity
10 years later the
prince is 25 years old.
His star shines brighter than ever.
He is fourth the enemies of the
Emperor winning victory after victory
as a reward his father
gives in the title
Shah Jahan King of the world
the capital of the Mughal Empire is
the great city of Agra in northern India
the location of the giant Red Fort
the center imperial power and
wanna India's mightiest stronghold
the ruling moguls and their
families live in magnificent palaces
inside the fort
here women of his Harem
see to Shah Jehan every week
but his favorite by far is
his childhood love Mumtaz Mahal
Shah Jehan calls her the
chosen one of the palace
from the Chronicles we know this royal
couple were specially close for those time
there impression which
one gathers is that
this is a strong personal
element of personal
that is a bit of romance
it is usually said
that the concept of love
is a very European concept
because in the Eastern World
you have the emotion of love
which is in person love for the daddies
love for idol love for
father love for institutions
love for religion spirit
will love but not romanticly
but Shah Jehan's
memorial to Mumtaz Mahal
is the world's most exquisite
symbol of romantic love
every day countless visitors
are enthralled by the Taj Mahal
partly because its Mogul architect's
use some remarkable optical tricks
the first view of the monument
is framed by the main gate
as the visitor moves closer the
Taj Mahal seems to get smaller
it seems to grow
bigger as you walk away.
the guides here say..
when you leave you take the
Taj with you, in your heart
an optical trick went into the
building at the minarets too
they lean slightly outwards
if they were truly vertical they
would seem to be leaning inwards
by leaning away from each other
they look perfectly upright
and that brings another advantage
in an earthquake the minarets
will collapse outwards
sparing the Taj and it's mighty dome
the dome is the crowning
glory of the Taj Mahal
the element that makes it
so timeless and graceful
today we have other options
we can build giant supporting
structures and steel for dome like that
we have other materials
they have to solve all
their problems in stones
they laid stone on stone and
built up the diamond rings
the dome rises layer by layer
the mortar between the
stones gives its stability
the result is self-supporting with
new reinforcing struck so columns
the weight if the Dome is
transferred directly downwards
to the massive masonry below
the Dome is more than 40 meters high
and four meters thick
it it seems to float
over the model for some a
miracle of stress calculation
still admired by engineers. for
over three hundred and fifty years
this dome has been the ultimate
expression local architecture
1621 the Mogul Empire
is at a turning point
the Emperor Shah Jahan's
father is desperately ill
his son's a gathering in
the shadow of the throne
ready to fill the vacum of power
Shah Jehan knows that
his moment has come
nothing will stop him in
his lust for absolute power
no means a ruled out not even poison
when the Great Mogul finally dies
Shah Jehan has his rivals eliminate
brotherly love means nothing
when the prize is so great
there wasn't notion of family
and there was a notion of affection
there wasn't notion of family
and there was a notion of affection
but this feeling recede
into the background
and then that particular vision
of acquiring power for yourself
and to rule the country
or Empire as you see fit
becomes the rationale
behind all the violence
that is perpetrate
with his rival is gone
Shah Jehan seizes the throne
his crowned emperor in 1628
in the red fort in Agra
his crowned emperor in 1628
in the red fort in Agra
Shah Jehan soon proves himself
a wise and moderate ruler
he guides the empire to
even greater prosperity
Mumtaz Mahal stays in the background,
but she is one the Shah's
most important advisors
this Mogul dynasty seems
to have a glorious future
perhaps it will be equal
the illustrious past
the moguls are descended from the
greatest warlod of them all: Gengis Khan
That distant ancestors were fierce
warrior of the Asian steppes:
the Mongols
a mere 100 years before
Shah Jahan's rise to power
the Mughals swept down from the north
onto the plains of India
their cannons crushed one Indian city
after another
by the time of Shah Jehan the
moguls controlled most of India
The first time this great
land has been unified
in nearly two thousand years
the Mughal rulers bring
their faith with them, Islam.
after hinduism Islam soon
becomes India's second religion
but the invaders don't
impose it on the people
they seek a balance between the cultures
the local lords proclaimed
religious tolerance
more than a hundred million people
now see business and industry,
science and art flourish
artists that court portray
their rulers as god-like being
there are no limits to
the great moguls power
Shah Jehan hold sway over his subjects
over life and deaths
his word is law throughout the empire
this just ruler leads
the country to prosperity
and stability
the court chronicle records
that Shah Jehan brings the people
abundant joy and happiness
and the Shah Jehan mogul rule in India
reaches its dazzling zenith
but now his greatest legacy the Taj
Mahal symbol of the Indian Nation
is under threat
but now his greatest legacy the Taj
Mahal symbol of the Indian Nation
is under threat
this has been a
high-security zone since 2006
after bomb threats from terrorists
and religious fundamentalists
it's guarded around the clock
access to the mausoleum
is tightly controlled
filming at the magnificent
interior is forbidden
no one knows how long the Taj
will need this kind of protection
art historian ever call,
was able to study the Taj before
the restrictions came into force
she is the international experts
on the building and its history
she has also decoded the religious
symbolism of the the monument
Taj Mahal is the architectural
embodiment of this life
and the next according to Islamic belief
the ground plan shows this duality
the complex is split between
the tomb garden with its mosoleum
and a worldly side meant
for bazaars and markets
what's interesting is
that the worldly side is
the mirror image of a mausoleum side
connecting square was
the great main gate
marks the transition to the tomb garden
and opens up the view to the mausoleum
at the center at the
mausoleum is the Holy of Holies
the most splendid room in the
Taj Mahal the final resting place
of Shah Jehan's bride
the most splendid room in the
Taj Mahal the final resting place
of Shah Jehan's bride
Mumtaz Mahal the
chosen one of the palace
lead a luxurious life in the
woman apartments of the Red Fort
poets admire her grace and charm
even the moon they say,
hides from her beauty in shame
the first lady at the
empire is fabulously wealthy
she has huge resources
she was the highest recipient of..
money in the entire Harem
being though chief queen
or the most beloved queen of the Emperor
because payments in the harem
were graded. We have very
interesting accounts of
graded payments, from very huge
amount to a very small amount.
And on top of this there were gifts,
very very exquisite expensive
gifts, on various occasions
The riches of The Mogul
dynasty are legendary.
both men and women wear jewelry
for the men its a sign of nobility
and they give precious jewels
to their favorites in the harem
its endless supply of gems makes
India the treasure house have the world
in the Mogul Empire the Indian
art of jewelry reaches its peak
precious stones, decorate statues,
furniture weapons and fabrics
even today works by mogul
craftsman command the highest prices
the same is true India's textiles.
cotton has been woven here for
more than four thousand years
this is still a vital industry in India
under the Mughals India became
the world's leading exporter
of precious fabrics
The rulers, The Great
Mogul and his family
cashed in on the trade.
The rulers, The Great
Mogul and his family
cashed in on the trade.
Shah Jehan has a special
duty to his dynasty
to produce heirs.
His wives in the harem gave him children
but as the Chronicles tell us
once they've done their duty
these women are his wives in name only
Shah Jehan harem may
once have been a love nest
soon it comes to resemble a nursery.
the harem is not an informal
entirely in formal space
it's a space with a certain protocol
it is a space with a certain hierarchy
it is a space with the whole
set of rules and regulations
with the Empire at peace there's
plenty of leisure time to fill
the moguls enjoyment of
alcohol and opium is legendary
Shah Jehan and Mumtaz Mahal are
together every possible moment
as The Chronicles we called
the mutual affection and
harmony between the two
had reached the degree never
seen between a husband and a wife
among the classes of rulers
or among the other people
the Imperial Chronicle
describes their life that court
the intimacy deep affection
attention and favour which his Majesty
had for the chosen one of the palace
exceeded by a thousand times
what he felt for any other
for Shah Jehan the happiness
of Mumtaz Mahal is paramount
if you look at the
wardrobe of the Emperor
if you look at his private chambers
if you look at the shelf which
displays all the perfumes,
oinments, oil, and a
whole range of aphrodisiacs
then you would perhaps know that
there is a lot of interest to develop
in too good lovers to aqcuire emotions
or to release emotions in a
way that would revitalized them
or rejuvenate them
her husband's love is shared
and returned by Mumtaz Mahal
from the depths of her soul
and always that lady love
the age was the companion
close confidante associate
and intimate friend
of that successful ruler
in hardship and comfort
joy and grief, when
traveling or in residence
fortuna smiles on the king of the world
but not for long
there is unrest in the empire
in 1629 reports reach
Agra of another uprising
a distant provinces rebelled
against the Empire again
this means war
Shah Jehan mobilizes his army
he will crush opposition
with brute force
day after day week after week
the Mogul army blazes a
trail across the Indian plains
nearly two years of forces marches
follow for Shah Jahan soldiers
but nothing will tell Mumtaz
Mahal from her husband's side
the Mughals are forced to leave
their capital again and again
to crush rebellions in the Deccan region
the campaign seems to have no end
the great mogul still puts
his faith in his cannons
the latest super weapons
imported from the Turkish Empire
his soldiers hold all over the
mountains and across the roughest terrain
shattering City wall
wiping out the rebels
but his string of victories
is interrupted by tragedy
in the midst of the campaign Mumtaz Mahal
falls pregnant with the Emperor's child
but there are complications at the birth
for once the king is powerless
as his bride weakens the great
mogul can do nothing but pray
the court chronicle
recorded the sad events
on the 17th of June 1631
the unfortunate demise
of Her Majesty The Queen
took place shortly after her confinement
and made the whole
world a house of mourning
Mumtaz Mahal dies after
the birth of her 14th child
Shah Jehan world has come to an end
they say the Emperor fasted for
eight days locked in his chambers
for two years he heard no music
or no jewelry or perfume
his hair and beard had done grey
he looked older,
much much older than what
he looked when he went into
confinement a stature to mourning
so surely this must have
had of deep impact on him
before she died, legend
says, Mumtaz Mahal made a wish
for a mausoleum more sublime
than any the world would seem
this will be Shah Jehan's
task for the rest of his life
to erect the world's most
beautiful building, in her memory
the Taj Mahal stands in a long
tradition a fabulous memorials in India
Shah Jehan's predecessors had
constructed many gorgeous mausoleums
the Taj Mahal combines
the very best elements
of the memorials to
Shah Jehan's forefathers
the tomb his own father provides
the model for the minarets
his great-grandfather's
mausoleum had four corner turret
surrounding the central core
the four mighty portals are
inspired by his grandfather's tomb
and Shah Jehan took the
form of the Great Dome
from the memorial to a famous ancestor
different models United
in perfect harmony
no other mausoleum may come close to
the Taj Mahal in scale beauty and grace
this monument must be nothing
less than a paradise here on earth
symbolism carved in stone and marble
a heavenly memorial to
the Queen of the World
or as a poet described it: "a
teardrop on the cheek of time"
in 1632 just six months
after Mumtaz Mahal death
work begins on the Taj Mahal
it will be the greatest
building project of the age
some say that over 20,000
workers slay down the building
A court chronicler captures the scene:
and from all sides of
the Imperial territories
were assembled troops
after troops of skilled men
stonecutters, inlayers, and
those who do carving in relief
each one an expert in his craft
will began work together
with the other labourers
millions of bricks are baked on the
spot for the shale of the building
The Taj rises at record speed.
But progress comes at a price.
Day by day this gigantic construction
is draining the imperial treasury.
but nothing matters to the great mogul
no expenses spared
for this lavish project
nothing must hold up the building work
even if the people suffer
terribly for the Emperor's devotion
Shah Jehan created an artificial famine
when he diverted the supply of grain
toward Agra,
when it was meant for a different place
the regular supply of grain was
diverted to feed a huge population
of artisants, craftsmen, laborers,
merchants, officials, servants.
Such monuments cannot be
built by a few individuals.
today no one remembers
the ordeal of the people
only the sublime result
The color scheme of the
Taj Mahal is deeply symbolic
the worldly elements and other buildings
are all clad in red sandstone.
White is reserved for the mausoleum.
This is to be a building
of enlightenment.
An earthly representation of the heavenly
house where Mumtaz will live for eternity.
The pure white stands for the spirituality
and faith of the person buried here.
The white marble for the Taj Mahal comes
from quarries at Makrana in Rajasthan,
still in use today.
Makrana marble is already
famous in Shah Jehan's time
Hard, yet easy to work, its prized
for its fine detail and high polish.
The Great Mogul has reserved Makrana
marble for Imperial buildings.
The marble slabs are carried more than 400
kilometers to the side of the Taj Mahal.
construction consumes colossal
amounts if this fabulous stone
with the skeleton of
the building complete
the bricks disappear forever
beneath the pure white facade
it's this smooth glowing stone
that gives the Taj
Mahal its unique impact
Of course it's this white
marble that gives it its beauty
its lightness that sense of floating.
These a means of expression
available to an architect,
just as words are used by poet.
Right beside the marble
edifice the gardens begin.
The garden is the
heart of the Taj Mahal.
its an earthly picture of
the Paradise of the Quran.
Two paths divide the
terrain into four squares.
The channels along the paths
represent the rivers of
Paradise in the Quran.
Where the channels meets there's a pool.
This is symbolic of the celestial pool
where the faithfull quench their thirst.
when they arrive in Paradise.
Trough to mogul tradition,
the mausoleum and garden
form an indivisible unity.
And the interior the mausoleum itself
is modeled after the 8
paradises of the Quran.
8 chambers surround the
central space beneath the dome.
Mumtaz Mahal coffin lies here.
Before long, it attracted
pilgrims from far and wide.
Even today the graves have deeply pious
Muslims attract thousands of pilgrims.
The flowers on the graves
recall the Prophet Muhammad.
As he ascended into heaven each drop
of perspiration turned into a rose.
The faithful pray to the departed
asking for their divine intervention.
Indian Muslims are drawn to the
sumptuous memorials of the Mughal rulers
in the same way.
Orthodox Islam has no time
for the worship of saints.
But here in India it's widely seen.
The moguls brought Islam
to the subcontinent.
But they didn't interpret
the Koran rigidly.
For a long time in India,
Islam was linked to policies
of tolerance and openness.
And the Shah Jehan, that
tolerance and openness
reaches far beyond India's borders.
The Great Mogul decrees that
visitors from the outside world
will be made welcome in his empire.
He knows there is much
to gain from the exchange.
So travelers from East and West
are regularly seen
at Shah Jehan's court.
Europeans can easily be spotted
by their exotic head gear.
Both sides benefit from this
transcontinental contact.
The europeans are drawn by the
precious fabrics spices and gemstones.
European merchants pay with silver and
bring new ideas to the Mughal Empire.
The Taj Mahal itself demonstrates
the links between India and Europe.
Sumptuous stone flowers adorn
the filigree marble latticework
and cover the entire
interior of the Taj Mahal.
Techniques and motifs
coming from distant Europe.
These mosaics have semi-precious stones
are called "pietra dura".
In "pietra dura", for instance,
one doesn't know where "petra
dura" came directly from Europe
or came wire some intermediate zone,
but nevertheless it was
something which really tickled
the imagination of Shah Jehan.
And he used it
in a way interesting way,
in which the building really
looks like a treasure chest.
"Pietra dura" is Italian for hard stone.
in the Renaissance, these
precious inlays decorated palaces.
This craft to stone cutting
travel from Italy to India,
where it experienced the new heyday.
In the "pietra dura" workshops of India,
the techniques haven't changed
in hundreds of the years.
Many families have been doing
this for 17 or 18 generations.
These are the direct descendants of the
craftsman who worked on the Taj Mahal.
"Pietra dura" is a
tough craft to master.
The mosaics are made
of tiny colored stones
set into marble.
A craftsman cuts hundreds of
stones for a single mosaic,
each shaped and positioned
with perfect precision.
He needs just as much skill to carve
the flower shapes into the marble,
creating the setting
for the precious stones.
After the final delicate corrections,
a special glue sets the
stones in the recesses.
Painting in stone is one of the
glories of Indian craftsmanship.
But no chronicles recall
the names of the artists
who decorated the Taj Mahal.
One thing we tend to forget
is the hard labors sweat
suffering of artisan
and ordinary craftsman.
Nobody knows anything about them.
So the monument is a testimony as much
to their existence and the
skill which they possessed,
as it is of Shah Jehan's
aesthetic embellishment.
Through their work the man
who made the Taj Mahal live on.
The Taj Mahal is finished.
It is taken twelve years.
In spite of difficulties and obstacles,
Shah Jehan has accomplished his dream.
The chosen one of the palace rests
in a shrine worthy of her name.
A building more sublime than any
conceived or carved by human hand.
On the anniversaries of her death,
Shah Jehan visits Mumtaz Mahal tomb.
The King of the World
travels the Yamuna river
to the shrine of the Taj Mahal,
to remember his great love.
The Taj Mahal conceals a final mystery.
The coffin seen in the
mausoleum, is only a cenotaph,
an empty monument.
Mumtaz Mahal lies in the
secret marble chamber below.
There she rests undisturbed.
After finishing the Taj Mahal,
Shah Jehan rules these
lands for 20 more years.
But his reign will
see an inglorious end.
His costly projects and
extravagant lifestyle
have brought the empire
to the age of ruin.
In 1658, the King of the World
is toppled from the throne,
deposed by his and Mumtaz own son,
to save the Empire
from his extravagance.
Shah Jehan, absolute ruler,
Great Mogul for 30 years,
is a prisoner.
He's held captive in the Red
Fort, he will never leave it again.
In the evening, a servant reads him
stories of the heroic deeds of his youth.
Epics of bravery and
power, struggle and triumph.
a long long time ago.
In Shah Jehan's decades
intelligent ruled,
the Mogul Empire reached its peak.
No one succeeded in
challenging his infinite power.
But the mightiest,
have furthest to fall.
Just one comfort remains to Shah Jehan.
in the distance from his prison window,
He can see the gleaming
monument of his beloved.
He cannot forget his passion
for the chosen one of the palace.
Their happiness was mortal.
Their love was for eternity.
Mumtaz Mahal's tomb has
carved its place in history.
Shah Jehan will also find
his last resting place here.
In 1666, at the age
of 74, Shah Jehan dies.
His chronicle ends with the words:
The king of the world has died.
The body was taken by river
to the magnificent tomb of
the late Queen Mumtaz Mahal.
Shah Jehan is reunited with
his Chosen One of the Palace.
Their legacy will make them immortal.
The most perfect building in the world.