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Taj: A Story of Mughal India

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  431 ratings  ·  42 reviews
When his queen Arjumand Banu-Mumtaz-i-Mahal-the Chosen One of the Palace-died, Shah Jahan wanted to build a monument that was the image of his perfect love for her. For twenty-two years, twenty thousand men laboured day and night to fulfill the emperor's obsession. The result was the Taj Mahal, a marble mausoleum lined with gold, silver and precious jewels.

This powerful no
Paperback, 384 pages
Published May 16th 2005 by Penguin Global (first published January 1st 1985)
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Jul 01, 2010 added it
Shelves: unfinished
While reading this book I kept thinking “This author have an ulterior motive!”

Because really, why would an Indian author write a book about one of the best architectural buildings not only in India but the world, and about a ruling family that ruled a vast empire through generations in India, and then just write everything that is bad about it.

I mean so they were exceedingly rich and corrupted and drank like a crazy (all day long) and cared only for their pleasures. So I ask when did they have t
Jun 23, 2017 rated it did not like it

Kaip aš gėriuosi Indija. Greičiausiai, man tai pats įdomiausias žemės kampelis planetoje. Viskas ten mane žavi – papročiai, tradicijos, kultūra, gyvenimo būdas, kalba, maistas, spalvos, muzika… Viskas kas indiška, man atrodo taip gražu, egzotiška, skanu. Taip taip, žinau aš ir apie visus siaubus tame krašte vykstančius, ir ntgi jie man įdomūs. Esu mačiusi zilijonus filmų apie Indiją, ir taip, net dienos metu pažiūriu tą “Pažadėtąją” – kiek ten spalvų ir muzikos! Ki
Nandini Vishwanath
I liked this book. It is historical fiction set in Mughal India. Made for a fascinating read. The story moves in 3 directions simultaneously. A young Shahjahan falling in love with Arjumand (Mumtaz Mahal), an older Shahjahan building his dream or obsession of a Taj Mahal and the story of a poor Hindu carver. The Hindu carver is a symbol of the way Hindus were treated during a predominantly Mughal era.

The hospitality of the famed Rajputs, the Aurangzeb angle - where the author has tried to discu
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those historic romance took me a very long time to read. However , it totally makes to the favorites category without much thought.
The intricacies with which the author has woven this saga using facts from the past is praiseworthy.
The journey of love set amidst politics , rebellion and high profile drama , this love is very close to my heart for more reasons than I can mention.
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
A fascinating fictionalized account of Shah Jahan, his love Arjumand and the making of the Taj. An easy read to understand the era without being too historical.
Mar 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Bought from a book store in Varanasi, India in 2016.
Finally finished it after SCAs in San Francisco two years later!
Sep 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I could have given ten stars for Taj, I would have for this incredible novel! After having visited the Taj Mahal this summer, and learning about the Mughal empire, I adored reading this novel about Shah Jahan and his beloved, Arjumand. At the royal bazaar of Jahanigir, the emperor, son of Akbar, the greatest of Mughal emperors, the prince, Shah Jahan, Jahanigir's son, first gazed at Arjumand, and she gazed at him. They fell in love at first site, and through many years of peace, love, war, an ...more
Jan 29, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-so-bad
idealnya 2,5 bintang...Sebuah proporsi yang cukup besar terangkum dalam sebuah peribahasa Mughal : 'TAKTYA TAKHTA?' - Takhta atau Makam?
Ambisi dan kekuasaan. Karma yang berulang saat saudara tega membunuh saudara sekandungnya demi untuk meraih jabatan yang sangat melenakan - SULTAN. Dan dilanggarlah sudah hukum Timurid yang diciptakan leluhur mereka : 'Jangan sakiti saudaramu , meskipun mereka mungkin layak mendapatkannya' !

Gambaran tentang perang , baik itu perilaku primitif agresif-defensif ya
Dec 15, 2007 rated it liked it
When his queen Arjumand Banu-Mumtaz-i-Mahal-the Chosen One of the Palace-died, Shah Jahan wanted to build a monument that was the image of his perfect love for her. For twenty-two years, twenty thousand men laboured day and night to fulfill the emperor's obsession. The result was the Taj Mahal, a marble mausoleum lined with gold, silver and precious jewels.

This powerful novel narrates the story of the Taj on two parallel levels. The first one tells the passionate love story of Shah Jahan and Ar
Feb 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Fascinating story about a spectacular era in Indian history. Main reasons I did not give it more stars: typos in the text. Needed better proof reading. That is minor. More major is the multitude of voices that tell the story. Sometimes I was not sure who was talking. The book jumps back and forth, telling in bits and pieces the story of the lives of Shah Jahan and his empress, Arjumand Banu, as well as the story of the building of the Taj Mahal, after Arjumand's death in childbirth, following he ...more
Rengganis Primadisa
Mungkin seleraku yang aneh atau gimana, tapi ini buku terbaik yang pernah kubaca.

Awalnya aku gak suka baca buku sejarah kayak gini, tapi karena rekomendasi teman akhirnya aku baca buku ini dan WAU! Mungkin aku lebay atau gimana kali ya gak tau juga hahaha tapi pas baca bab 1, rasanya aku gak bisa nafas saking indah dan kerennya susunan kata-kata untuk deskripsi-in cinta pandangan pertama antara Shah Jahan dan Arjumand.

Cerita dan cara penyampaiannya emang bagus dari sananya. Tapi jarang banget a
Jennifer James
Oct 13, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: india, history, novels
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dian April
Aku baca versi terjemahan dlm bhs Indonesia. Novel sejarah menurutku. Bagus. Ada sisi nyata yang dibahasakan kembali dan ada sisi fiksi bisa jadi sebenarnya nyata.Sisi gelap dan terang dibalik pembangunan Taj.
Ada kisah cintanya. Dan itu nyata. Nggak picisan, tapi mengharukan. Romantis. Hehe...
Sekaligus tragis. Pergulatan memperebutkan kekuasaan sampai harus mengorbankan nyawa saudara kandung sendiri.
Dec 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Extraordinary! Tantalizing! Intimidating!
A must read for everyone!
The lingering love story on the sidelines between Shah Jehan and Arjumand Banu.
The smouldering sensuality, the riches of the Mughal Empire. The height of a dynasty so bursting with splendour that one never tires reading about it.
The towering yet secretive Taj Mahal, a true page turner and awesome read.
Naomi Pereira
Aug 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Really takes you back in time to experience life as it was once lived in the 16th century in India during the Mughal reign.Great descriptive imagery of those times,poignant,beautiful & erotic.A love story is finely woven into the tapestry of the various lives where duty precedes all else,power is king and ultimately the fall from grace.
May 11, 2010 rated it it was ok
The author kept skipping to the love story and the building of the Taj each chapter. All the even chapters were devoted to the love story and the odd chapters were devoted to the building of the Taj. Just as you got refamilarized with the characters it would switch to the other story. It wasn't to my liking.
Apr 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
so interesting to read about the building of the Taj Mahal. Maybe it helps having travelled there? Interesting to note that the original plans included an identical Taj to be built across the river but this time in black marble not white. Found this book took a while to get through but still enjoyed it, even though the author has created a fictional story around an event. Have kept it to re read.
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
I don't remember the last time I read a book so poorly edited. Why put just one comma, why not two? Get to the end of a paragraph and see end quotes...but none that started. Ugh. Plus, it just wasn't as good as others I've read about the era.
Muhammad Ridwan
Feb 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mizania, terjemahan
Jujur aja, novel berlatarkan sejarah di zaman Kerajaan Mughal, India ini bagus sekali. Perbedaan cerita antara bab ganjil dan bab genap ternyata mampu berkesinambungan. Konflik digambarkan dengan sempurna. Bahasa yang sedikit rumit di awal ternyata semakin membuatku nyaman dan enak sampai usai.
Chetan Bikkina
Dec 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Most insighful in the Indian history among all books I have read so far. An beautiful, culturally vibrant and exotic book
Feb 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Well written and a perfect story - not in terms of everything nice, but in the way in which everything falls into place beautifully. Plus an excellent history lesson.
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Even it was not easy to read book due to specific vocabulary, it left an amazing impression. Especially if you have ever had a chance to see Taj Mahal it makes it even stronger effect.
Sobia Be
Feb 26, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: history
wonderfully written...really bring back the reader in time....not sure abt the fact though.....feel like visiting the Taj...& doing more research
Shannon Zirkle-prabhakar
Jul 09, 2014 marked it as to-read
I registered a book at!
Asmi Natasylover
Feb 12, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: yang-aku-punya
benar2 cinta sejati
Nov 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book very much. I loved the history of Mugal India. I would recommend reading this book.
Feb 25, 2008 rated it liked it
Ooooh the lascivious, all-important, glorious mughals. A little fact, a little fiction. Great read.
Aug 09, 2010 added it
beautiful and tragic!
Jaseena AL
Jun 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Rating : 3 stars
Mar 01, 2009 rated it really liked it
not as good as the 20th wife...but a fun historical fiction nonetheless...
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Timeri Murari is an award winning writer, filmmaker, and playwright, who began his career as journalist on the Kingston Whig Standard in Ontario, Canada. He writes for the Guardian, Sunday Times, and other magazines and newspapers internationally. He has published both fiction and non-fiction, and his bestselling novel, Taj, was translated into 19 lanugages and has recently been reissued by Pengui ...more
“Isa looked down the river to the Taj Mahal. It shone harshly in the midday sun, the marble glared back at the sky and it stood isolated and alone. It needed a companion of beauty, but there was none in this world. Isa had thought long about the tomb; it had life, it breathed. He imagined the rise and fall of the stone as it sighed. He realized it was lonely. It was a perfect thing in an imperfect world, and that was an awesome burden.” 1 likes
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