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World Wonders
The Tale of the Taj Mahal

World Wonders
World Wonders

The Tale of the Taj Mahal
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Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.49

     challenging words:    cenotaph, lattice, trunkfuls, martyr, victorious, distraught, prosperous, leadership, archway, childbirth, inlay, military, towers, gateway, beloved, design
     content words:    Shah Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal, Chosen One, Shan Jahan, Taj Mahal

The Tale of the Taj Mahal
By Sharon Fabian

1     Shah Jahan was not the oldest son of the emperor, but he proved that he had the ability to lead in military campaigns. He was sent on many missions for his father, and he brought back many victories. That is why his father took the unusual step of naming this son Shah Jahan, or King of the World, while the father still ruled.
2     Still, Shah Jahan did not have an easy time taking control of his country, India, when his father died. His brothers fought him for the power, but Shah Jahan was once again victorious. He was crowned emperor in a splendid and elegant ceremony.
3     Meanwhile, Shah Jahan had had another big event in his life. He had met a beautiful girl in the bazaar. They fell in love and got married. After he became ruler of India, he named his bride Mumtaz Mahal, or Chosen One of the Palace.
4     Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal had a large family of fourteen children together, but their love story would still be a short one. Mumtaz Mahal died in childbirth as their fourteenth child was born.
5     Their story has become legendary. It is said that, as she lay dying, Mumtaz Mahal asked Shah Jahan to build her a beautiful burial place. Shah Jahan was so distraught over her death that he could think of nothing else. He designed the most beautiful building ever to honor his dead wife who, according to Islamic tradition, was considered a martyr since she had died in childbirth.

Paragraphs 6 to 15:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable

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