Praise for My Books

"Manreet Sodhi Someshwar is a gifted writer of great promise. I have a gut feeling we have a new star rising in Punjab's literary horizon. She has an excellent command of English and a sly sense of humour."
- Khushwant Singh on The Long Walk Home

"An enjoyable tale of a sassy girl's headlong race up the corporate ladder."
- India Today on Earning the Laundry Stripes

Thursday, 11 April 2013

So What Does the Calligraphy on Mumtaz Mahal’s Tomb Say?


So what does the calligraphy on Mumtaz Mahal’s tomb say? Anyone?

And which language is it in? Arabic/Persian/Urdu/Hindi ...

First things first. The exquisite calligraphy in Taj Mahal is written in either of these two languages, Arabic and Persian. Arabic is the language of the Quran, thereby holy, and Persian was the court language of the Mughals, thereby official. 

On Mumtaz’s tomb - as in Shah Jahan’s - the verses from Quran inscribed on the tomb are in Arabic. The epitaph is in Persian. It reads: 

Marqad munavvar Arjumand Banu Begum mukhatib bah Mumtaz Mahal tanifiyat ferr sanh 1040 hijri.


"Mehrunisa returned to her examination. The base was decorated with registers of interlacing hanging flowers, the top and sides inscribed with Quranic verses. The common theme of the verses was to comfort the soul of Mumtaz with the prospect of paradise. At the south end, in the lowest element of the plinth was the epitaph: The illumined grave of Arjumand Banu Begum, entitled Mumtaz Mahal, who died in the year 1040 (AD 1631)." 

Voila! Now you can quiz your friends and watch their befuddled faces as you spout Persian! 


  1. Did you learn both Arabic and Persian? I wish I had known it when I visited Taj :)

  2. Nope, but I spent 5 years researching the monument most Indians know very little about :)

  3. The Taj has always fascinated me.. this surely grabbed my attention. thanks for the info :)