Friday, April 6, 2012

Taj Mahal - Home to unsettled mysteries

Wrapped in white marble, not everyone knows why ‘Taj Mahal’ is home to numerous unsolved mysteries. After reading this blog-post, you might also feel an aura of mystery around this 'Jewel of Mughal Architecture'.

According to the history written by Mughal court attendees; this symmetric architectural piece was the result of Emperor Shah Jahan’s love for his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal who died during the birth of their 14th child. Soon after the Taj Mahal's completion, Shah Jahan was put through house-arrest at Agra Fort by his son Aurangzeb and was buried in the mausoleum, next to his wife, after his death. During Indian rebellion of 1857, the building was chiseled out by the British force and precious stones were peeled out from its walls. 

Ever since its construction, the building has been center of many folktales and mysteries. Few stories claim that Shah Jahan planned a ‘Black Taj Mahal’ to be built in black marble across the Yamuna River. Unfortunately, he was overthrown by his son before his obsession with symmetry could reach to another level. However, ruins of blackened marble across the river in Moonlight Garden seemed to support the possibilities. Some experts even claim that emperor’s wife was not buried in the Taj as her name was never Mumtaz Mahal, but Mumtaz-ul-Zamani. Perhaps, the love story of Mumtaz and Shah Jahan is merely a fairy tale created by Mughal court sycophants. 

Tejo Mahal

The construction of the Taj Mahal was commended under the supervision of Makramat Khan and Ustad Ahmad Lahauri. A labor force of 25,000 workers worked day and night to give this mausoleum heavenly looks that attract more than 200,000 visitors from overseas annually, today. Though no evidence has been found, yet everyone must have heard bleeding stories about Emperor getting craftsmen and architect’s hands cut so they couldn't ever think of replicating same design. 

Taj mahal mystery solved
‘OM’ in the flowers on the walls
Believing written history, Shah Jahan offered Maharajah Jai Singh of Jaipur a large palace in the center of Agra in exchange for the land, where Taj is placed today. Here, mentioning Maharajah’s name evokes many vague possibilities, myths and mysteries. In his book, Taj Mahal: The True Story, P.N. Oak claimed that the Taj Mahal was originally a Vedic Shiva temple named – ‘Tejo Mahal’. It was seized by Shah Jahan and adopted as a tomb. 

Red Lotus at the apex of the entrance, Vedic style corridors, temples like pinnacle and the ‘OM’ in the flowers on the walls make every historian doubtful about Taj’s real identity. Oak claimed that Hindu ornaments and symbols were wiped out from the Taj, whose sealed chambers still hold the Shiva Lingam, of the original temple. 

Few more never-understood incidents also added more doubts to the original identity of the monument. For instance, Prof. Marvin Miller from New York took a few samples from the riverside doorway of the Taj and Carbon dating tests revealed door being 300 years older than Shah Jahan period. European traveler Johan Albert Mandelslo who visited Agra only seven years after Mumtaz’s death did not give any reference to the Taj Mahal being built in his memoirs. 

Maybe, in years to come, time would reveal even more possibilities of Taj being a Hindu Temple. Until any evidence see the daylight, it is better to believe that history was never-ever written the way Mughals wanted it to be.  


Culture Holidays said...

Thank for sharing amazing and very informative information about 7 wonderful about taj mahal. i am very appreciate to read it and suggest to my friend also read and post comment. Taj Mahal India.

Anshul Singh said...

Thnak you for appreciation :)

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