Compiled by Sanjeev Nayyar from book by P N Oak November 2001
In the last one year I received three mails on the above subject. I ignored the first two mails thinking they were part of Sangh Parivar propaganda. The third mail stumped me with a simple question. If Taj Mahal was the name of a mausoleum, a place where numerous dead are buried, why did the illustrious House of Tatas, in 1905, name Mumbai’s first world class hotel, Taj Mahal. You cannot attract guests by naming your hotel after a mausoleum. Friends and foes could not give me an answer till someone told me that Taj Mahal meant Crown Residence. Yeah that was a good name to give a hotel.
But then what was the truth. Around the same time one of Mumbai’s newspapers carried an article on the Taj being a Shiv temple. Apparently there was a book by one Dr P N Oak that threw light on the subject. Was all that I had learnt school wrong? When I asked friends to help they asked, what would you get by racking up a 350-year old issue As is the case with me, nothing in life comes easy. None of Mumbai’s bookshops had it. Somehow, I managed to get a copy.
At the outset, let me state that this article is a result of my infinite quest for the truth. It is not my intent to arouse feelings and make people demand that the Taj Mahal be pulled down. Besides the book, a booklet gives 118 reasons to prove that the Taj Mahal is Tejo Mahalaya. I have reproduced the more important ones and some from the book totaling 93. As in the booklet, reasons are given under various headings.
The term Taj Mahal itself never occurs in any Mogul court paper or chronicle even in Aurangzeb’s time.
The usual explanation that the term Taj Mahal derives from Mumtaz Mahal who is buried in it is absurd on at least two grounds viz. Firstly her name was never Mumtaz Mahal but Mumtaz-ul-Zamani, and secondly one cannot omit the first three letters “Mum” from a woman’s name to derive the remainder as the name of her mausoleum.
Several European visitors of Shahjahan’s time allude to the building as Taj-e-Mahal which is almost the correct traditional, age-old Sanskrit name Tej-o-Mahalaya, signifying a Shiva temple. Contrarily even Shahjahan and Aurangzeb scrupulously avoid using that Sanskrit term and call it just a holy tomb.
Moreover, if the Taj is believed to be a burial place, how can the term ‘Mahal’ ‘i.e. ‘mansion,’ apply to it?
The term Taj Mahal is a corrupt form of the Sanskrit term ‘Tejo Mahalaya’ signifying a Shiva temple. Agreshwar Mahadev i.e. the Lord God of Agra was consecrated in it.
The tradition of removing one’s shoes before climbing the marble platform originates from pre-Shahjahan times when the Taj was a Shiva Temple. Had the Taj originated as a tomb, shoes need not have been removed because shoes are a necessity in a cemetery.
Visitors may notice that the base-slab of Mumtaz’s cenotaph in the basement is plain white while its superstructure and the other three cenotaphs on the two floors are covered with inlaid creeper designs. This indicates that the marble pedestal of the Shiva idol is still in place and Mumtaz’s cenotaphs are fake.
The pitchers carved inside the upper border of the octagonal marble lattice plus those mounted on it number 108 a figure sacred in Hindu temple – tradition.
In India there are 12 Jyotirlingas, i.e. outstanding Shiva temples. The Tejomahalay alias the Taj Mahal appears to be one of them known as Naganatheshwar since its parapet is girdled with Naga i.e. cobra figures. Ever since Shahjahan’s capture of it in 1631 A.D. that sacred temple has been lost to Hindudom.
The famous Hindu treatise on architecture, titled Viswakarma Vastushastra mentions the ‘Tej Linga’ amongst Shiva Lingas i.e. stone emblems of Lord Shiva, the Vedic deity. Such a Teja Linga was consecrated in the Taj Mahal, hence the term Taj Mahal alias Tejo Mahalay.
Agra city, in which the Taj Mahal is located, is an ancient center of Shiva worship. Its orthodox residents have through the ages continued the tradition of worshipping at five Shiva shrines before taking the last meal every night especially during the month of Shravan. During the last few centuries residents of Agra had to be content with worshipping at only four prominent Shiva temples viz. Balkeshwar, Prithvinath Manakameshwar and Rajarajeshwar. They had lost track of the fifth Shiva deity which their forefathers worshipped. Apparently the fifth was Agreshwar Mahadev Naganatheshwar i.e. the Lord Great God of Agra, and Deity of the King of cobras, consecrated in the Tejo-Mahalaya alias Taj Mahal.
The people who dominate the Agra region are Jats. Their name for Shiva is Tejaji. The Jat special issue of the Illustrated Weekly of India (June 28, 1971) mentions that the Jats have Teja Mandirs i.e. Teja Temples. This is because Teja Linga is one among several names of Shiva Lingas. From this it is apparent that the Taj Mahal is Tejo Mahalaya, the Great Abode of Tej.”
Shahjahan’s own court-chronicle, the Badshahnama, admits (on page 403, Vol. I) that a grand mansion of unique splendor, capped with a done (imaarat-e-alishan wa gumbaze) was taken from the Jaipur Maharaja Jaisingh for Mumtaz’s burial, and that the building was then known as Raja Mansingh’s palace.
Prince Aurangzeb’s letter to his father, emperor Shahjahan, belies the Archaeological Department’s reliance on Tavernier. Aurangzeb’s letter is recorded in at least three chronicles titled ‘Aadaab-e-Alamgiri’ ‘Yaadgaarnama’ and the ‘Muraqqa-I-Akbarabadi’ (edited by Said Ahmad, Agra, 1931, page 43, footnote 2) In that letter Aurangzeb records in 1652 A. D. itself that the several buildings in the fancied burial place of Mumtaz were all seven-storeyed and were so old that they were all leaking, while the dome had developed a crack on the northern side. Aurangzeb, therefore, ordered immediate repairs to the buildings at his own expense while recommending to the emperor that more elaborate repairs be carried out later. This is proof that during Shahjahan’s reign itself the Taj complex was old needed immediate repairs.
The ex-Maharaja of Jaipur retains in his secret personal Kapad Dwara collection two orders from Shahjahan dated December 18, 1633 ( bearing modern numbers R. 176 and 177 ) requisitioning the Taj building complex. That was so blatant a usurpation that the then ruler of Jaipur was ashamed to make the documents public.
The three firmans demanding marble were sent to Jaisingh within about two years of Mumtaz’s death. Had Shahjahan really built the Taj Mahal over a period of 22 years, the marble would have needed only after 15 or 20 years and not immediately after Mumtaz’s death.
Moreover, the three firmans mention neither the Taj Mahal, nor Mumtaz, nor the burial. The cost and the quantity of stone required also are not mentioned. This proves that an insignificant quantity of marble was needed just for Koranic implantation and Mumtaz’s two cenotaphs to match with the Tajmahal marble. Even otherwise Shahjahan could never hope to build a fabulous Tal Mahal by abject dependence for marble on a non-cooperative Jaisingh.
European Visitor’s Accounts
Tavernier, a French jeweller has recorded in his travel memoirs that Shahjahan “purposely buried Mumtaz near the Taz-I-Makan (i.e. the Taj building) where foreigners used to come (they do even today) so that the world may admire.” He adds, “the cost of the scaffolding was more than that of the entire work.” The work that Shahjahan commissioned in the Tejomahalaya Shiva temple was plundering all the costly fixtures inside it, uprooting the Shiva idols, planting two cenotaphs in their place on two stories, inscribing the Koran along the arches and walling up six of the seven stories of the Taj. It was this plunder; desecration and sealing of hundreds of rooms which took 22 years. Tavernier’s noting mistook the peripheral bazar rooms to be the Taz-I-Makan alias Tajmahal instead of the outstanding marble edifice.
Peter-Mundy, an English visitor to Agra recorded in 1632 (within only a year of Mumtaz’s death) that “the places of note in and around Agra, included Taj-e-Mahal’s tomb, gardens and bazaars.” He therefore confirms Tavernier’s noting that the Taj Mahal had been a noteworthy building even before Shahjahan. Peter Mundy blunders in believing Taj-I-Mahal to be the name of the buried lady instead of the building.
De Laet, a Dutch official has listed Mansingh’s palace about a mile from Agra fort, as an outstanding building of pre-Shahjahan’s time. Shahjahan’s court chronicle, the Badshahnama, records Mumtaz’s burial in that same Mansingh palace.
Johan Albert Mandelslo who describes life in Agra in 1638 (only seven years after Mumtaz’s death) in detail (in his VOYAGES AND TRAVELS INTO THE EAST INDIES, published by John Starkey and John Basset, London) makes no mention of the Taj Mahal being under construction though it is commonly erringly asserted or assumed that the Taj was being built from 1631 to 1653.
A Sanskrit inscription too supports the conclusion that the Taj originated as a Shiva temple. Wrongly termed as the Bateshwar inscription (currently preserved on the top floor in the Lucknow museum), it refers to the raising of a “Crystal-white Shiva temple so alluring that Lord Shiva once enshrined in it decided never to return to Mount Kailas-his usual abode.” That inscription dated 1155 A. D. was removed from the Taj Mahal garden at Shahjahan’s orders.
Far from building the Taj, Shahjahan disfigured it with black Koranic lettering displacing earlier Sanskrit inscriptions, several idols and two huge stone elephants extending their trunks in a welcome arch over the gateway where visitors these days buy entry- tickets.
An Englishman, Thomas Twining, records (page 191 of his book (TRAVELS IN INDIA – A HUNDRED VEARS AGO) that in November 1794 “I arrived at the high walls which enclose the Taj-e-Mahal and its circumjacent buildings …. I here got out of the palanquin and …. Mounted a short flight of steps leading to a beautiful portal which formed the center of this side of the Court of Elephants as the great area was called.”
The Taj Mahal is scrawled over with 14 chapters of the Koran but nowhere is there even the slightest or remotest allusion in that Islamic overwriting to Shahjahan’s authorship of the Taj. Had Shahjahan been the builder he would have said so in so many words before beginning to quote the Koran.
That Shahjahan, far from building the marble Taj, only disfigured it with black lettering is mentioned by the inscriber Amanat Khan Shirazi himself in an inscription on the building.
A close scrutiny of the Koranic lettering reveals that they are grafts patched up with bits of variegated stone on an ancient Shiva temple.
Carbon – 14 Test
A wooden piece from the riverside eastern doorway of the Taj subjected to the carbon – 14 tests by an American laboratory, has revealed the door to be 300 years older than Shahjahan. Since the doors of the Taj, broken open by Muslim invaders repeatedly from the 11th century onwards, for plunder and ravage, had to be replaced from time to time the Taj edifice is much older than many of its doors. It belongs to 1155 A. D. i.e. almost 500 years anterior to Shahjahan.
The book has a copy of the report published by Evan Williams, Professor of Chemistry, and Brooklyn College, New York. It says that a wood piece from the door at North East end of the Taj Mahal has an age between 1448 to 1270 A.D.
Well –known Western authorities on architecture like E. B. Havell, Mrs Kenoyer and Sir W. W. Hunter have gone on record to say that the Taj Mahal is built in the Hindu temple style. Havell points out that the ground plan of the ancient Hindu Chandi Seva temple in Java is identical with that of the Taj.
A central dome with octagonal cupolas at its four corners is a common feature of Hindu temples.
The four marble pillars at the plinth corners are of the Hindu style. They were used as lamp–towers during the night and as watchtowers during the day. Such towers serve to demarcate the holy precincts. Hindu wedding altars and the altar set up for God Satyanarayan worship has pillars raised at their Four Corners. See our marriage mandaps.
The octagonal shape of the Taj Mahal has a special Hindu significance because: Hindus alone have special names for the eight directions, and celestial guards assigned to them. Lord Rama’s capital was octagonal as mentioned in Valmiki’s Ramayana. The pinnacle points to the heaven while the foundation signifies the nether world. Hindu forts, cities, palaces and temples generally have an octagonal layout or some octagonal features so that together with the pinnacle and the foundation they cover all ten directions in which the king or god holds sway, as per Hindu tradition.
Encyclopedia Britannica is wrong in terming the four marble towers around the Taj Mahal as minarets. Muslim minarets are always part of the building. These ones detached from the building, are Hindu towers. Muslim minarets start from the shoulders of the buildings. Hindu towers start from the floor level like the Rana Kumbha tower at Chittogarh. The four minarets are similar to the four corners of Satyanarayan altars, of wedding altars which is a Hindu tradition. Also Muslim pairs of minarets are of varying heights and never symmetrical.
The Taj Mahal has a trident pinnacle over the dome. A full-scale figure of that trident pinnacle is inlaid in the red-stone courtyard to the east of the Taj. The central shaft of the trident depicts a Kalash (sacred pot) holding two bent mango leaves and a coconut. This is a sacred Hindu motif. Identical pinnacles may be seen over Hindu and Buddhist temples in the Himalayan region. Tridents are also depicted against a red lotus background at the apex of the stately marble arched entrances on all four sides of the Taj Mahal. People fondly but mistakenly believed all these three centuries that the Taj pinnacle depicts an Islamic crescent and star or was a lighting-conductor installed by the British rulers of India. Contrarily the pinnacle made of a non-rusting 5-metal alloy, is also perhaps a Vedic lightning deflector. That the replica of the pinnacle is drawn in the eastern courtyard is also significant because the east is of special importance to the Hindus, as the direction in which the sun rises. The pinnacle on the dome has the word Allah forged on it by the first British archaeological chief Alexander Cunningham, as is apparent from some British names emblazoned on it with a flame-thrower stove by those sent up the dome for the forgery. The pinnacle figure in the eastern red-stone courtyard does not have the word Allah.
The two buildings which face the marble Taj from the East and West are identical in design, size and shape and yet the eastern building is explained away by Islamic tradition, as a community hall while the western building is claimed to be a mosque. How could buildings meant for radically different purposes be identical? This proves that the western building was put to use as a mosque after seizure of the Taj property by Shahjahan. Curiously enough the building being explained away as a mosque has no minaret. Those two identical flanking buildings are a pair of reception pavilions of the Tejo Mahalaya temple-place complex.
A few yards away on both flanks are two Nakkar Khanas alias drum houses which is an intolerable incongruity for Islam. The proximity of the drum house indicates that the western annex was not originally a mosque. Contrarily a drum house is a necessity in a Hindu temple or palace because Hindu chores morning and evening begin to the sweet strains of music. Music is against Islam.
The spot occupied by Mumtaz’s cenotaph in the lattice enclosure was formerly occupied by the Hindu Teja Linga-a lithic representation of Lord Shiva. Around it are five perambulatory passages. Perambulation could be done bothinside and around the marble lattice or through the spacious marble chambers surrounding the cenotaph chamber, in the open over the marble platform or over the red-stone courtyard. It is also customary for Hindu to have apertures along the perambulatory passage, overlooking the deity. Such apertures exist in the perambulators in the Taj Mahal.
The sanctum in the Taj Mahal had silver doors and gold railings as Hindu temples still have. It also had nets of pearl, and gems stuffed in the marble lattices. It was the lure of this wealth, which made Shahjahan commandeer the Taj Mahal from a helpless vassal Jaisingh, the then ruler of Jaipur.
Peter Mundy, an Englishman, records (in 1632) within a year of Mumtaz’s death, having seen a gen-studded gold railing around her tomb. Had the Taj Mahal been under construction for 22 years Peter Mundy could not have noticed a costly gold railing within a year of Mumtaz’s death. Such costly fixtures are installed in a building only after the building is ready for use. This indicates that Mumtaz’s cenotaph was grafted in place of the Shivaling in the centre of the gold railing. Subsequently the gold railings, silver doors, nets of pearls, gem-fillings, etc, were all carted away to Shahjahan’s treasury. The seizure of the Taj Mahal thus constituted an act of high-handed Moghul robbery of Hindu wealth causing a big row between Shahjahan and Jaisingh.
Above Mumtaz’s cenotaph hangs a chain by which now hangs a lamp. Before capture by Shahjahan the chain used to hold a gold water pitcher from which water used to drip on the Shiva Linga.
It is this earlier drip-drop Hindu tradition in the Taj Mahal which gave rise to the Islamic myth of Shahjahan’s love tear dropping on Mumtaz’s tomb on a full moon day on winter-eve.
Even the hammer-story is a fabrication. Firstly, nobody seems to ask why should any mason bear any grudge towards Shahjahan when the latter is said to have spent liberally and lavishly in commissioning the mausoleum? Secondly, even if a mason bore any grudge he would not be permitted access to the emperor to exchange hot words with. Even if there were any argument between the two it would not be between a Shahjahan standing in the garden and the petulant mason on the supper perch like an irate monkey on top of the dome at a perpendicular height of 243 feet or so. What is more, even an angry mason’s powerful hammer stroke would not make even the slightest dent in the dome because the dome has a 13-feet thick wall covered with hard marble.
The hammer-stroke and tear drop stories are a fraudulent Islamic fabrication based on two facts. One of those we have already noted namely that in the Hindu tradition water did drip in droplets from a pitcher hung over the Shiva Linga. The second fact is that Shahjahan was so stingy by nature that he did not want to spend even a pie from his own treasury in transforming a captured Taj Mahal into an Islamic mausoleum.
His troops used to round up workers from Agra City and the neighborhood at sword point or at the crack of a whip. Such forced labor was employed for years in pulling out Hindu idols, grafting Koranic engravings, and sealing five of the seven stories of the Taj Mahal. Being compelled to work for years without wages, the workmen rebelled. A haughty Shahjahan punished them by amputatingtheir hands.
The Taj Mahal having originated as a temple palace, it has several dry, scavenging-type toilets, which lie unknown to the lay visitor, locked, and barred. Had it been an Islamic mausoleum it should not have had toilets
Between the so-called mosque and the drum house is a multi-storeyed octagonal well with a flight of stairs reaching down to the water level. This is the traditional treasury well in Hindu temple-places. Treasure chests used to be kept in the lower apartments while treasury personnel had their offices in the upper chambers. The circular stairs made it difficult for intruders to reach down to the treasure or to escape with it undetected or unparsed. In case the premises had to be surrendered to a besieging enemy the treasure could be pushed into the well to remain hidden from the conqueror and remain safe for salvaging if the place was reconquered. Such an elaborate multi-storeyed well is superfluous for a mere mausoleum. Such a grand, gigantic well is unnecessary for a dead Mumtaz when even a living Muslim does not use so much water.
Burial Date Unknown
Had Shahjahan really built the Taj Mahal as a wonder mausoleum, history would have recorded a specific date on which she was ceremoniously buried in the Taj Mahal. No such date is ever mentioned. This important missing detail decisively exposes the falsity of the Shahjahan legend.
Even the year of Mumtaz’s death is unknown. It is variously speculated to be 1629, 1630, 1631, or 1632. Had she deserved a fabulous burial, as is claimed, the date of her death would not have been a matter of speculation. In a harem teeming with 5000 women it was difficult to keep track of dates of death. Apparently the date of Mumtaz’s death was so insignificant an event as not to merit any special notice. Who would then build a Taj Mahal for her burial?
Records Don’t Exist
Twenty thousand laborers are supposed to have worked for 22 years during Shahjahan’s reign in building the Taj Mahal. Had this been true, there should have been available in Shahjahan’s court papers design-drawings, heaps of labor muster rolls, daily expenditure sheets, bills and receipts for material ordered, and commissioning orders. There is not even a scrap of paper of the kind. Given the fact that Muslims of that time were very good historians had written so many books then, it is a bit suprising.
Descriptions of the garden plants around the Taj of Shahjahan’s time mention Ketaki, Jai, Jui, Champa, Maulashree, Harshringar and Bel. All these are plants whose flowers or leaves are used in the worship of Vedic deities. Bel leaves are used exclusively in Shiva worship. A graveyard is planted only with shady trees because the idea of using fruit or flower from plants in a cemetery is abhorrent to human conscience. The presence of Bel and other flower plants in the Taj garden is proof of its having been a Shiva temple before seizure by Shahjahan.
Hindu temples are often built on river banks and sea beaches. The Taj Mahal is one such built on the bank of the Yamuna river, an ideal location for a Shiva temple. Hindu holy places like Hrishikesh, Ujjain, Nashik and Hardwar are along rivers. The existence of a ghat at the rear suggests a temple-palace, not a tomb.
Prophet Mohammad has ordained that the burial spot of a Muslim should be inconspicuous and must not be marked by even a single tombstone. In flagrant violation of this the Taj Mahal has one grave in the basement and another in the first floor chamber both ascribed to Mumtaz. Those two cenotaphs were in fact erected by Shahjahan to bury the two-tier Shiva Lingas that were consecrated in the Taj Mahal. It is customary for Hindus to install two Shiva Lingas one over the other in two storeyes as may be seen in the Mahankaleshwar temple in Ujjain and the Somnath temple raised by Ahilyabai in Somnath Pattan. Even the basement cenotaph is a fake because it is two storeyes above the river bank ground level.
The Taj Mahal has identical entrance arches on all four sides. This is a typical Hindu building style known as Chaturmukhi, i.e. four-faced.
The Hindu Dome
The Taj Mahal has a reverberating dome. Such a dome is an absurdity for a tomb which must ensure peace and silence. Contrarily reverberating domes are a necessity in Hindu temples because they create an ecstatic din multiplying and magnifying the sound of bells, drums and pipes accompanying the worship of Hindu deities.
The Taj Mahal dome bears a lotus cap. Original Islamic domes have a bald top as is exemplified by the Pakistan Embassy domes in Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, and the domes in Pakistan’s newly built capital Islamabad.
The Taj Mahal entrance faces south. Quoting Shamshad Hussain from the Times of India of 25/01/2001 “All Shiva temples having a south facing doorway, opening on Mount Kailash orientation”. Had the Taj been an Islamic building it should have faced the west.
Tomb is the Grave, not the Building
A widespread misunderstanding has resulted in mistaking the building for the grave. Invading Islam raised graves in captured buildings in every country it overran. Therefore, hereafter people must learn not to confound the building with the grave mounds which are grafts in conquered buildings. This is true of the Taj Mahal too. One may therefore admit (for argument’s sake) that Mumtaz lies buried inside the Taj, but that shouldn’t be construed to mean that the Taj was raised over Mumtaz’s grave.
The Taj Mahal is a seven-storeyed building. Prince Aurangzeb also mentions this in his letter to Shahjahan. The marble edifice comprises four stories including the lone, tall circular hall inside the dome on top, and the lone chamber in the basement. In between are two floors each containing 12 to 15 palatial rooms?
Below the marble plinth reaching down to the river at the rear are two more storeyes in red stone. They may be seen from the riverbank. The seventh storey must be below the ground (river 0 level since every ancient Hindu building had a subterranean storey).
Immediately below the marble plinth on the river flank are 22 rooms in red stone with their ventilators all walled-up by Shahjahan.
Those rooms, made uninhabitable dark by Shahjahan, are kept locked by the archaeology department. The lay visitor is kept in the dark about them. Those 22 rooms still bear ancient Hindu paints on their walls and ceilings. On their inner side is a nearly 325 ft. long and 8.5 ft. broad corridor. There are two doorframes one at either end of the corridor. But those doorways are intriguingly sealed withcrumbling brick and lime by Shahjahan
Apparently those doorways originally sealed by Shahjahan have been since unsealed and again walled up several times. In 1934 a resident of Delhi took a peep inside from an opening in the upper part of the doorway. To his dismay he saw a huge hall inside. It contained many statues huddled around a central beheaded image of Lord Shiva. It could be that in there are Sanskrit inscriptions too. All the seven storeyes of the Taj Mahal need to be unsealed and scoured to ascertain what evidence they may be hiding in the form of Hindu images, Sanskrit inscriptions, scriptures, coins and utensils.
Apart from Hindu images hidden in the sealed storeyes it is learnt that Hindu images are also buried in the massive walls of the Taj Mahal. Between 1959 and 1962 when Mr. S. R. Rao was the archaeological superintendent in Agra, he happened to notice a long, deep and wide crack in a wall of the central octagonal chamber of the Taj. When a part of the wall was dismantled to study the crack out popped two or three marble images. The matter was hushed up and the images were reburied where they had been embedded at Shahjahan’s behest. Confirmation of this has been obtained from several sources. It was only when I began my investigation into the antecedents of the Taj that I came across the above, which had remained a forgotten secret.
What better proof is needed of the temple origin of the Taj Mahal? Its walls and sealed chambers still hide the Hindu idols that were consecrated in it before Shahjahan’s seizure of the Taj Mahal.
Pre-Shahjahan References to the Taj
Apparently the Taj Mahal as a temple palace seems to have had a checkered history. The Taj was desecrated and looted by every Muslim invader from Mohammad Ghazni onwards while passing into Hindu hands off and on. The sanctity of the Taj Mahal as a Shiva temple continued to be revived after every Muslim onslaught. Shahjahan was the last Muslim to desecrate the Taj Mahal alias Tejo Mahalaya.
Vincent Smith records in his book titled “Akbar the Great Mogul” that “Babur’s turbulent life came to an end in his garden palace in Agra” in 1630. That palace was none other than the Taj Mahal.
Babur’s daughter Gulbadan Begum in her chronicle titled Humayun Nama refers to the Taj Mahal as the Mystic House.
Babur himself refers to the Taj Mahal in his memoirs as a palace captured from Ibrahim Lodi containing a central octagonal chamber and having pillars on the four sides. All these historical references allude to the Taj Mahal 100 years before Shahjahan.
Had the Taj been built specially to bury Mumtaz it should not have been cluttered with other graves. But the Taj premises contain numerous other graves at least in its eastern and southern pavilions, to desecrate that entire temple complex.
In the southern flank on either side of the Tajganj gate are buried in identical pavilions queens Sarhandi Begum and Fatehpuri Begum and a maid Satunnisa Khanum. Such parity burial can be justified only if the queens had been demoted or the maid promoted. But since Shahjahan had commandeered (not built) the Taj Mahal he reduced it indiscriminately to a general Muslim cemetery as was the habit of all his Islamic predecessors, and buried a queen in one vacant pavilion and a maid in another identical pavilion.
Mumtaz died in Burhanpur which is about six hundred miles south of Agra. Her grave there is intact. Therefore, the cenotaphs raised in two storeyes of the Taj in her name are fakes hiding the Hindu Shiva emblems. And why two cenotaphs one in the basement and the other in the upper storey? Was Mumtaz’s corpse cut up into two pieces, horizontally or vertically to need two cenotaphs? Is that not a fraud?
A pertinent consideration is that a Shahjahan who did not build any palaces for Mumtaz while she was alive and kicking would not build a fabulous mausoleum for a corpse which was no longer kicking or clicking.
Another factor is that Mumtaz died within two to three years of Shahjahan becoming emperor. Could he amass so much superfluous wealth in that short span as to squander it on a wonder-mausoleum for a stinking corpse?
While Shahjahan’s special attachment to Mumtaz is no-where recorded in history his amorous affairs with 5000 other ladies from maids to mannequins including his own daughter Jahanara, find special mention in accounts of Shahjahan’s reign. Would such a Shahjahan shower his hard-earned wealth on Mumtaz’s corpse?
Early in the year 1973, chance digging in the garden in front of the Taj revealed another set of fountains about six feet below the present fountains. This proved two things. Firstly that the subterranean fountains were there before Shahjahan or British laid the surface fountains. And secondly that since those fountains are aligned to the Taj that edifice too is of pre-Shahjahan origin. Apparently the garden and its fountains had sunk from annual monsoon flooding and lack of maintenance for centuries during Islamic rule.
Bernier, a French traveller has recorded that no non-Muslim was allowed entry into the secret nether chambers of the Taj because there were some dazzling costly fixtures there. Had those been installed by Shahjahan they should have been shown to the public as a matter or pride. But since it was commandeered Hindu wealth which Shahjahan wanted to remove to his treasury he didn’t want the public to know about that royal Mogul robbery.
The approach to the Taj Mahal is dotted with hillocks raised with earth dug out from foundation-trenches. The hillocks served as outer defences of the Taj building complex. Raising such hillocks from foundation earth, is a common Hindu device of hoary origin. Nearby Bharatpur provides a graphic parallel.
Peter Mundy has recorded that Shahjahan employed thousands of labourers to level some of those hillocks. This is graphic proof of the Taj Mahal existing before Shahjahan.
Tavernier, the French traveler has noted that Shahjahan couldn’t obtain timber for raising a scaffolding (to inscribe the Koran at various heights). Shahjahan had, therefore to raise scaffolding of brick. As a result the “cost of the scaffolding was more than that of the entire work” says Tavernier. This is clear proof that Shahjahan did not build the Taj but only inscribed the Koran, and sealed hundreds of rooms, staircases and ventilators.
The spiked-gates at the various archways in the Taj premises still seen on the eastern flank are defense devices not needed for a mausoleum, seen at the entrance of every Rajput fort.
According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica the Taj building complex consists of guestrooms, guardrooms and stables. These are irrelevant for a mausoleum. A dead Mumtaz wouldn’t go out riding and wouldn’t entertain guests at parties.
At the backside riverbank is a Hindu crematorium, several palaces, a Shiva temple and bathing ghats of ancient origin. Had Shahjahan built the Taj Mahal, he would have destroyed those Hindu features.
The story that Shahjahan wanted to build a black marble Taj across the river, is another motivated myth. The ruins dotting the other side of the river are those of Hindu structures demolished during Muslim invasions and not the plinth of another Taj Mahal. A Shahjahan who did not build even the white marble Taj would hardly ever think of building a black marble Taj. He was so miserly that he forced laborers to work gratis even in the superficial tampering necessary to make a Hindu temple serve as a Muslim tomb.
The marble that Shahjahan used for grafting Koranic lettering in the Taj is of a pale white shade while the rest of the Taj Mahal is built with marble of a rich yellow tint. That disparity is proof of the Koranic extracts being a superimposition.
The Taj Mahal is surrounded by huge ruined mansions, which indicate that great battles have been waged around the Taj several times.
At the southeast corner of the Taj garden is an ancient royal cattle house. Cows attached to the Tejo Mahalaya temple used to be reared there. A cowshed is an incongruity in an Islamic tomb.
The entire Taj complex comprises 400 to 500 rooms. Residential accommodation on such a stupendous scale is unthinkable in a mausoleum.
The neighboring Tajganj Township’s massive protective wall also encloses the Taj Mahal temple palace complex. This is clear indication that the Tejo-Mahalaya temple palace was part and parcel of the township. A street of that township leads straight into the Taj Mahal. The Tajganj gate is aligned in a perfect straight line to the octagonal red stone garden gate and the stately entrance arch of the marble Taj Mahal. The Tajganj gate, besides being central to the Taj temple complex, is also put on a pedestal. The western gate by which visitors enter the Taj complex these days is a comparatively minor gateway. It has become the entry gate for most visitors today because the railway station and the bus station are on that side.
The Taj Mahal has pleasure pavilions, which a tomb would never have.
A tiny mirror glass in a gallery of the Red Fort in Agra reflects the Taj Mahal. Shahjahan is said to have spent the last eight years of his life as a prisoner in that gallery peering at the reflected Taj Mahal and sighing in the name of Mumtaz. This myth is a blend of many falsehoods. Firstly, old Shahjahan was held prisoner by his son Aurangzeb in a basement dungeon in the fort and not in open, fashionable upper storey royal gallery. Secondly that glass piece was fixed in the 1930’s by Insha Allah Khan, a peon of the archaeology department, just to illustrate to the visitors how in ancient times the entire apartment used to scintillate with tiny mirror pieces reflecting the Tejo Mahalaya temple a thousand fold. Thirdly, an old decrepit Shahjahan with pain in his joints and cataract in his eyes, would not spend the day craning his neck at an awkward angle to peer into a tiny glass piece, with bedimmed eyesight when he could as well turn his face around and have a full, direct view of the Taj Mahal itself. But the general public is so gullible as to gulp all such absurd prattle of wily, unscrupulous guides.
That the Taj Mahal dome has hundreds of iron rings sticking out of its exterior is a feature rarely noticed. These are made to hold Hindu earthen oil lamps for temple illumination.
The Muslim-caretakers of the cenotaphs in the Taj Mahal used to possess a document, which they styled as “Tarikhi-Taj Mahal.” Historian H. G. Keene has branded it as “a document of doubtful authenticity.” Keene was uncannily right since we have seen that Shahjahan not being the creator of the Taj Mahal any document, which credits Shahjahan with the Taj Mahal, must be an outright forgery. Even that forged document is reported to have been since smuggled out to Pakistan. Besides such forged documents there are whole chronicles on the Taj which are pure concoctions of the post Shahjahan period.
There is a lot of sophistry and casuistry or at least confused thinking associated with the Taj even in the minds of professional historians, archaeologists and architects.
The cost of the Taj Mahal is put at Rs 40 lakhs by Shahjahan’s own court-chronicler, Mulla Abdul Hamid while the Diwan-I-Afridi says it cost Rs 9crs and 17 lakhs. The Encyclopaedia Britannica says it cost Rs 400 lakhs. According to Mohammed Din it cost Rs 150 lakhs.
While talking of Islamic architecture, could somebody enlighten us on the books found in ancient or mediaeval Muslim architecture. On the other hand there are hundreds of text in ancient Hindu system of architecture and engineering. Some of the great works are the Sun and Khajurao temples, Ajanta and Ellora caves.
The period of construction varies. According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica it is 22 yrs – 1631 to 1643 and according to Maharashtreeya Jyyankosh it is 12 yrs (1641 to 1653). In school we were told it took 22 yrs. According to Mr Mohammed Din (quoting from The Illustrated Weekly of India, 30/12/1951 issue) the construction started in 1632 and was not completed till 1650. According to Frenchmen Tavernier he witnessed commencement of the work which lasted 22 years. He is believed to have visited Agra in 1641.
Shahjahen became king in 1628. Mumtaz died between 1629 and 1631. The earliest date for the construction of the Taj is 1643. The body was buried at Burhanpur. After six months it was exhumed (against the tenets of Islam) and taken to Agra. If the Taj was completed after 1643, what was the hurry to take the body.
Shahjahen married Mumtaz in 1612. In about 18 years of married life he blessed her with 14 deliveries resulting in her premature death. If I love my wife, will I bless her with kids when I know it could prove fatal.
Maulvi Moinuddin in his book says that near the garden wall are two Khawaspuras or enclosed compounds. Part of it is filled with flower pots while the eastern side is a cowstable. From when did Muslims start having cow stables. Also Pura in Sanskrit means busy locality while Khawas means dependant of Rajput rulers. This means that a Rajput ruler lived or worshipped in the Taj Mahal.
The entire Taj consists of over 1000 rooms which implies that it was a temple-palace. The central marble structure consists of a 23-room marble palace suit, which is superfluous for a tomb.
At the outset they assert that the Taj is entirely Muslim in concept and design. But when it is pointed out that its lotus capped dome and the four corner pillars etc., are all entirely Hindu those worthies shift ground and argue that was probably because the workmen were Hindu and were free to introduce their own patterns. Both these arguments are wrong because Muslim accounts claim the designers to be Muslim, and workmen invariably carry out the employer’s dictates.
The Taj Mahal is only a typical illustration of how all historic buildings, gardens, forts, palaces, citadels, so-called mosques and mausoleums and townships from Kashmir to Cape Comorin though of hoary Hindu origin have been ascribed to this or that Muslim ruler or courtier, it needs to be remembered that invaders invariably plunder, ravage and desecrate.
It is hoped that people the world over which study Indian history will awaken to this new finding and revise their erstwhile beliefs”.
The Tejomahalaya temple palace complex or Taj Mahal was built atleast five hundred years earlier in 1155 A.D. by Raja Paramardi Dev. Shahjahan’s own court history in Persian says “the mansion in which Mumtaz is buried belonged to Raja Jaisingh. That grand domed building of exquisite build was known as Raja Jaisingh’s mansion”.
Decide for yourself friends. Use your intellect to win an argument but do not for Ram’s sake take to the streets.
To see pictures of the Taj visit www.stephen-knapp.com