Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Secret History of Taj Mahal and the Controversy Surrounding Its Origins

Aerial view of the Taj Mahal

The interior water well

Frontal view of the Taj Mahal and dome

Close up of the dome with pinnacle

Close up of the pinnacle

Inlaid pinnacle pattern in courtyard

Red lotus at apex of the entrance

Rear view of the Taj & 22 apartments

View of sealed doors & windows in back

Typical Vedic style corridors

The Music House--a contradiction

A locked room on upper floor

A marble apartment on ground floor

The OM in the flowers on the walls

Staircase that leads to the lower levels

300 foot long corridor inside apartments

One of the 22 rooms in the secret lower level

Interior of one of the 22 secret rooms

Interior of another of the locked rooms

Vedic design on ceiling of a locked room

Huge ventilator sealed shut with bricks

Secret walled door that leads to other rooms

Secret bricked door that hides more evidence

Palace in Barhanpur where Mumtaz died

Pavilion where Mumtaz is said to be buried

The Taj Mahal, located near the Indian city of Agra, is one of the world's greatest architectural treasures. The almost supernatural beauty of the Taj Mahal and its grounds transcends culture and history, and speaks with a voice of its own to visitors from all over the world of feelings that are common to all humanity.

There are two stories of how the Taj came to be.

The Taj's Love Story

It has been called the most beautiful temple in the world, despite the fact that it was built at the cost of much human life. The Taj Mahal is a real monument of one man's love for a woman. The story is a sad one, told many times. But it never hurts to tell it again.

In 1631, when his wife died in childbirth, the emperor Shah Jahan brought to Agra the most skilled craftsmen from all Asia and even Europe, to build the white marble mausoleum that is the Taj Mahal. He intended to build a black marble mausoleum for himself, and the link between the two was to be a silver bridge. This fantastic plan suffered a dramatic and permanent setback when the Shah himself died.

Its stunning architectural beauty is beyond description, particularly at dawn and at sunset when it seems to glow in the light. On a foggy morning, it looks as though the Taj is suspended in mid-air when viewed from across the Jamuna river.

This is, of course, an illusion. The Taj stands on a raised square platform with its four corners truncated, forming an unequal octagon. The architectural design uses the interlocking arabesque concept, in which each element stands on its own and perfectly integrates with the main structure. It uses the principles of self-replicating geometry and a symmetry of architectural elements.

If you don't want the huge crowds to distract you from your view, try arriving just as it opens or is about to close. A few minutes alone in the perpetually echoing inner sanctum will reward you far more than several hours spent on a guided tour. Especially if your tour guide is Murbat Singh, who makes it his job to find a new comic slant on the Taj story every time he tells it.

To really do the Taj Mahal justice, you should plan to spend at least a full day in the grounds, to see this stunning piece of architecture at dawn, midday, and at dusk. The colours and atmosphere of the gardens and the Taj itself constantly change throughout the day. Under moonlight the marble glows.

The Taj's Other Story

If you have ever visited the Taj Mahal then your guide probably told you that it was designed by Ustad Isa of Iran, and built by the Moghul Emperor, Shah Jahan, in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Indian children are taught that it was built in 22 years (1631 to 1653) by 20,000 artisans brought to India from all over the world.

This story has been challenged by Professor P.N. Oak, author of Taj Mahal: The True Story, who believes that the whole world has been duped. He claims that the Taj Mahal is not Queen Mumtaz Mahal's tomb, but an ancient Hindu temple palace of Lord Shiva (then known as Tejo Mahalaya), worshipped by the Rajputs of Agra city.

In the course of his research, Oak discovered that the Shiva temple palace had been usurped by Shah Jahan from then Maharaja of Jaipur, Jai Singh. Shah Jahan then remodelled the palace into his wife's memorial. In his own court chronicle, Badshahnama, Shah Jahan admits that an exceptionally beautiful grand mansion in Agra was taken from Jai Singh for Mumtaz's burial. The ex-Maharaja of Jaipur is said to retain in his secret collection two orders from Shah Jahan for the surrender of the Taj building.

The use of captured temples and mansions as a burial place for dead courtiers and royalty was a common practice among Muslim rulers. For example, Hamayun, Akbar, Etmud-ud-Daula and Safdarjung are all buried in such mansions.

Oak's inquiries begin with the name Taj Mahal. He says this term does not occur in any Moghul court papers or chronicles, even after Shah Jahan's time. The term 'Mahal' has never been used for a building in any of the Muslim countries, from Afghanistan to Algeria.

'The usual explanation that the term Taj Mahal derives from Mumtaz Mahal is illogical in at least two respects. Firstly, her name was never Mumtaz Mahal but Mumtaz-ul-Zamani,' he writes. 'Secondly, one cannot omit the first three letters from a woman's name to derive the remainder as the name for the building.'

Taj Mahal is, he claims, a corrupt version of Tejo-mahalaya, or the Shiva's Palace. Oak also says that the love story of Mumtaz and Shah Jahan is a fairy tale created by court sycophants, blundering historians and sloppy archaeologists. Not a single royal chronicle of Shah Jahan's time corroborates the love story.

Furthermore, Oak cites several documents suggesting that the Taj Mahal predates Shah Jahan's era:


Professor Marvin Miller of New York took samples from the riverside doorway of the Taj. Carbon dating tests revealed that the door was 300 years older than Shah Jahan.

European traveller Johan Albert Mandelslo, who visited Agra in 1638 (only seven years after Mumtaz's death), describes the life of the city in his memoirs, but makes no reference to the Taj Mahal being built.

The writings of Peter Mundy, an English visitor to Agra within a year of Mumtaz's death, also suggest that the Taj was a noteworthy building long well before Shah Jahan's time.

Oak also points out a number of design and architectural inconsistencies that support the belief that the Taj Mahal is a typical Hindu temple rather than a mausoleum.

Many rooms in the Taj Mahal have remained sealed since Shah Jahan's time, and are still inaccessible to the public. Oak asserts they contain a headless statue of Shiva and other objects commonly used for worship rituals in Hindu temples.

Fearing political backlash, Indira Gandhi's government tried to have Oak's book withdrawn from the bookstores, and threatened the Indian publisher of the first edition with dire consequences.

The only way to really validate or discredit Oak's research is to open the sealed rooms of the Taj Mahal, and allow international experts to investigate.

Via: Article by BBC


At Sunday, October 01, 2006 12:39:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Revealing....Guess common people must be made aware of this....

At Sunday, October 01, 2006 12:41:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No wonder Aurangazeb did justice to this Shah Jahan chap by locking mercy feelings now to him...

At Monday, February 19, 2007 1:13:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

definitely insightful.....i really don't know what to believe now...

At Saturday, May 05, 2007 7:43:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

pretty fantastic! Muslims ideology is differnt!

At Thursday, June 21, 2007 1:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At Monday, June 25, 2007 2:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For me the post is lame because

1.)It's hard to believe that people of that age were sleeping for 22 years all the while when it was being constructed ...

2.)If it was a Hindu Temple Indeed History should have witnessed a great riot against Shah's empire but there aren't any facts with regard to thus.

3.)If a temple called Tejo Mahel did exist before Taj Mahal it should already have been famous

4.)P.N Oak is a layman according to me cause he also concluded that Mecca the holy place for muslims and Vatican were also spiritual places for hindu's ...this is insanely impossible.

At Monday, June 25, 2007 10:58:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My dear Anonymous who posted At Monday, June 25, 2007 2:33:00 PM,, read this

just read the introduction about Shah Jahan.. You would know why Aurangazeb was so notorious..

None has seen whats inside the sealed rooms of Tejo Mahalaya or Taj Mahal, so we cant conclude anything.. It is better that a new Indian government should come which has the courage to open these secrets..

At Monday, July 23, 2007 8:07:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's shocking and interesting too. I wish the government does something to find the real story behing Taj Mahal.

At Monday, July 23, 2007 8:09:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's shocking and interesting too> I wish the govt. does something to find the real story of Taj Mahal.

At Thursday, August 30, 2007 3:39:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Before cpoming to a conclusion to whom Taj Mahal belongs its better to reveal thr truths about Taj Mahal. No one will claim unnecessarily that this is my property. if some valid proofs are there then they will claim, like that we cant kepp away the words of Mr P.N Oak. There might be some truth also in his writings. Government should come forward to reveal truths about Taj Mahal.

At Thursday, September 20, 2007 8:33:00 AM, Blogger Baldeep said...

Wow, this is one hell of a story, very intriquing. And after reading da whole article, I definitely think there's some truth behind it. Else how can a man just wake up one fine morning an point a finger on such an important monument of ours. I think he shud be given one chance to justify his statements rather than making efforts to shut him up. I am with you Proff. Oak.

At Tuesday, December 04, 2007 12:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am glad someone has gone through to document this. I have heard this, but this is the first time I have had a chance to read into more of this.

At Friday, December 07, 2007 12:36:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am just worried about the conseuences if this is proved to be a Hindu temple, thanks to all those peaople who had the courage to bring this up or this would be an dead issue, I am sure the indian Govt will never bring this up... !!!!!!

At Wednesday, January 23, 2008 4:02:00 PM, Blogger harshvardhan said...

hey, i googled around for facts and foung this:

I dont know, but I believe this story to a good extent. Govt must lodge an enquiry into this and promote this wonder as both Hindu and Mughal architecture. Whats wrong in this. Why should someone feel bad? After all every1 worked to make it a success.

At Thursday, June 05, 2008 12:19:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My Cousin was an overseer of the area where Taj Mahal is located, and mentioned many things about various Vedic motifs, and rooms in the lower portion of the building, perhaps used for residence etc. I now fully agree with Prof. Oakes that it is a temple which should be restored to its original glory. Let the whole truth be known about our Bharat and its culture which shared & shares so much Vedic knowledge with the world without being recognized for it.

At Tuesday, September 09, 2008 4:06:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It could all be true .But furthur enquiry into this may gear up another Ayodhya like controversy and have far reaching results.

At Tuesday, September 09, 2008 4:15:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

.........If its true for taj it would be true for other buildings as well...It would not be wise to rake up the issue.Its sad that hindu architects did not get their due.....We are waking up too late.
The fact is it still remains a revenue earner for the government

At Thursday, September 18, 2008 1:38:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

On all this controversy i am wondering why the archeology department of India not doing carbon dating on Taj Mahal. People wants to know the truth.Apart from all communal problems it is the Indians right to know the correct history. In this long standing country the history is not correctly and adequately recorded.I am requesting the archeology department of India to do the needful to reveal the true identity of the eighth wonder.

At Friday, October 03, 2008 3:52:00 AM, Blogger Kiran said...

To hearing it self its very sad...why indian Govt is stil not taking any action for this....? To see the all the observations in original snaps its very easy to say that is real/origal hindus templs. Iam requesting to who all knowing the true plese do the needful at the earliest. Kiran....Hyderabad.Mob:09704521114

At Tuesday, February 10, 2009 1:11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To whomesover reading this blog,
Lets assume this is true what Mr.Oak says..
Mughals ruled India more than 800 yrs..and there are lot of Hindu temples which is very popular like meenkashi temple,
A logic question, Why did mughals leave those monuments..if they were doing such things than there wont be any hindu monuments in india...
The people who spread such kind of idiotic things wants to spoil the peace in india....
Peoples pls dnt believe such things, Indian govt had done a excellent job by stopping such research...

At Friday, August 14, 2009 4:47:00 AM, Blogger Archita said...

it is really intresting to know such a fact about Taj Mahal.that cruel king shah Jahan fooled us and the whole history of world.His son did a justifeid work in punishing him.The archealogy department should prove itand all secret rooms should be opened to people so that everybody should the real story of that cruel king Shah jahan

At Tuesday, August 25, 2009 1:54:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

this is superb... i had always believed taj to be a muslim temple.. im now baffled by these facts

At Wednesday, December 16, 2009 1:49:00 AM, Anonymous Truth said...

Hi, i was just at Tejo Mahalaya (Taj Mahal)last week, i saw the 3 "Om", i saw the pinnacle looks exactly/replica of Hindu Light, can't dispute what i saw. History doesn't lie, Muslim invaders were known to destroy. Have you been to Qutub Minar another classic example of hipocricy.

At Friday, January 22, 2010 2:49:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope the indian government might be well aware of the things, But they were really not bold enough to publish. Atleast archeology department might be aware. They might be worried abt two religion. So I hope Indian govt will never Publish any thing in this regard.

Some one should do some thing to get the true story.

Plz.. Stop spreading false info to ppl in the world.

Hope Indian Govt should do some thing.

At Tuesday, February 09, 2010 3:09:00 AM, Anonymous Pavan said...

It was common in India after 1200BC when muslim invaders started invading India, hundreds of temples were either sacked & destroyed or converted into a mosque and Taj Mahal was not an exception... It was indeed a Hindu temple & the world deserves to know the secret of one of its wonders

At Saturday, February 20, 2010 9:58:00 PM, Blogger SUNNY said...

Carbon Dating should be done and if proved........History will change

At Thursday, March 25, 2010 11:32:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

whn mughals ruled they destroyed arnd 3000 temples in india my dear frens... taj o mahalya is another one...govt doesnt hav much courage to reveal it...
they think of their votes only ..

At Thursday, March 25, 2010 11:32:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

whn mughals ruled they destroyed arnd 3000 temples in india my dear frens... taj o mahalya is another one...govt doesnt hav much courage to reveal it...
they think of their votes only ..

At Thursday, March 25, 2010 11:32:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

whn mughals ruled they destroyed arnd 3000 temples in india my dear frens... taj o mahalya is another one...govt doesnt hav much courage to reveal it...
they think of their votes only ..

At Friday, July 09, 2010 12:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well folks, if this is really true, than, the archaeology dept. must know about it very well. India has now something called the R.T.I. Act, under which anybody can ask for information to any govt, agency. It will be better to seek such information from them instead of argueing among ourselves. If it is really true, than, let the truth come out.

At Monday, August 30, 2010 8:50:00 AM, Anonymous Thirupathi said...

It is not a problem of whether it is for muslim or hindu. But the truth shall come in light. Otherwise it is a great hardship to the true builder of Taj Mahal. Goverment has to take necessary steps to enlight the truth to the public.

At Monday, October 18, 2010 2:40:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i think that taj mahal was built by hindu king.

At Tuesday, December 07, 2010 2:34:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it is so sad that even all indian kids are taught at school the wrong history of the greatest monument in india. time to release the true facts

At Wednesday, June 22, 2011 3:37:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This controversy is not fully justified -

1) P N Oak'S contention on name -
The term Taj means Crown and
here in case of Taj Mahal it
denotes Crowning glory and not
omission of Mum from Mumtaz.

2) The hindu relics and paintings
in the secret chambers
pertains to the local hindu
labourers and their families
who had toiled for 22 years in
erecting this world class
beautiful monument. (More than
the quarter of their life of
working period).

3) It is not for justice that
Aurangazeb locked Shah Jahan,
but his greed to become king
or to come in power.

4) The land is gift given by
Hindu Rajput king to Shah
Jahan who was had gone in deep
trance losing his beloved and
beautiful wife. (As was
practiced in olden days of
gifting things to the Kings to
appease them.)

At Friday, September 16, 2011 3:28:00 AM, Anonymous Anushree Dey Tapadar said...

being Indian nationals we have the rigt to know ur country's history. no political party can exercise their own discretion here. Tak Mahal is one of hewondes of the world. let the truth be unveiled.

At Wednesday, September 21, 2011 9:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is completely outrageous. I did not believe this before but now I do. P.N. Oak obviously misstated that Kabba was a shiva temple, it was an existing pagan temple containing many other idols.

However, look up the history of the Cordoba in Spain, Hagia Sofia in Istanbul and you can see the pattern. I would not be least bit surprised if Taj Mahal existed before the Mughals, more likely this is true.

At Thursday, September 22, 2011 9:26:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One key feature of converted buildings/monuments is that the mihrab in the mosque does not necessarily point to Mecca because the buildings pre-existed.

One pre-existing building which did not need a realignment after it was converted and cleaned of it's idols was, guess what the Kabba itself. For example, I sometimes wonder what kind of idols existed there, what was the nature of the shapes and forms which would have revealed so much archaeological information about the direct ancestors of early muslims.

The example of the cleaning up of idols from Kabba set up a precedent and a guiding principle for cleaning up idols from temples in north india (Qutub Minar, possibly Taj Mahal) and cleaning up of the christian cross and other stuff from churches and cathedrals in spain (Cordoba) and turkey (Hagia Sofia) and zorastrian temples in persia.


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