Taj Mahal

A world heritage site


The Tag Mahal from below the red fort

One of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal is renowned for its aesthetic beauty and the romantic idea that Sha Jahan created this as a mausoleum for his beloved wife Mumtaz-Al-Zamani.

Mumtaz, the lady in question was one of Sha Jahan's many wives.  According to documents, Sha Jahan killed her husband and then took her as his wife. Mumtaz later died during the delivery of her 14th child and immediately afterwards, Sha Jahan married her sister.

The mystery deepens as it's widely thought that the design was created or inspired by Nur Jahan, the Empress consort of the Mughal Empire (25 May 1611 to 28 October 1627) who moved design from red sandstone to inlaid marble. When Prince Khurram claimed the title of Sha Jahan, Nur Jahan was confined to a comfortable mansion with her daughter Ladli. During this period, she paid for and oversaw the construction of her father's mausoleum in Agra, known now as Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb.

In terms of Western culture, the story of Sha Jahan and his wife Mumtaz is entirely devoid of romance but nevertheless the romantic idea that Sha Jahan was so distressed by the loss of his beloved wife that he built this grandiose monument especially for her holds sway despite a different truth.

August 2018
Tourist entry R1100
Hindu entry R50

What truth is in this romantic story?

In terms of romance as we understand, there was none. Mumtaz was one of many child production units valued only for her ability to produce children and thereby Sha Jahan's wealth and status.  There may be some truth that she was a favourite, but then she may have been a political convenience to take the temple from its owners.

"Although speculation is always dangerous in such situations, it is becoming increasingly hard to avoid the conclusion that the original structure of the Taj (and the surrounding complex of buildings) predates Shah Jahan. The original structure was most likely a palace-temple complex." ~ Shantanu Bhagwat

Modern research

Any research and the publication of any information contradicting the romantic story that everyone is familiar with has been seriously discouraged by the Indian government. This is probably because the entire economy of Agra is dependent on tourists visiting this monument.

One of the principal researchers was a professor Oak who spent some years investigating the site and its history. The conclusion of his research is that the Taj Mahal is not Queen Mumtaz's tomb, but in fact is an ancient Shiva Temple that was used by the Agra Rajuput rulers that was converted into an Islamic space by Sha Jahan.

In his book, Professor Oak traces the phonetics and grammar to prove that the name "Taj Mahal" is completely different from that of Mumtaz-Al-Zamani. In terms of examining the site itself, there are some documents that indicate that the site predates Sha Jahan. In addition to that, some carbon dating from the site shows that the building was in existence some 300 years before Sha Jahan was even born.

All of this combined with the fact that many rooms are sealed and that architectural inconsistencies point to the building previously being a Shiva temple.

Indian History

Marvin Mill on the Taj
as a Palace

To put the Taj Mahal story into Indian history, we must remember that the world's oldest cities that predate the end of the last ice age have been discovered. India has a solid oral history extending back to 15,000 BC and then 3000 years ago, India stretched from Persia (Iran) across the entirety of the Indian continent and Southeast Asia.

The great temple of Angkor Wat was constructed by Indian workers and Indian workers also helped construct monumental buildings as far west as Syria. The numerals that we use today (1234 5678 910) have been attributed to the Arabs, however this numeric system was in use in India more than 1000 years before Islam was invented.

World history as we know it is mostly untrue, all the great stories of history have been written by those who won the battle's and wanted to make themselves look good. Therefore in light of all the evidence, one can only conclude that the Taj Mahal was in fact a Shiva temple that has been extensively repaired and redesigned to the instructions of Shah Jahan.

Despite the controversy, it is a beautiful building and a new theory has emerged that instead of being a Shiva Temple built over, it was a royal palace made over.

The Taj Mahal is a Temple Place by R.N. Oak
Stephen Knapp's collection of evidence and Krishna Path is a similar resource.
Old photos of the Taj
A detailed examination by Shantanu Bhagwat


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