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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

TAJ ka RAJ!!!

Located near the Indian city of Agra along the river Yamuna,lies one of the world's greatest architectural treasures.The Taj mahal need no introduction,framed with white marble,the supernatural beauty of the Taj Mahal speaks with a voice of its own to visitors from all over the world of feelings that are common to all humanity.The Taj Mahal, which is considered one of the great wonders of the world, was built as the pee-eminent expression of a man's love for a wife. According to people,other works or lets say what we learn from our text books that it was built by Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan in commemoration of his loving wife Mumtaz.It is to be said that it took nearly around 22 years for 20000 worker to complete this work of art.
It was back in late 2013,I was reading a novel called Krishna Key by Ashwin Sanghi,though quite interesting as a whole,But the most interesting part in the book is where the author reveals that The Taj Mahal was an ancient Hindu Temple.Though it was purely a work of fiction,but some context were more or less enough to make one believe it for  true.After finishing the book and going by curiosity,I tried googling about The Taj being a Hindu Temple and to my suprise it was not a theory that was only limited to the novel,There were few people who went by it and moreover had proof to support it.One of them was 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.
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.
Stephen knapp also a strong propagator of these theory takes us more deep into it with his video
A lot more videos and articles covering it can be found online easily and the only way to validate this theory as wrong or right is by opening the doors of the several sealed rooms inside the Taj Mahal.
Keeping all the controveries aside,lastly I want to add that be it a mausoleum or a temple,the Taj Mahal has left people enthralled all over the world with its unique identification  and has made every Indian including me proud to have it on our soil.

Courtsey:The controversey surrounding the origins of Taj Mahal(bbc.co.uk),Youtube,Wikipedia,
Krishna key-Ashwin Sanghi.