Taj Mahal, a deity of love or deception?

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The story of the magnificent Taj Mahal, that we are familiar with, may not be the actual history of the beautiful structure. As popular belief goes, the Taj Mahal is an Islamic mausoleum, built by the mughal emperor Shahjahan in the 17th century AD, as a tomb for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. Although, some strong evidence suggests otherwise. In this article, I will present the evidence that indicates the Taj Mahal to be an ancient Shiva temple known as Tejo Mahalaya, which Shahjahan commandeered from the then ‘Maharaja'(KIng) of Jaipur. It is for you to examine and conclude the actual truth, behind this matter.

Let us begin, with the name, ‘Taj Mahal’.

  • The name ‘Taj Mahal’ is never seened to occur in any mughal court paper or chronicle even in Aurangzeb’s time. The attempt to explain it away as Taj-i-mahal is therefore flimsy.
  • The term ‘mahal’ has not been used to name a single building, in any muslim country, from Afghanistan to Algeria.
  • The myth that the name, ‘Taj Mahal’ was derived from the name of the emperor’s wife, ‘Mumtaz Mahal’, who was burried in it, is illogical in at least two respects:

a) Firstly her name was Arjumand Bano Begum. She was later known as Mumtaz-ul-Zamani, not Mumtaz  Mahal.

b) One cannot omit the first three letters “Mum” from a woman’s name to derive the remainder as the name of the building.

  • Since the lady’s name is presumed to be ‘Mumtaz (ending with a Z), the building’s name should have been ‘Taz Mahal’ (if at all), not ‘Taj (ending with a J) Mahal’.
  • As the building is supposedly a mausoleum, the term ‘Mahal’ which literally translates to palace or mansion is not at all apt.
  • Both the terms ‘Taj’ and ‘Mahal’ are of Sanskrit origin and are not used in any Mughal court.
  • The term ‘Taj Mahal’, is actually a disfigured version of ‘Tejo Mahalaya’, which was the name of the ancient Shiva temple.

Let us now analyze various temple traditions and compare them to the those of Taj Mahal.

  • The tradition of removing the 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 to be removed because shoes are a necessity in a cemetery.
  • Visitors may notice that the base slab of the centotaph is the marble basement in plain white while its superstructure and the other three centotaphs 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 centotaphs are fake.
  • The pitchers carved inside the upper border of the marble lattice plus those mounted on it number 108-a number sacred in Hindu Temple tradition.
  • There are persons who are connected with the repair and the maintainance of the Taj who have seen the ancient sacred Shiva Linga and other idols sealed in the thick walls and in chambers in the secret, sealed red stone stories below the marble basement. The Archaeological Survey of India is keeping discretely, politely and diplomatically silent about it to the point of dereliction of its own duty to probe into hidden historical evidence.
  • In India there are 12 Jyotirlingas i.e., the outstanding Shiva Temples. The Tejomahalaya alias The Tajmahal appears to be one of them known as Nagnatheshwar since its parapet is girdled with Naga, i.e., Cobra figures. Ever since Shahjahan’s capture of it the sacred temple has lost its Hindudom.
  • The famous Hindu treatise on architecture titled Vishwakarma Vastushastra mentions the ‘Tej-Linga’ amongst the Shivalingas i.e., the stone emblems of Lord Shiva, the Hindu deity. Such a Tej Linga was consecrated in the Taj Mahal, hence the term Taj Mahal alias Tejo Mahalaya.
  • Agra city, in which the Taj Mahal is located, is an ancient centre of Shiva worship. Its orthodox residents have through 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 the 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 Nagnatheshwar i.e., The Lord Great God of Agra, The Deity of the King of Cobras, consecrated in the Tejomahalay alias Tajmahal.
  • The people who dominate the Agra region are Jats. Their name of Shiva is Tejaji. The Jat special issue of The Illustrated Weekly of India (June 28,1971) mentions that the Jats have the Teja Mandirs i.e., Teja Temples. This is because Teja-Linga is among the several names of the Shiva Lingas. From this it is apparent that the Taj-Mahal is Tejo-Mahalaya, The Great Abode of Tej.
  • Prophet Mohammad has ordained that the burial spot of a muslim should be inconspicous and must not be marked by even a single tombstone. In flagrant violation of this, the Tajamhal has one grave in the basement and another in the first floor chamber both ascribed to Mumtaz. Those two centotaphs were infact erected by Shahjahan to bury the two tier Shivalingas that were consecrated in the Taj. It is customary for Hindus to install two Shivalingas one over the other in two stories as may be seen in the Mahankaleshwar temple in Ujjain and the Somnath temple raised by Ahilyabai in Somnath Pattan.

Let us now analyze the Documentary Evidence.

  • Shahjahan’s own court chronicle, the Badshahnama, admits (page 403, vol 1) that a grand mansion of unique splendor, capped with a dome (Imaarat-a-Alishan wa Gumbaze) was taken from the Jaipur Maharaja Jaisigh for Mumtaz’s burial, and the building was known as Raja Mansingh’s palace.
  • The plaque put the archealogy department outside the Tajmahal describes the edifice as a mausoleum built by Shahjahan for his wife Mumtaz Mahal , over 22 years from 1631 to 1653. That plaque is a specimen of historical bungling. Firstly, the plaque sites no authority for its claim. Secondly the lady’s name was Mumtaz-ulZamani and not Mumtazmahal. Thirdly, the period of 22 years is taken from some mumbo jumbo noting by an unreliable French visitor Tavernier, to the exclusion of all muslim versions, which is an absurdity.
  • Prince Aurangzeb’s letter to his father,emperor Shahjahan,is recorded in atleast three chronicles titled `Aadaab-e-Alamgiri’, `Yadgarnama’, and the `Muruqqa-i-Akbarabadi’ (edited by Said Ahmed, 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 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 the proof that during Shahjahan’s reign itself that the Taj complex was so old as to need immediate repairs.
  • The ex-Maharaja of Jaipur retains in his secret personal `KapadDwara’ collection two orders from Shahjahan dated Dec 18, 1633 (bearing modern nos. R.176 and 177) requestioning the Taj building complex. That was so blatant a usurpation that the then ruler of Jaipur was ashamed to make the document public.
  • 22. The Rajasthan State archives at Bikaner preserve three other firmans addressed by Shahjahan to the Jaipur’s ruler Jaising ordering the latter to supply marble (for Mumtaz’s grave and koranic grafts) from his Makranna quarris, and stone cutters. Jaisingh was apparently so enraged at the blatant seizure of the Tajmahal that he refused to oblige Shahjahan by providing marble for grafting koranic engravings and fake centotaphs for further desecration of the Tajmahal. Jaising looked at Shahjahan’s demand for marble and stone cutters, as an insult added to injury. Therefore, he refused to send any marble and instead detained the stone cutters in his protective custody.
  • The three firmans demanding marble were sent to Jaisingh within about two years of Mumtaz’s death. Had Shahjahan really built the Tajmahal over a period of 22 years, the marble would have needed only after 15 or 20 years not immediately after Mumtaz’s death.
  • Moreover, the three mention neither the Tajmahal, nor Mumtaz, nor the burial. The cost and the quantity of the stone also are not mentioned. This proves that an insignificant quantity of marble was needed just for some supercial tinkering and tampering with the Tajmahal. Even otherwise Shahjahan could never hope to build a fabulous Tajmahal by abject dependence for marble on a non cooperative Jaisingh.

Let us analyze a Sanskrit Inscription.

  • 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 of 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 Kailash his usual abode”. That inscription dated 1155 A.D. was removed from the Tajmahal garden at Shahjahan’s orders. Historicians and Archeaologists have blundered in terming the insription the `Bateshwar inscription’ when the record doesn’t say that it was found by Bateshwar. It ought, in fact, to be called `The Tejomahalaya inscription’ because it was originally installed in the Taj garden before it was uprooted and cast away at Shahjahan’s command.

A clue to the tampering by Shahjahan is found on pages 216-217, vol. 4, of Archealogiical Survey of India Reports (published 1874) stating that a “great square black balistic pillar which, with the base and capital of another pillar….now in the grounds of Agra,…it is well known, once stood in the garden of Tajmahal”.

The Missing Elephants.

  • Far from the building of the Taj, Shahjahan disfigured it with black koranic lettering and heavily robbed it of its Sanskrit inscription, 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 Twinning, records (pg.191 of his book “Travels in India A Hundred Years 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 palanquine and…..mounted a short flight of steps leading to a beautiful portal which formed the centre of this side of the `COURT OF ELEPHANTS” as the great area was called.”

The Quranic Patches.

  • Far from the building of the Taj, Shahjahan disfigured it with black koranic lettering and heavily robbed it of its Sanskrit inscription, 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 Twinning, records (pg.191 of his book “Travels in India A Hundred Years 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 palanquine and…..mounted a short flight of steps leading to a beautiful portal which formed the centre of this side of the `COURT OF ELEPHANTS” as the great area was called.”

The Carbon 14 test.

  • A wooden piece from the riverside doorway of the Taj subjected to the carbon 14 test by an American Laboratory, has revealed that 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, had to b replaced from time to time. The Taj edifice is much more older. It belongs to 1155 A.D, i.e., almost 500 years anterior to Shahjahan.

To be continued in Part II.

Credits to P.N. Oak, from the book ‘The Truth of the Taj Mahal’.

Copyright infringement not intended.

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