No one has ever challenged it except Prof. P. N. Oak, who believes the whole world has been duped.
1.In his book Taj Mahal: The True Story, Oak says the Taj Mahal is not Queen Mumtaz’s tomb but an ancient Hindu temple palace of Lord Shiva (then known as Tejo Mahalaya). In the course of his research Oak discovered that the Shiva temple palace was usurped by Shah Jahan from then Maharaja of Jaipur, Jai Singh. 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 .
2. The ex-Maharaja of Jaipur still retains in his secret collection two orders from Shah Jahan for surrendering the Taj building. Using captured temples and mansions, as a burial place for dead courtiers and royalty was a common practice among Muslim rulers.
For example, Humayun,Akbar, Etmud-ud-Daula and Safdarjung are all buried in such mansions. Oak’s inquiries began with the name of Taj Mahal. He says the term “Mahal” has never been used for a building in any Muslim countries from Afghanisthan to Algeria. “The unusual explanation that the term Taj Mahal derives from Mumtaz Mahal was illogical in atleast two respects.
Firstly, her name was never Mumtaz Mahal but Mumtaz-ul-Zamani,” he writes. Secondly, one cannot omit the first three letters ‘Mum’ from a woman’s name to derive the remainder as the name for the building.”Taj Mahal, he claims, is a corrupt version of Tejo Mahalaya, or Lord Shiva’s Palace.
3. Oak also says the love story of Mumtaz and Shah Jahan is a fairy tale created bycourt sycophants, blundering historians and sloppy archaeologists . Not a single royal chronicle of Shah Jahan’s time corroborates the love story.
4. Furthermore, Oak cites several documents suggesting the Taj Mahal predates Shah Jahan’s era, and was a temple dedicated to Shiva, worshipped by Rajputs of Agra city.
For example, Prof. Marvin Miller of New York took a few samples from the riverside doorway of the Taj. Carbon dating tests revealed that the door was 300 years older than Shah Jahan. European traveler Johan Albert Mandelslo,who visited Agra in 1638 (only seven years after Mumtaz’s death), describes the life of the cit y in his memoirs. But he 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 the Taj was a noteworthy building well before Shah Jahan’s time.
Prof. Oak points out a number of design and architectural inconsistencies that support the belief of the Taj Mahal being 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.
5. Oak asserts they contain a headless statue of Lord Shiva and other objects commonly used for worship rituals in Hindu temples . Fearing political backlash, Indira Gandhi’s government tried to have Prof. Oak’s book withdrawn from the bookstores, and threatened the Indian publisher of the first edition dire consequences .
6. 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 .
7. The plaque put the archeology 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.
8. 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 storied 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.
9. 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) re questioning the Taj building complex. That was so blatant a usurpation that the then ruler of Jaipur was ashamed to make the document public.
10. 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 cenotaphs 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.
11. 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.
12. 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 superficial 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.
EUROPEAN VISITOR’S ACCOUNTS .
13. Tavernier, a French jeweler 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 as they do even today so that the world may admire. He also adds that 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 at the costly fixtures inside it, uprooting the Shiva idols, planting the 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, desecrating and plundering of the rooms which took 22 years.
14. 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 that that the Tajmahal had been a noteworthy building even before Shahjahan.
15. 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 the same Mansingh’s palace.
15. Bernier, a contemporary French visitor has noted that non Muslim’s were barred entry into the basement (at the time when Shahjahan requisitioned Mansingh’s palace) which contained a dazzling light. Obviously, he reffered to the silver doors, gold railing, the gem studded lattice and strings of pearl hanging over Shiva’s idol. Shahjahan commandeered the building to grab all the wealth, making Mumtaz’s death a convenient pretext.
16. Johan Albert Mandelslo, who describes life in agra in 1638 (only 7 years after mumtaz’s death) in detail (in his `Voyages and Travels to West-Indies’, published by John Starkey and John Basset, London), makes no mention of the Tajmahal being under constuction though it is commonly erringly asserted or assumed that the Taj was being built from 1631 to 1653.
17. 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. Historians and Archaeologists have blundered in terming the inscription 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.
18. A clue to the tampering by Shahjahan is found on pages 216-217, vol. 4, of Archeological Survey of India Reports (published 1874) stating that a “great square black ballistic 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”.
19. 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 circumvent 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.”
20. The Taj Mahal is scrawled over with 14 chapters of the Koran but nowhere is there even the slightest or the 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 Koran.
21. 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:
22. A wooden piece from the riverside doorway of the Taj subjected to the carbon 14 test by an American Laboratory and initiated by Professors at Pratt School of Architecture, New York, 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.
23. Well known Western authorities on architechture like E.B.Havell, Mrs.Kenoyer and Sir W.W.Hunterhave gone on record to say that the TajMahal is built in the Hindu temple style. Havell points out the ground plan of the ancient Hindu Chandi Seva Temple in Java is identical with that of the Taj.
24. A central dome with cupolas at its four corners is a universal feature of Hindu temples.
25. The four marble pillars at the plinth corners are of the Hindu style. They are used as lamp towers during night and watch towers during the day. Such towers serve to demarcate the holy precincts. Hindu wedding altars and the altar set up for God Satyanarayan worship have pillars raised at the four corners.
There is only one way to discredit or validate Oak’s research.
The current government should open the sealed rooms of the Taj Mahal under U.N. supervision, and let international experts investigate. Do circulate this to all you know and let them know about this reality.