One of the Seven Wonders of the World, there is no countering the fact that the Taj Mahal is one of the most exquisite, mystical and enigmatic monuments ever made. And the story and emotion behind its existence? That is painfully beautiful too.
Taj Mahal Story
Why is the Taj Mahal so sought after across the world? Well, the Taj Mahal is seen as an example of eternal love, surviving through the centuries. As history goes, Shah Jahan, the son of Mughal emperor Jahangir, was very fond of one of his wives, Mumtaz Mahal. Unfortunately, she died in the year 1631, while giving birth to their fourteenth child. Shah Jahan was devastated and promised to eternally love her and to never remarry.
As a witness of his undying love and devotion and as a tribute to the memory of his beautiful wife, Shah Jahan decided to erect the Taj Mahal over her Mausoleum. He also directed the Court to two years of mourning after Mumtaz Mahal’s demise. Later when he himself passed away, he was buried beside Mumtaz Mahal and it continues to be their resting place even today. Well, Shah Jahan made no compromise when it came to using high-quality raw materials. The white marble used in Taj Mahal’s construction was procured from Makrana Marble Mines.
That is all about the romantic, albeit tragic story behind the Taj Mahal. But is this all there is to the majestic monument? Research says otherwise. In fact, there are several facts about the Taj Manual that are still shrouded in mystery and not known by the maximum number of people. We shall try to uncover some of these secrets and delve deeper into the history of the Taj Mahal.
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The Mysterious Monument
The most common knowledge about the Taj Mahal is that Emperor Shah Jahan commissioned its construction. Surprisingly, the most hotly debated aspect of the Taj Mahal is that it was not built by Shah Japan, and the structure already existed even before he started ruling. Researchers argue that the structure was originally a sanctuary of Lord Shiva, where the Rajputs carried out their religious activities. After defeating the Rajputs in a war, Shah Jahan took over the sanctuary and restructured it into a mausoleum for his wife.
Another interesting but not as surprising fact is that several rooms inside the Taj Mahal are locked, and seem to have been locked probably since the time the Taj Mahal was first built. Researchers point to the fact that these locked rooms might hold evidence that the structure originally used to be a place of Shiva worship.
The approach of secrecy of the Indian government towards the Taj Mahal has also raised some eyebrows and diverted curious eyes to the mystery behind it. Along with not providing permission to open any of the locked rooms, the government has also imposed a restriction on the book titled “Truth of Taj Mahal.” One can only wonder if this is because of the apprehensions of the administration regarding the uproar if something groundbreaking were revealed.
Another element that only reinforces the cloud of enigma surrounding the Taj Mahal is the “mystery fountain.” This is nothing but a small stream of water that suddenly emerges in the Taj Mahal, without any possible source in sight. Research by scientists suggests that the stream is exactly in the region that would have been used to water the linga if it was really a Shiva temple.
However, the debates from both sides of the viewpoint are still on and nothing has been established for sure yet.
The Other Side of the Story
Till now, we have been focused on the more romantic as well as the more mysterious aspects of the story behind the making of the Taj Mahal. However, the story is not made up of all roses and flowers. There are some heart-wrenching aspects in this story that might possibly make you rethink all that you know about the Taj Mahal.
According to guides at Taj Mahal and some urban legends, Shah Jahan had decreed that no monument or structure as beautiful as the Taj Mahal was ever to be built again. Thus, he ordered both the hands of all the 40,000 workers who contributed to the monument to be immediately cut off after the construction was finished.
This, however, cannot be deemed as entirely credible as contrary evidence has been found in contemporary times. First, Shah Jahan had commissioned the construction of Taj Ganj to house all of these workers. It has been found that the descendants of these workers live and work there to date. Why would Shah Jahan take such a step after cutting off the hands of the workers?
At the same time, it is known that the workers of Shah Jahan had built a new capital city, Shahjanabad for him shortly after the construction of the Taj Mahal. How would he have arranged another large group of highly skilled workers so soon after cutting off the hands of one group? It seems highly improbable he would have been able to do so.
Thus the debates, discussions, deliberations around the story of the Taj Mahal continue and the efforts to remove the shroud of mystery over the monument are still on.