No doubt, Taj Mahal is one of the major tourist attractions in India. Its stunning beauty and magnificent, spectacular architecture has made it one of the greatest monuments ever built by Mughal emperors. This medieval monument was built as a symbol of love as the story says. For over the years, I thought Taj Mahal was built as a token of love by Shah Jahan to his beloved wife Mumtaz Begum. But as I grew, I started to hear some more stories about Taj Mahal. Some say that it was earlier a Hindu temple whereas others say that Shah Jahan got the wife of the architecture killed so that he could be in grief and could put out his heart on the architecture. So, what’s the real story of Taj Mahal?
For years, I have heard that Taj Mahal is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. But I am not sure if it is still in the list. If you know, do let me know in the comment section below. Since it is said that the kings used to have historians and writers who would write their stories in more glorified ways. So, it is not that much easy to know the real story of Taj Mahal. My reason for travelling is to explore such stories which aren’t just fascinating but eye-opening too.
Is there a real story of Taj Mahal that you believe to be true?
We know a lot about Taj Mahal. There is a lot of information about Taj Mahal’s construction, the reason behind its construction and there other things including the time taken and the architecture etc. But who knows if this all was true or not. Who knows what we have been taught or told is all manipulated to glorify someone. Well, I am no one to comment on it but certainly there are questions which need answers. The only thing is credibility. Taj Mahal was built in the 17th century and there is nothing credible which can be trusted upon.
All we have are pages of history which are considered authentic as mentioned by the historian of that time. Also, travellers who travelled to India from different parts of the world have described Taj Mahal in their books, works. But at present, there are a lot of claims which are made on the credibility of the sources and on the existence of this marvellous piece of marble monuments.
Myths about Taj Mahal which we have believed for a long time
We know Taj Mahal is known all over the world for its beauty, commanding architecture, opulence and the tragic emotional story. But there are a lot of myths about Taj Mahal which we have been told since childhood and we never thought of finding the truth. The real story of Taj Mahal may remain confined to the pages of history but here are some common myths about Taj Mahal which should be cleared away.
- Did Shah Jahan also build a black Taj Mahal?
A very famous myth about Taj Mahal that I have been told since childhood is that Shah Jahan after building Taj Mahal wanted to build a black Taj Mahal across River Yamuna. And his son Aurangzeb overthrew him and the construction was stopped. Also, some ruins of the same were recovered from Mahtaab Bagh. Later on, it was found out in the 1990s that the ruins were of white marble which became black over a long time period.
- Did Shah Jahan really mutilate the workers who built Taj Mahal?
One of the biggest myths about Taj Mahal which puts a question on the real story of Taj Mahal is that Shah Jahan ordered to chop off the hands of all the workers who were involved in the construction of Taj Mahal. It was done to avoid construction of the same design. However, this was just a myth and nothing was done as such. As per some stories, the workers themselves signed deals that they would not involve in any similar construction.
- Did Lord William Bentinck try to demolish Taj Mahal?
It is said that the then governor-general of British India, Lord William Bentinck tried to demolish Taj Mahal during 1830s and to sell off the marble of the monuments. However, John Rosselli (Lord’s biographer) claims that this myth was associated with Lord’s fund-raising sale of unused marble from Agra Fort.
- Was Taj Mahal built by a Hindu king?
PN Oak filed a petition that Taj Mahal was built by a Hindu king. Supreme Court of India dismissed his petition in 2000. Another petition was filed by Amar Nath Mishra, who claimed that Parmar Dev, a Hindu king built Taj Mahal in 1196. This case was also dismissed.
- Was Taj Mahal designed by Italian architecture?
Another myth claims that Geronimo Vereneo, an Italian architecture, designed Taj Mahal. The myth was carried out in 1879 by Henry George Keene. One more story says that Taj Mahal was designed by Austen of Bordeaux.
- Was Taj Mahal a Shiva Temple?
Lots of controversies have been surfaced on this matter over the years. PN Oak claimed that the marble monument was a Hindu temple (Shiva Temple) and was named Tejo Mahalaya. For the proof, he stated that there were engravings on the building which weren’t Islamic and also questioned the architecture of the building to support his claim. This created a lot of controversy and agitations. A lot of photographs were produced to support the claim where it was shown that the building was once a Shiva temple which Shiva Linga. However, those claims were baseless.
However, looking at the true story of Taj Mahal, we will find lots of other such myths and claims which have been surfacing in media for a long time. A lot of organizations, ASI and several other bodies are working and researching over the matter and it is really hard to tell what truth is and what is wrong. Since the building is centuries old, so there is no one to tell the exact story of Taj Mahal. Also, there are people who even claim that records of Taj Mahal have been manipulated and have been modified.
Who knows the real story of Taj Mahal? Neither I nor you! But one thing is sure; this monument is one of the most opulent monuments ever built.