When Dr. P.N Oak released his book Taj Mahal: The True Story, strong opposition from many communities in India initiated religious friction. He claimed that Taj Mahal, one of the greatest wonders of the world, is not a mausoleum that commemorates Mumtaz’s death. He believed that Shah Jahan, the emperor who built the marvel, had an agreement with Rajput King Raja Jaisingh to hand over one of his beautiful Temple Mansions for Mumtaz’s burial. This theory sounds ridiculous at the first reading, but Dr. Oak’s book has considerable evidence to back up his claims.
He listed a lot of things that contradict historian’s claims. Dr. Oak says that Taj Mahal is a Shiva Temple and the then emperor made sure that it didn’t appear like one. Yes, there are inscriptions of the Quran on the walls but, Dr. Oak claims they were added by Shah Jahan. People have opinions and Dr. Oak’s book does seem like an opinionated work, but some of his indicated facts are undeniable. His claims are obviously not made to stir controversy for better sales of his book, the book provides evidences and many of them can be observed by anyone.
Historians say that Shah Jahan named the beautiful mausoleum after his wife Mumtaz Mahal’s death. The fact is that Mumtaz’s real name was Arjumand Banu. She was given her more popularly known name when she was promoted as Chief Queen of Shah Jahan’s empire.
If it is a grave, how can the terms ‘Taj’ and ‘Mahal’ even be considered? Crown and Palace (literal translations of the terms ‘Taj’ and ‘Mahal’ resp.) indicate something victorious, lavish or celebrated; how can a grave be named so? Dr. Oak claims that the Temple Palace owned by Raja Jaising of the Rajputana was called ‘Tej-o-Mahalaya’ which is a name given to a Shiva Temple.
– The massive complex of Taj Mahal has multiple rooms (said to be over 1000) that were sealed off by Shah Jahan.
Why would someone’s grave have so many rooms? Britannica Encyclopedia claims that they were restrooms, guestrooms, guardrooms, stables, pavilions etc. The purpose of having rooms, in such large numbers, that too in a mausoleum is absolutely questionable.
– The pinnacle at the central dome resembles more of a ‘Kalash’ which is auspicious to Vedic Culture.
– Taj Mahal has a reverberating dome.
The difference between a reverberating dome and a regular dome is that the former magnifies and multiplies sounds and the later doesn’t. For a grave a regular dome would be befitting and all other Mughal mausoleums have a regular one, exception is only the Taj Mahal.
– Lotus inscriptions
Taj Mahal has many lotus inscriptions ranging to outdoor as well as indoor walls. Lotus is auspicious again in Vedic Culture and Temples specifically have Lotus structures, paintings or inscriptions.
The Badshahnama is Shah Jahan’s court chronicle. It is said that over 20,000 workers, artisans and craftsmen worked continuously for 22 years to construct this marvel. But, there is no mention about the construction, the decision or the happenings of the process. For 22 years the court chronicle did not record anything related to the Taj Mahal. This is an essential proof because the Badshahnama recorded even the names of the guests who visited the emperor. Missing out on such a marvel, that too for 22 years raises skeptical eyebrows.
India being a cultural marvel and an epitome of diverse art, many European travelers and adventurous were anxious to explore the Indian extravaganza. Apart from many religious and cultural hubs of India, most of the European travelers visited Agra and wrote extensively about the city. From 1631 (Mumtaz’s death) to 1652 (completion of Taj Mahal), many European travelers explored the length and breadth of the city, but none mentioned anything about a marvel in process of construction.
This British traveler visited Agra in 1930 and left the city in December 1931. In the various books he has written, he has mentioned about forts and legends and beautiful structures. But, he never mentioned the construction of Taj Mahal. A construction of such a wondrous stature cannot miss the eye of a local, how can a traveler who is keen on exploring not write or mention about the marvel being constructed?
This French painter, explorer and traveler visited India sometime between1643-49. He personally met Emperor Shah Jahan and wrote about him in many accounts. In this case as well, there was no mention about the Taj Mahal or its construction. At the time of his visit the main structure must have been in construction process.
In his memoirs he has mentioned, “Shah Jahan purposely buried Mumtaz near the Taz-I-Makan (the Taj building) where foreigners used to come so that the world may admire.” He claimed that Shah jahan spent more than the construction worth itself to make it appear as if it is his construction.
Is Dr. Oak’s theory a fact or is it a coincidence that indicates a massive breakthrough. It is said that Indira Gandhi’s government banned this book and prohibited any visitors in the 7 storey Taj Mahal and its 1000 odd rooms. But, that too can be covertly presented information. Research is important and finding the secrets hidden inside the rooms and chambers and walls and pavilions is necessary to explore the reality of our history. This may turn out to be completely false. But, it may also turn out to another previous temple that was destroyed by the invading forces.