Over 22,000 artisans, not less than 1,000 elephants and 22 long years later, India got its one of the most precious possession and an extremely valuable piece of art, the Taj Mahal. We all know that Taj Mahal is an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna river in the Indian city of Agra, constructed by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. But history is full of surprises and a 8th standard history textbook can surely not contain all those surprises. Here is some fascinating information about Taj Mahal that’ll change your perspective about it being a symbol of love.

1. Another Taj Mahal

It is said that Shah Jahan wanted a replica of the Taj Mahal, black in colour for himself as he didn’t wanted to be buried next to his wife. Some scholars and historians suggest that the blackened marbles that lie on the other side of the river Yamuna are the remains of an unconstructed monument and it maybe the Black Taj. Whereas others consider it just a myth which spread by the word of mouth. A majority of the historians believe that the black marbles on the other side were not originally black but turned black in the course of time. Many countries have attempted to make a replica of Taj but none have been able to make something even close to this Indian wonder.

2. Changing colours of the Taj

The white marble of this monument creates magic and changes colour throughout the day. Early in the morning it has a pinkish hue which gradually turns into glowing white and as the night comes the moonlight makes the Taj look golden. The real beauty of it is seen on a full moon night, leaving the spectators aw-struck. The changing colours are sometimes compared to the moods of Mumtaz Mahal.

3. A Mughal masterpiece or a Hindu Temple?

Various arguments and evidences show that Taj Mahal was not actually built by Shah Jahan but it was rather a temple. Now this might break your heart since this ‘symbol of love’ will be proved fake, but here are the arguments :

  • Taj Mahal is a corrupt form of the Sanskrit term Tejo-Mahalay signifying a Siva Temple. Agreshwar Mahadev , The Lord of Agra was consecrated in it.
  • Taj Mahal as a term never occurs in any mogul court paper. Moreover, the ending ‘Mahal’ is used for Hindu palaces. None of the Muslim countries around the world have a building known as ‘Mahal’.
  • It is also believed that the tradition of removing the shoes before stepping on the marble platform comes from pre Shah Jahan times when the Taj was a Siva Temple. This belief is strengthened by the fact that had Taj originally been a tomb, shoes would have been compulsory because shoes are a necessity in a cemetery.

This ancient and magnificent piece of art hides such innumerable mysteries. Different scholars have come up with different evidences and claims about the Taj. You could keep your faith in these scholars and their works or you could pack your bags and travel to Agra to solve the puzzle yourself. It’s your call, make your choice.

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Post by Ritika Singal/ Travart Blogs
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