Was Taj Mahal a Vedic Temple?
The Taj Mahal from Persian and Arabic, “crown of palaces”, pronounced also “the Taj”) is a white marble mausoleum located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is widely recognized as “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage”. Taj Mahal is regarded by many as the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Islamic, Persian, Ottoman Turkish and Indian architectural styles.
History and Heritage
In 1983, the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While the white domed marble mausoleum is the most familiar component of the Taj Mahal, it is actually an integrated complex of structures. The construction began around 1632 and was completed around 1653, employing thousands of artisans and craftsmen. The construction of the Taj Mahal was entrusted to a board of architects under imperial supervision, including Abd ul-Karim Ma’mur Khan, Makramat Khan, and Ustad Ahmad Lahauri. Lahauri is generally considered to be the principal designer.
No one has ever challenged it except Prof. P. N. Oak, who believes the whole world has been duped. 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 ch ronicle, Badshahnama, Shah Jahan admits that an exceptionally beautiful grand mansion in Agra was taken from Jai Singh for Mumtaz’s burial .
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 . Oak also says the love story of Mumtaz and Shah Jahan is a fairy tale created by court sycophants, blundering historians and sloppy archaeologists Not a single royal chronicle of Shah Jahan’s time corroborates the love story.
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.
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. Oak asserts they contain a headless statue of Lord Shiva and other objects commonly used for worship rituals in Hindu temples Fearing political backlash.
Reality vs Claim
If you have ever visited the Taj Mahal then your guide probably told you that it was designed by Ustad Isa of Iran, and built by the Moghul Emperor, Shah Jahan, in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal.
Indian children are taught that it was built in 22 years (1631 to 1653) by 20,000 artisans brought to India from all over the world. This story has been challenged by Professor P.N. Oak, author of Taj Mahal: The True Story, who believes that the whole world has been duped. He claims that the Taj Mahal is not Queen Mumtaz Mahal’s tomb, but an ancient Hindu temple palace of Lord Shiva (then known as Tejo Mahalaya), worshipped by the Rajputs of Agra city.
In the course of his research, Oak discovered that the Shiva temple palace had been usurped by Shah Jahan from then Maharaja of Jaipur, Jai Singh. Shah Jahan then remodelled the palace into his wife’s memorial. The ex-Maharaja of Jaipur is said to retain in his secret collection two orders from Shah Jahan for the surrender of the Taj building.
The use of captured temples and mansions as a burial place for dead courtiers and royalty was a common practice among Muslim rulers.
Taj Mahal is, he claims, a corrupt version of Tejo-mahalaya, or the Shiva’s Palace. Oak also says that the love story of Mumtaz and Shah Jahan is a fairy tale created by court sycophants, blundering historians and sloppy archaeologists. Oak also points out a number of design and architectural inconsistencies that support the belief that the Taj Mahal is a typical Hindu temple rather than a mausoleum.
These are the facts and figures put by Prof. Oak. Do you believe on this? Share your views in comments section.