Pre-Shahjahan References To The Taj

70. Apparently the Taj as a central palace seems to have a chequered history. The Taj was perhaps desecrated and looted by every Muslim invader from Mohammad Ghazni onwards. But passing into Hindu hands off and on, the sanctity of the Taj as a Shiva temple continued to be revived after every Muslim onslaught. Shahjahan was the last Muslim to desecrate the Tajmahal alias Tejomahalay.

71. Vincent Smith records in his book titled `Akbar the Great Moghul’ that `Babur’s turbulent life came to an end in his garden palace in Agra in 1630′. That palace was none other than the Tajmahal.

72. Babur’s daughter Gulbadan Begum in her chronicle titled `Humayun Nama’ refers to the Taj as the Mystic House.

73. Babur himself refers to the Taj in his memoirs as the palace captured by Ibrahim Lodi containing a central octagonal chamber and having pillars on the four sides. All these historical references allude to the Taj 100 years before Shahjahan.

74. The Tajmahal precincts extend to several hundred yards in all directions. Across the river are ruins of the annexes of the Taj, the bathing ghats and a jetty for the ferry boat. In the Victoria gardens outside covered with creepers is the long spur of the ancient outer wall ending in an octagonal red stone tower. Such extensive grounds all magnificently done up, are a superfluity for a grave.

75. Had the Taj been specially built to bury Mumtaz, it should not have been cluttered with other graves. But the Taj premises contain several graves at least in its eastern and southern pavilions.

76. In the southern flank, on the other side of the Tajganj gate are buried in identical pavilions queens Sarhandi Begum and Fatehpuri Begum, and a maid Satunnisa Khanum. Such parity burial can be justified only if the queens had been demoted or the maid promoted. But since Shahjahan had commandeered (not built) the Taj, he reduced it general to a Muslim cemetery as was the habit of all his Islamic predecessors, and buried a queen in a vacant pavilion and a maid in another identical pavilion.

77. Shahjahan was married to several other women before and after Mumtaz. She, therefore, deserved no special consideration in having a wonder mausoleum built for her.

78. Mumtaz was a commoner by birth, and so she did not qualify for a fairyland burial.

79. Mumtaz died in Burhanpur, which is about 600 miles from Agra. Her grave is there intact. Therefore, the cenotaphs raised in stories of the Taj in her name seem to be fakes hiding in Hindu Shiva emblems.

80. Shahjahan seems to have simulated Mumtaz’s burial in Agra to find a pretext to surround the temple palace with his fierce and fanatic troops and remove all the costly fixtures in his treasury. This finds confirmation in the vague noting in the Badshah Nama, which says that the Mumtaz’s (exhumed) body was brought to Agra from Burhanpur and buried `next year.’ An official term would not use a nebulous term unless it is to hide something.

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From: Works of P.N. Oak

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