|Emperor Shah Jahan and Empress Mumtaz Mahal. Pinterest|
|actual tombs of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan - lower levelen.wikipedia.org|
|Inside the taj. Askideas.com|
It is the purported mystery surrounding the Taj that keeps our mind occupied to get to know what are. According to Mr Oak Taj Mahal is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva named Tejo Mahalaya. How did Shah Jahan build the Taj in that place? Oak suggested that Shah Jahan seized the Shiva temple palace from then Maharajah of Jaipur, Jai Singh. Once recovered, Shah Jahan then redesigned and further embellished the structure to suit his plan and converted it into a mausoleum - a memorial to his wife. In his 1989 book Taj Mahal: The True Story, revisionist historian PN Oak claimed the monument was built way back in 1155, decades before the Muslim invasion of India from NW. He further mentioned that its name is a corrupt form of the Sanskrit term “Tejo Mahalay”, meaning a "Shiva Temple".
Many historians do not subscribe to his theory seriously because, in the past, he came up with incredible theories such as Westminster Abbey was once a Shiva temple and Hindus once conquered Italy. Such bizarre claims show him in bad light and lack of logic.
However, it is said that Shah Jahan admitted in his own court chronicle, Badshah nama, that an impressive beautiful mansion in Agra was taken from Jai Singh for Mumtaz's burial. The ex-Maharajah of Jaipur is said to have retained in his secret collection of two orders from Shah Jahan for the surrender of the Taj building. Professor Marvin Miller of New York took samples from the riverside doorway of the Taj. Carbon dating tests revealed that the door was 300 years older than Shah Jahan and supports this theory.
Yet another theory is European traveler Johan Albert Mandelslo, who on a visit to in 1638 (only seven years after Mumtaz's death), gives a graphic account of the life of the town in his memoirs, but, surprisingly there is no mention of the Taj that was in the making. Had the construction of the Taj been going on, he would have mentioned it. His omission of the Taj is a puzzle.
|Taj. Controversial crescent symbol atop the dome. SlideShare|
|Mysterious Taj Mahal, Agra. YouTube|
In the recent past some BJP leaders resurrected some of the abandoned theories about Taj and its Hindu temple connection. The Pandora's box is closed tight and trying to break it open is not good. The Taj has been around us for a long time as symbol of India's national pride not only for Agra but also for the entire country. It surpasses caste, creed and religions. It is a great monument of grandeur and beauty, a sermon in marble that embodies the love between two souls who belong the Mogul dynasty. English poet, Sir Edwin Arnold describes it as "Not a piece of architecture, as other buildings are, but the proud passion of an emperor's love wrought in living stones."