22 years, 20,000 workers – that’s the amount of time and labor force that was required for building Taj Mahal – at least that is what we have been taught since childhood about this 7th wonder of world. Yes, Taj Mahal – the epitome of love has intrigued us since our childhood but barely did we know that all that is being said about Taj Mahal has been a part of a big conspiracy. Taj Mahal was not made by Shahjahan. It was in fact a Hindu temple of Lord Shiva. This listicle article titled 60 interesting Taj Mahal conspiracy facts is going to shed some light and prove that Taj Mahal was by no means a product of Muslim architecture. Let us begin right from the first mentions of Taj Mahal.
Interesting Taj Mahal Conspiracy Facts: 1-10
1. 22 years and 20,000 men – these figures come from a book titled ‘Travels in India’ by a French jewel merchant by the name J.B. Tavernier. Tavernier traveled to India six time from 1638 to 1668 during the time of Shivaji.
2. Tavernier wrote the book where he mentioned that he witnessed the commencement, construction and completion of Taj Mahal. Dr. Ball translated the book in English in 1889 and made several corrections to previous translations and studied Tavernier’s voyages in details from which he deduced that Tavernier went to Agra only twice. First time was in 1640-41 winters and next time in 1665.
3. According to historians, Mumtaz – Shahjahan’s wife died in 1631 and almost immediately after her death, Shahjahan commissioned the construction of Taj Mahal. The question is: “If Tavernier’s first visit to Agra was in 1640-41, which is 10 years after Mumtaz’s death, how come he witnessed the commencement of Taj Mahal’s construction?”
4. According to historians, Shahjahan was imprisoned by Aurangzeb in 1658 and no historian ever said that Aurangzeb completed the construction of Taj Mahal. This simply means that Tavernier did not even witness the completion of Taj Mahal. Thus the figures: “22 years and 20,000 men” as mentioned in Tavernier’s book are questionable.
5. Purushottam Nagesh Oak (P. N. Oak) brings out several interesting facts that are usually missed by everyone. According to P.N. Oak, Taj Mahal has no mention in chronicles of Mogul court – not during Shahjahan and not even during Aurangzeb.
6. Taj Mahal ends with the word ‘mahal’. Mahal as an ending of a building’s name is not at all a Muslim tradition. None of the Muslim countries in the world have another building whose name ends the word ‘mahal’. It was said that Taj Mahal derived its unusual name from Mumtaz Mahal – Shahjahan’s wife. Problem is that her name was not Mumtaj Mahal and neither Mumtaz Mahal (notice the use of ‘j’ and ‘z’). Her name was Mumtaz-ul-Zamani. Importantly, in order to name a building after a lady, it was against Muslim rituals of truncating out the first three letter of the name. In this case it is ‘Mum’. On top of that, her name was ‘Mumtaz’ (with a z at the end). Thus, even if Shahjahan truncated out the first three letters, why was the building named Taj and not Taz? There is no explanation to this unusual naming.
7. Many Europeans who visited India during the time of Shahjahan, called the building as Taj-e-Mahal, which is aligned with the ancient Sanskrit name Tej-o-Mahalaya which simply means temple of Lord Shiva. Moreover, if Taj Mahal was burial place, how can the word ‘mahal’ be attached to it? Mahal literally means mansion and not a cenotaph or a tomb. Finally, the words Taj and Mahal are both of Sanskrit origins. Did Shahjahan really want to have the tomb of his beloved wife using words that originated in Sanskrit?
8. People need to remove their shoes while entering Taj Mahal. Why? Wearing shoes is necessary while entering cemetery even in Muslim traditions. Shoes are removed only when one enters a temple.
9. The cenotaph’s base slab is plain white marble basement but the superstructure of the base has inlaid creepers design. The creepers design is also visible on the 3 cenotaphs on the other two floors. This clearly indicates that the original marble pedestal of Lord Shiva was never removed and that the cenotaphs of Mumtaz are fake.
10. The number 108 holds a very important significance in Hindu traditions. It is considered a sacred number. The upper border of the marble lattice has exactly 108 carved pitchers – a complete Hindu tradition.
Interesting Taj Mahal Conspiracy Facts: 11-20
11. The parapet of Taj Mahal is girdled with cobra twins (Naga) figures. There are 12 Jyotirlingas (outstanding Shiva temples) in India. Tej-o-Mahalaya (aka Taj-e-Mahal or Taj Mahal) is one of them and was previously known by the name Nagnatheswar. Cobra twins are taboo in Islam then how come Taj Mahal has them?
12. Agra, that houses the Taj Mahal has been a place of Shiva worship since the ancient times. It was an ancient tradition of Agra residents to worship at 5 Shiva shrines before eating the last meal of the day. However, currently those residents only worship at 4 shrines namely Rajarajeshwar, Manakameshwar, Prithvinath and Balkeshwar. The 5th one that the ancient people of Agra used to worship at was Agreshwar Mahadev Nagnatheshwar (The Lord Great God of Agra, The Deity of the King of Cobras) consecrated in Tej-o-Mahalaya or the Taj Mahal.
13. Vishwakarma Vastushastra – the world famous Hindu treatise on architecture has the mention of Tej Linga among all Shivlingas. The Tej Linga was consecrated in Tej-o-Mahalaya.
14. The dominant class of people in Agra are the Jats. Jats have traditionally called Lord Shiva as Tejaji. The Illustrated Weekly of India On June 28, 1971 published a Jat Special issue which mentioned that Jats have Teja Mandirs or Teja Temples. The issue mentioned that Tej Linga was just a different name for Shivalinga. So, Tej-o-Mahalaya or Taj Mahal is essentially a Hindu temple.
15. The southern entrance to Taj Complex’s outer precincts known as the Taj Gunj gate that faces the main gateway has a small arched recess which is customarily found in Hindu Forts. One of many such examples will be the Nagardhan Fort of Nagpur. This recess was usually used by Hindus for placing a small idol of Lord Ganesha.
16. On the main gateway one can find Ganesa Torana along the entire border and is located at waist height. This Ganesa Torana is of Hindu origin and is a taboo in Islam just like the cobra twins. Additionally, the main gateway of Taj Mahal has Rajput welcome signs. Gulab dani and ilaichi dani (rose water cans and cardamom pots) can be seen engraved on the main gateway. Same signs can also be seen on great courtyard’s kitchen.
17. The central edifice of Taj Mahal has marble walls. These walls are decorated with flower sculptures in the shape of OM and bell flowers. OM and bell flowers are of great importance in the worship of Lord Shiva.
18. The pinnacle that sits on top of the central dome is made of copper and when it was taken down for regilding, ‘Joseph Taylor’ was found engraved on it. Taylor who was a British Official was given the task of maintenance of Taj Mahal in 1810 AD and probably he removed the pure gold pinnacle and replaced it with copper pinnacle. The Shahjahannama by Muhammad Salah Kumbo states that the pinnacle was made of gold. While the theft of the golden pinnacle by Joseph Tylor is really not acceptable and shows the utter greed of British people and least respect for other countries and religions, the point here is that the pinnacle on the top of the dome branches out into a trident with the central tongue of the trident having a shape of a water pot (Kalasha) which in turn is topped with two mango leaves and a coconut. This shape is a very sacred Hindu Motif then why is it present on a building that is supposedly authored by a Muslim ruler?
19. Two floors below the grave are numerous rooms. Rooms in a mausoleum are useless and there presence cannot be explained unless these rooms were actually built in an ancient edifice with a whole different purpose.
20. Two Nagar Khanas or drum houses are found one on either side of the courtyard between the main entrance and Taj Mahal. Music in Islam is prohibited then why were Nagar Khanas built if at all Taj Mahal was authored by Shahjahan? Drums on the other hand are an integral part of Lord Shiva’s worship.
Interesting Taj Mahal Conspiracy Facts: 21-30
21. On Taj Mahal’s gateway’s eastern side to the extreme end of the courtyard is a gow-shala or cow-shed. A mausoleum does not really have any need for a cow-shed. A cow-shed really makes sense in a temple complex.
22. As far as age of Taj Mahal is concerned, Marvin Mills of New York reported that a small piece of wood from the northern facade of the edifice on river Januma’s bank was put through Carbon-14 dating and it was found with 67% accuracy probability that the building was constructed in 1359 CE (or AD) with a spread on 80 years on either side. This means that Taj Mahal was built somewhere between 1270 CE and 1448 CE, which is long before Shahjahan was even born.
23. As a matter of fact, Badshahnama clearly indicates that Raja Man Singh’s palace (which was at later stages inherited by Raja Jai Singh) was acquired by Shahjahan for the burial of Mumtaz. Also, the 1600-page Badshahnama has only two pages which speak of Mumtaz’s burial and just one paragraph that speaks of Taj Mahal. If Taj Mahal was actually built by Shahjahan, Badshahnama would have detailed the herculean and immensely expensive task.
24. The bulbous domes that we usually see in Islamic architecture is thought to be an outcome of Saracenic architecture and that it was ported to India somewhere in 12th century. So, some historians believe that Taj Mahal’s dome migrated from Samarkhand to India after Babur established Mogul dynasty in India in 16th century. However, single pointed arch structure was already in use in India by mid 14th century, especially in South India where the rulers of Vijayanagara used such kind of architecture.
25. Timur – the 6th generation predecessor of Shahjahan invaded India in 1398 CE. Timur is attributed with initiation of medieval architecture in Samarkhand and after sacking Delhi, he actually took back many captives from Delhi. These captives included labors, craftsmen and architects. In his biography named Malfuzat-i-Timuri, Timur writes:
“I ordered that all the artisans and clever mechanics who were masters of their respective crafts should be picked out from among the prisoners and set aside, and accordingly some thousands of craftsmen were selected to await my command. All these I distributed among the princes and amirs who were present, or who were engaged officially in other parts of my dominions. I had determined to build a Masjid-i-Jami in Samarkhand, the seat of my empire, which should be without a rival in my country; so I ordered that all builders and stone masons should be set apart for my own especial service.”
Now Timur invaded India in 1398 while carbon dating says that the approximate time when Taj Mahal was built was 1359. This means that Saracenic architecture which is credited for single pointed arch structure and bulbous domes actually borrowed that style of architecture from India in late 14th century.
26. Again, domes in Islamic architecture do not have lotus canopies. None of the Saracenic architecture found in Egypt, Baghdad, Persia and Samarkhand have domes with lotus canopy. On the contrary, lotus canopies can be found in ancient temples of Udaypur, Girnar, Carla, Mount Abu, Mylass etc. Some of these temples are from 4th century. Lotus holds a very important place in Hindu religion. Every single dome of the Taj Complex has the lotus canopy on it. This fact too screams that Taj Mahal was indeed built as a Hindu temple long before Shahjahan’s birth.
27. E.B. Havell (a well-known and prominent authority on Indian architecture) pointed out that the domes of Taj Mahal are all arranged in a pattern that essentially follows Hindu regilion and not Saracenic architecture. He says that the arrangement of the domes in Taj Mahal is known as pancharatna – a shrine of five jewels or five-headed lingam of Shiva. Prambanam in Java has several small shrines one of them is Chandi Sewa which has a dome arrangement that is strikingly similar to that found in Taj Complex.
28. Again, the main entrance which has a floor area of 100 feet has two rows of mini domes. Each row has 11 domes. While we have been taught that these 22 mini domes signify 22 years of construction, the reality is that these domes (11 in each row) signify the Eleven forms of Lord Shiva known as the Ekadasa Rudra.
29. Normally, all mosques in the world are constructed to face the Holy Mecca but the mosque that can be found inside the Taj Complex faces cardinal West. Now by 9th century, according to Marvin Mills, Muslims were actually able to calculate Mecca’s direction within two degrees from a mosque in any city. Interestingly, from the mosque located in Taj Complex, Mecca lies 14 degrees and 55 minutes south of the west in which the mosque is facing.
30. In Saracenic architecture, minarets usually rise from the shoulder of a central edifice and the domes of the minarets lie well above the dome of the central edifice. This is not the case in Taj Mahal. Not only the minarets stand separate but are also shorter than the central edifice.
Interesting Taj Mahal Conspiracy Facts: 31-40
31. Aurangzeb actually sent a letter to his father where it was mentioned that the building selected for burial of Mumtaz was seven-storeyed and was defective, requiring immediate repair work. Aurangzeb wrote in the letter that he would take care of the repairing for the interim period at his own expense but full-scale repairing work should be undertaken at a later stage. This alone proves that Taj Mahal was already pretty old during Shahjahan’s reign. The letter of Aurangzeb can be found in at least three chronicles titled: Yadgarnama, Aadab-e-Alamgiri and Muruqqa-i-Akbarabadi.
32. Bikaner’s Rajasthan State archive has all the three firmans (orders) that were sent by Shahjahan to Raja Jai Singh. The firmans ordered Raja Jai Singh to send marbles from Makraan quarries but there was no mention of Mumtaz, burial or even Taj Mahal as a whole. Raja Jai Singh, instead of sending the marbles actually detained the stone cutters under his own custody. Shahjahan sent the firmans for marble for grafting fake cenotaphs and Koranic engravings after seizing Tej-o-Mahal. Well, this was an insult for Raja Jai Singh after the injury inflicted by Taj Mahal seize.
33. Yet another problem is that if Shahjahan built the Taj Mahal (that required 22 years of construction work as per Tavernier), how could he do so with complete dependence on non-cooperative Raja Jai Singh for marbles?
34. An Englishman named Peter Mundy visited Agra in 1632 (note that Mumtaz died in 1631) and recorded his visit. In his account he wrote: “the places of note in and around Agra, included Taj-e-Mahal’s tomb, gardens and bazaars”. It becomes evident from his account that Taj Mahal already existed and that it was actually a noteworthy building.
35. Lucknow museum preserves a Sanskrit inscription (incorrectly termed as Bateshwar inscription) which refers to the building of “crystal white Shiva temple so alluring that Lord Shiva once enshrined in it decided never to return to Mount Kailash his usual abode”. The inscription is dated to be 1155 CE (or AD). This simply means that Taj Mahal is even older than that thought after carbon dating of the wooden piece. The edifice is around 500 years older than Shahjahan. The inscription was actually ordered to be removed by Shahjahan.
36. Volume 4 of Archaeological Survey of India Reports that was published in 1874 clearly states in pages 216 and 217: “great square black balistic pillar which, with the base and capital of another pillar….now in the grounds of Agra,…it is well known, once stood in the garden of Tajmahal”.
37. The Taj Mahal has over 14 chapters of Koran carved on it. There is not even a single text which says that Taj Mahal was authored by Shahjahan. On the contrary, the inscriber who was responsible for black Koranic lettering on Taj Mahal actually left inscriptions which states that Taj Mahal was disfigured by black lettering.
38. The Taj Mahal is built with an octagonal shape. This has a very high significance in Hindu literature. Hindus have 8 different names for 8 directions and each direction has a celestial guard assigned to it. The pinnacle found in any octagonal Hindu building points to heaven while the foundation of the building points to nether world. This covers all 10 directions in which God lives (as per Hindu religion). How come Taj Mahal follows the Hindu belief of architecture if at all it was built by Shahjahan?
39. The apex of lofty entrance arch on all four entrances of Taj Mahal has a red lotus with a white trident similar to that installed on the dome. Sadly, all these centuries people believed that pinnacle on Taj depicted nothing but Islamic crescent and that the British rulers in India installed a star as a lightning conductor. Contrary to this, pinnacle was an outcome of Hindu metallurgy and was made out of an alloy that did not rust and perhaps acted as a lightning detector.
40. Peter Mundy, during his visit to Taj Mahal in 1632, saw that Mumtaz’s cenotaph was placed inside a gem studded gold railing. Problem with this is that such costly fixtures are always installed only after a building’s construction is completed and it is ready to use. So, if Taj Mahal was built over a period of 22 years by Shahjahan, the question of gold railing only an year after Mumtaz’s death is simply out of question. This means that the spot where Mumtaz’s cenotaph sits was actually the spot for Shivlinga. Thus, all the riches in Taj Mahal including silver doors, gold railings, nets of pearls, gem fillings etc. were the primary reason why Shahjahan seized Taj Mahal. It was an outright robbery in the disguise of love.
Interesting Taj Mahal Conspiracy Facts: 41-50
41. Around Mumtaz’s cenotaph can be seen mosaic patches on the marble floor. Those were the spots where the support for the gold railing seen around the cenotaph were embedded. Also, right above the cenotaph is a hanging chain which currently holds a lamp. However, it was actually used for hanging a pitcher full of water so that water could drip down on the Shivalinga which was initially there in place of the cenotaph.
42. Right between the drum house and the so-called mosque sits a multi-storeyed well of octagonal shape. This is actually the design of a Hindu Treasury well found in many Hindu Temple palaces. This multi-storeyed wells had chambers. The lower chambers were used for keeping treasure chests while the upper chambers were offices for treasury personnel. The wells usually had circular stairs which were so designed so that intruders could not enter or escape without being noticed or chased. A treasury well was designed in a way that during enemy seize the treasure could be pushed down below the water level and kept safe and later salvaged if the place was reconquered. A mausoleum in no way needs a massive well of that kind.
43. Funny thing is that there is no record of the ceremonious burial of Mumtaz in Taj Mahal. If Mumtaz was really that important, the date of her burial in Taj Mahal would have been mentioned somewhere or the other.
44. At the very beginning of this article we did say that Mumtaz died in 1631. That’s because it is the most widely accepted one. However, many have actually challenged this date and some have mentioned it to be 1629, 1630 or 1632. Now that Mumtaz’s exact year of death is also questionable, how could she deserve a fabulous burial at all? Mumtaz lived in harem which had 5000 women. It was really difficult to keep a track of death dates of women. Since she was so insignificant that her exact date of death was not know, why would someone ever build Taj Mahal for her?
45. Even more dramatically unconvincing is the fact that Shahjahan was deeply and madly in love with Mumtaz. No written records have ever been found where the love affairs of Shahjahan and Mumtaz have been written down.
46. The worst part of all, court papers of Shahjahan has no written records of the total cost of building Taj Mahal. There have been wild estimates floating around. Some say the cost to be 40 lakh Indian rupees. Some quote it as 4 million and some say 91.7 million. If Shahjahan really built the Taj Mahal, the actual cost of building something so grand would have been invariably mentioned in the court papers.
47. During Shahjahan’s times, the gardens around Taj Mahal were described to have several flowering plants like Bel, Harshringar, Maulashree, Champa, Jui, Jai and Ketaki. Leaves and flowers of these all these flowering plants are used in the worship of Hindu deities. Bel in particular is used for worship of Lord Shiva. A cemetery on the other hand will usually have shady and non-flowering plants because it is abhorrent to human conscience to use fruits and flowers from the plants and trees in a cemetery.
48. The 4 entrance arches of Taj Mahal are identical, following a typical Hindu style of construction known as Chaturmukhi.
49. Prophet Mohammad clearly commanded that not even a single tombstone be used in burial spot. Either Prophet Mohammad’s orders meant nothing to Shahjahan or he must have forgotten what Prophet said. The basement grave and the grave in first floor chamber – both have been ascribed to Mumtaz. Actually, the cenotaphs were built atop two-tier Shivlingas which were consecrated in Taj Mahal. Installing two Shivalingas one on top of other is quite customary in Hindu culture and can be seen in Ujjain’s Mahankaleshwar Temple and in Somnath Temple.
50. Domes of Taj Mahal are reverberating. These types of domes are by design capable of amplifying sound. This isn’t necessary for a mausoleum because all that’s required in a tomb is silence and peace. Hindu temples however need reverberating domes so that sound of pipes, drums and bells can be amplified.
Interesting Taj Mahal Conspiracy Facts: 51-60
51. Next question that goes on to prove the Taj Mahal conspiracy is that Babur mentioned in his memoir that Ibrahim Lodhi captured a palace which had a octagonal chamber in the center and pillars on four side.
52. Other queens of Shahjahan namely Fatehpuri Begum and Sarhandi Begum are buried in pavilions on southern flank of Tajgunj gate. The problem is that a maid named Satunnisa Khatun is also buried there in an identical but separate pavilion. Does that mean Shahjahan demoted the queens to the status of a maid or was the maid promoted to the status of a queen? Actually Shahjahan followed the footsteps of his Islamic predecessors who used to convert captured buildings into muslim cemetery.
53. Precincts of Taj Mahal extended to several hundred yards in all directions. For instance, ruins of jetty and bathing ghats are found across the river as annexes of Taj Mahal. Again, an ancient wall ending in a red stone-made octagonal tower can be found covered with creepers in the Victoria gardens. Why would a mausoleum need such extensive grounds when Mumtaz was actually a commoner by birth and that Shahjahan actually married several other women before and after Mumtaz’s death?
54. History has no records of Shahjahan’s special affinity to Mumtaz. In fact he had affairs with many women that included maids and even his own daughter named Jahanara. So, for a womanizer like Shahjahan, it was pretty unusual to spend so much money for a corpse of a commoner.
55. The French traveler named Bernier on his visit to Mughal Empire wrote that non-muslims were not allowed in nether chamber on the grounds that dazzling fixtures were present there. Actually those chamber were sealed shut by Shahjahan to hide seized Hindu wealth that he wanted to move to his treasury.
56. On the river flank of the Taj Mahal is a marble plinth, immediately below which are 22 rooms made of red stone. The ventilators of these rooms have been sealed by Shahjahan. The Archeology Department of India keeps those rooms sealed till date. These rooms are probably filled with Hindu paintings, idols and more.
57. A 33 feet long corridor is found on other side of those 22 rooms. This corridor has two doorways on either side but they had been sealed with lime and bricks. These sealed doorways were probably unsealed and sealed back again, leaving a small gap on one of the doorways. In 1934 a resident of Delhi managed to peek inside from the opening only to find, to his utter horror and dismay, a large hall with a beheaded Shiva idol and several other statues. There’s probably more in there such as scriptures, Sanskrit inscriptions and more. Why have these sealed areas been kept sealed so long is yet another mystery. Government needs to open up all sealed areas in Taj Mahal and allow proper investigation.
58. The whole Taj Complex has nearly 400 to 500 rooms designed for residential purpose. Why would a mausoleum have residential rooms is a question that has never been answered.
59. Another clinching proof that Taj Mahal was not authored by Shahjahan is that the court papers of Shahjahan did not have a single drawing of Taj Mahal. There are two stories that are really not acceptable. First is that Shahjahan ordered several people from all around the world to design the mausoleum and one of those design was chosen. Second, only one local person was asked to design it and was approved. Whatever the case be, there should have been at least one drawing among court papers. Actually there could not be one because Taj Mahal was not authored by Shahjahan but was rather built long ago by Hindus.
60. On the exterior of the dome of Taj Mahal are iron rings sticking out. True Muslim building with domes (which actually have a bald top contrary to the lotus canopy domes of Hindus) never required such iron rings. These iron rings were actually meant for holding earthen oil lamps that illuminated the temple during night.
There are many more such evidences that go on to prove Taj Mahal conspiracy by Shahjahan and that the Taj Mahal was actually a temple of Lord Shiva that was built in around 1155 CE, nearly 500 years before the birth of Shahjahan. What a pity that Muslims claim it to a creation of their ancestors and Indian government out there in Delhi is doing nothing about reviving the Hindu creation that rightfully belongs to Hindus.