The magnificent Taj Mahal, which stands on the banks of the Yamuna and is seen as a symbol of love all over the world is also a symbol of controversy in India. Here are some of the most outrageous claims regarding the Taj Mahal, as well as some myths and controversies involving it.
Taj Mahal Is Built On Land Belonging To The Jaipur Royal Family
As a petition has been submitted calling for the Taj Mahal’s shuttered 22 doors to be opened, Diya Kumari, a member of the Royal Family of Jaipur and a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party, has stated that the property where the Taj Mahal is located belongs to the Royal Family of Jaipur. According to the BJP MP, the Royal Family had a palace on the Taj Mahal site.
While endorsing the petition to open the Taj Mahal’s shuttered doors, Diya Kumar claimed to have documentation proving that the Taj Mahal was formerly the residence of the Jaipur royal family. It was seized by Mughal invaders, but due to Mughal authority, the royal family was powerless to resist, she explained.
Taj Mahal Was Originally A Temple
Purushottam Nagesh Oak, or P.N. Oak as he was known more popularly, was the source of most of the temple conspiracy ideas surrounding the Taj Mahal. He claimed in his book ‘Taj Mahal: The True Story’ that the Taj Mahal was a Hindu temple constructed by a Hindu ruler, not a Mausoleum.
According to Oak’s book, the monument was built in 1155, not the 1600s as popularly accepted and told by the ASI. He also filed a case in the Supreme Court, claiming that the Taj Mahal was originally built by a Hindu ruler. At the Allahabad High Court, a similar petition was brought and dismissed.
Mutilating Architects And Manual Laborers:
Another well-known and unsettling legend surrounding the Taj Mahal is that Emperor Shah Jahan mutilated the hands of the craftsmen and architects once the structure was completed, ensuring that such a magnificent structure would never be constructed again.
Other legends claim that those participating in the construction of the Taj Mahal had their eyes removed from their sockets. Historians have dismissed these ideas as folklore, citing the lack of evidence.
Black Taj Mahal:
Another long-standing myth coming from the contentious writings of European voyager Jean-Baptiste Tavernier is that Shahjahan planned to build a black marble Taj Mahal over the Yamuna River but was defeated and left to die by his son Aurangzeb before it was completed.
The remnants of blackened marble across the river only fueled the fire of this legend. However, it was later discovered that the remains were nothing more than blackened white marble.
The Taj Mahal’s most famous controversy in recent times is the claim that it was once a Shiva temple called ‘Tejo Mahalaya.’ Various versions of this legend have gone viral, one of which claims that the tomb was built over a temple and that the temple was still a part of the basement. Another story claims that it was built after the temple was destroyed.
This claim has been made by several members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), including Vinay Katiyar and Laxmikant Bajpai. However, it was discredited during a parliament session by a BJP leader, then-Minister of Culture Mahesh Sharma, who stated that there had been no documentation that the Taj Mahal was somehow a temple.