Taj Mahal The monument of Love which was commissioned by the mughal emperor Shah Jahan for his lady love Mumtaz mahal. Ever since its inception in 1632 it has been a topic of interest for many and many stories have been doing the rounds ever since. Some are true and some are well! Not so true. Here are some not so well known facts about this beautiful monument that you might want to know:
1: The original venue for Taj Mahal was not Agra
Yes, it is true. Agra is famously known & celebrated as the home of the famous monument Taj mahal, but
did you know that wasn’t really the original place that it was supposed to be built? The history says that
Shah Jahan’s lady love Mumtaz Mahal died during the childbirth in the city named Burhanpur located in
Madhya Pradesh. Back then Shah Jahan marked out a site along the Tapti River to construct his iconic
symbol of love, but as Burhanpur could not supply enough white marble for its construction Taj Mahal
transported to Agra along with the mughal court & Mumtaz Mahal’s remaining. It is said that the original
site in Burhanpur is still vacant.
2: Heard of Black Taj mahal? Well! Turns out it’s not a true story
The story that has been doing the rounds is that Shah Jahan had plans of constructing a replica across the banks of yamuna in black marbles. This theory started making the rounds when remains of black marble stone were found in Mahtab Bagh, the garden across the river. But excavations carried out in the 1990s revealed that the marble stones were just the white stones that turned black over time. Whereas, the Archeological Society of India (or ASI) has a different take on this matter, since they constructed a part of the pool in Mahtab Bagh & saw the dark reflection of the white monument in the pool, which means that the black Taj Mahal was infact just merely a reflection.
3: The widely famous claim of dismembering the artisans by Shah Jahan himself is most likely not true.
Someone who went such lengths to build a monument in the name of love, dismembering the artisans thereafter sound’s not so right isn’t? And most likely it’s not true. There is no evidence in the history of Taj Mahal that Shah Jahan committed such brutality upon the artisan’s that we have grown up listening to.
4: The British never really had any plans of destroying the Taj Mahal
It is said that one of the former governor general of India named Lord William Bentinck, in the 30’s planned to break Taj Mahal down & auction off the marbles. But again there is no evidence to prove the authenticity of this story as well. However, his biographer Jhon Rosseli did mention that Bentinck had auctioned the discarded marble from another monument famously known as the Agra fort.
5: A hanging lamp shade inside the Taj Mahal has Lord Curzon’s name inscribed on it.
So the story goes like this. Lord Curzon, the viceroy of India had at the time dedicated his time & money to the Taj Mahal. And the bronze lamp that we can see hanging over the false mausoleums of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal was one of Curzon’s gifts to the Taj Mahal. The lamp in the picture as you can see took nearly 2 years to be made. And inside it is inscribed in Persian which says: “Presented to the Tomb of Mumtaz Mahal by Lord Curzon, Viceroy 1906.”