Taj Mahal facts: Tejo Mahalaya, a Shiv Temple?

The Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders in the world, doesn’t fail to enchant us with its shining beauty every time we glance at its marbles. And the story behind the construction of the Taj, told since ages are itself alluring, isn’t it? Well, what if I introduce you to another aspect of Taj Mahal facts, a completely different story behind the Taj? Another aspect of the story doesn’t portray the Taj as some love symbol dedicated by Shahjahan to his beloved. But it says that the Taj Mahal was originally a Shiva temple called “TEJO MAHALAYA”. A book called Taj Mahal: The True Story, written by the historian P.N Oak goes in-depth of the whole controversy. Oak claims in the book that the monument (originally the temple) was built in 1155 AD denying the record of the Archaeological Survey of India, which states the monument to be built in the 17th century. According to the book, the temple Tejo Mahalaya was built by Hindu ruler Jai Singh 1. Shahjahan captured the temple, finally turning it into a tomb and renamed it as the Taj Mahal, a corrupted form of Tejo Mahalaya

Well, the two completely different stories revolving around the tomb gives rise to the Taj Mahal controversy. Which facet of it should you trust? Let me make you aware of the various hidden Taj Mahal facts that prove that the Taj was originally a Shiva temple, and you will have your answer.

What does the name itself reveal? 

One of the many Taj Mahal Facts says that the tomb was named after Mughal queen “Mumtaz Mahal”. But on putting a little observation, you find that while “Mumtaz” ends with “z”, “Taj” ends with “j”. Moreover, the queen’s name was not actually Mumtaz Mahal but “Arjumand Banu Begum”, or “Mumtaz-ul-Zamani” (as mentioned in Badshahnama). 

Another absurd aspect of the name is the word “Mahal”. Mahal is a word of Sanskrit origin meaning mansion. And how a burial place can be called a “mansion”! 

Traditions encompassing the Taj Mahal facts that raise questions

We need to remove shoes before entering into the Taj. But it is quite conflicting in itself because removing shoes is a tradition that we follow before entering into the temples. This hints towards Taj Mahal unknown facts, and suggests that a temple lies behind the name of the tomb!

Moreover, the tomb has Cobra figures or Nagas inscribed on its parapet. Naga structures are usually related to the shiva temples in Hindu traditions.

Badshanama and letters of truth ( what does the Tejo Mahalaya history says?)

The Badhshanama, Shahjahan’s court chronicle reveals that a great mansion was captured from Maharaja Jai Singh, the king of Jaipur, for the burial of his queen.

The letters by Aurangzeb to this father (as mentioned in Aadaab-e-Alamgii and Yaadgaarnama) reveal that the monument was some seven-storied old building. So old that the dome had developed a crack which leaked and Aurangzeb repaired it with his own expense. 

Moreover, the letter itself was written in 1652 A.D. Whereas the popular Taj Mahal facts claim it to be completed in a period of 21 years from 1631 A.D to 1653 A.D. But the monument being so old in 1652 A.D. itself is quite contradicting.

OM, a sacred word that reveals the history

The inscriptions of Om are found on the walls of the sanctum. Om is a sacred sound chanted in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Hence it hints towards the existence of a temple.

Know more about AUM and how it is supreme- Aum Chanting benefits

Origin of the word Taj Mahal

“Taj” and “Mahal”, both the words have Sanskrit origin, meaning splendor and mansion respectively. A Mughal Emperor giving the name of Sanskrit origin to his monument sounds contradicting. 

And while researching the pages of history, we find that the word “Taj Mahal” is nowhere mentioned in the chronicles of Mughal court papers. Hence, it suggests that the Taj Mahal is a corrupted version of “Tejo Mahalay”. 

What does science say?

Not just the history papers but scientific research also suggests that the building was built way before the Mughals invaded India. A carbon-14 test reveals that the door is 300 years older than Shahjahan. The building belongs to 1155 A.D., i.e. 500 years earlier to Shahjahan. 

Taj Mahal Architecture Facts

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Again, when you look at the Taj Mahal with the viewpoint of a tomb, you find absurdity in its architecture. There is an unnecessary pit in the basement of the tomb. The resemblance of it with a treasure pit needed in Shiva temples suggests the existence of Tejo Mahalaya.

The presence of a lamp above the Mumtaz’s cenotaph denotes the presence of a water pitcher from which water used to drip on the Shivalinga. 

Also, there are protruding iron rings in the tomb resembling the ones used to hold earthen lamps in Shiva temples. The central dome with cupolas is similar to the Hindu architecture.

Moreover, the octagonal shape of the Taj also resembles the Hindu style of architecture. Hindus have special names of eight directions. 

Location of the tomb raises a question, (Was Taj Mahal Shiva Temple?)

Most of the Hindu temples are located near a sea or a riverbank, take Jagganath Puri for example. Hence the location of the Taj Mahal on the river banks of Yamuna deepens the suspicion of it being a Hindu temple originally.

Cultures speak about the Taj Mahal interesting facts

Had the Taj been a tomb originally, it should have abided by the Muslim culture. Muslim culture strictly prohibits more than one tombstone at a place. Violating that, the Taj Mahal has two graves. In  Hinduism, it is obligatory to lodge two shillings, one above the other.

Absence of records

Though there are claims regarding the cost estimates of the construction of the Taj Mahal that ranges from 4 million to 91.7 million rupees, there is absolutely no legitimate record.

Hindu treatise 

Viswa-karma Vastushahtra, a famous Hindu treatise on architecture mentions the “Tej Linga” as one amongst the various Shiva Lingas. A similar Tej Linga was present inside the “Tejo Mahalay” later corrupted as the Taj Mahal.

The city of Agra that unleash Taj Mahal amazing facts

The traditions of Agra reflect that the people of that place used to worship at five Shiva shrines before taking their last meal of the day. The four shrines were, Balkeshwar, Prithivinath, Manakameshwar, and Rajrajeshwar. However, they lost the path of the fifth Shiva deity which their forefathers used to worship. The fifth one is claimed to be Agreshwar (the lord of Agra) who used to reside in the Tejo Mahalay.

If you have been to Agra, you must be knowing about the abundant presence of Jats there. Jats call shiva as Teja ji. A report of June 28, 1971, of the “Illustrated Weekly of India” mentions the Teja temples. This strengthens the existence of Tejo Mahalaya. 

Revelations from inscriptions 

A Sanskrit inscription known as the Bateshwar inscription is currently preserved in the Lucknow museum. The inscription claims about the raising of a crystal white Shiva temple. It also claims that the lord got so much allured by the beauty of the temple that he decided never to return back to Kailash. What is more intriguing is that the inscription was found within a radius of about 36 miles from the Taj mahal.

Further, the inscription itself is dated 1155 A.D.,i.e. five years anterior to Shahjahan.

The Taj Mahal Controversy Shiva Temple proofs that states have preserved

The Rajasthan State archives at Bikaner preserves three firmans to Jaisingh addressed by Shahjahan. It contains pieces of evidence of Shahjahan ordering the king to supply marbles from makrana. Apparently, the king who already felt insulted because of the capture of the temple refused the firman.

Also, the firman nowhere mentions the Taj Mahal or Mumtaz.

Data from inscribers

In an inscription, Amanat Khan Shirazi mentioned the Shahjahan only disfigured the Taj.

What does the renowned architecture authority say?

There are also some reverent architecture authorities like, E.B Havells, Mrs. Kenoyer, and Sir W.W. Hunter who have affirmed that the Taj Mahal is built in the Hindu temple style. Havells evens agrees that the Hindu Chandi Seva Temple in Java resembles the Taj.

  Was Shahjahan trying to hide something? 

  • Silver doors and gold railings found inside the tomb are similar to those found in Hindu temples. Peter Mundy, an Englishman, claims to have seen a gem-studded gold railing around Mumtaz’s tomb.

Also, when you climb down in the basement that is believed to be the real grave of Mumtaz, you will find that the walls are finished with marble slabs of dissimilar sizes. Now that raises a question. Was it to seal off the ramps to hide a history?

Similarity with Hinduism

There is even a multi-storied octagonal well in the Taj. Again, that is similar to the traditions followed in the construction of Hindu temples. It serves as a traditional treasury in the Hindu Temples. In the lower apartments there used to treasure chests whereas treasury personnel had their offices in the upper chamber. Further, the circular structure made it difficult for the thieves to reach the treasure. 

Traveller’s account

What is more surprising is an account by a French merchant Tavernier who visited India during Shahjahan’s reign. He notes in his accounts that Shahjahan purposely buried Mumtaz at the Taj Mahal, so the burial spot could be admired, as even then Tejo Mahalay enchanted the foreigners with its beauty. 

 Mumtaz’s death

Strange is the fact that there is no record of the death of Mumtaz. On the one hand, they claim that the construction of Taj took twenty-one years, on the other hand, there is no mention of the death of the lady around which the story of the construction was weaved!

Which facet of it should you trust? I guess you must have your answer by now. History needs to be read with an alert mind so that it does not delude you. So the next time you visit the monument make sure you observe it deeply!


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