Tuesday, May 04, 2010




RADHASYAM BRAHMACHARI Wed, Aug 5, 2009 at 3:20 AM

--- On Wed, 5/8/09, RADHASYAM BRAHMACHARI wrote:

@Date: Wednesday, 5 August, 2009, 3:42 PM

Posted by Dr Radhasyam Brahmachari on 8/05/09 • Categorized as Op-Ed

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By Dr Radhasyam Brahmachari
When construction of Taj Mahal was completed ?
In the previous article, it has been mentioned that the name of the Queen, in whose memory the Taj Mahal is being said to have been erected, was Arjumand Banu. She was married to Shahjahan in 1612 and died at Burhanpur in 1631 (or 1630) A.D. and within 18 years of her married life she gave birth to 14 children. In fact, she died while she was delivering her 14th child. According to Badshahnama, she was buried temporarily at Burhanpur and in the same year her body was brought from Burhanpur to Agra. So it was not possible for Shah Jahan to begin the so called construction of the Taj Mahal before 1631. According to the French traveler Jean Baptiste Tavernier, the said construction continued for 22 years and hence the construction has been presumably completed not before 1653 AD.

Regarding this account of Tavernier, Dr V S Godbole says, “These figures come from a book Travels in India by J B Tavernier, a French jewel merchant. He was a great adventurer who made six voyages to India in the days of Shivaji (1638 to 1668). Tavernier says,” I witnessed the commencement and completion of this monument (Taj Mahal) on which 20,000 men worked incessantly for 22 years.” [1]
Dr Godbole also says, “In 1889 Dr Ball translated the original French book (Travels in India by J B Tavernier) into English, corrected some mistakes in earlier translation and provided extensive footnotes. He also studied Tavernier’s movements thoroughly and provided details of his six voyages. From this it is clear that Tavernier came to Agra only twice – in the winter of 1640-41 and in 1665.” [1] So, it was not possible for Tavernier to see either the beginning, or the finishing of the construction of Taj Mahal. It therefore appears that his claim of seeing the beginning and end of the construction of Taj Mahal, is baseless and untrue.
History tells us that, in 1658, Aurangzeb had imprisoned his father Shahjahan in the Fort of Agra and occupied the throne. So, when Tavernier visited Agra for the second time, Aurangzeb was the emperor. While commenting on this aspect, Dr Godbole says, “No historian claims that Aurangzeb completed Taj Mahal. So, Tavernier could not have seen the completion of Taj Mahal either.” [1] This also makes one doubtful about other narrations of Tavernier that says that, Shahjahan engaged 20,000 workers who laboured for 22 years to erect the edifice which is now known as Taj Mahal.
On the other hand, it is clear from the accounts of Badshahnama that in the same year (most probably within 6 months) Arjumand Banu had died, her body was exhumed from her temporary burial at Burhanpur and brought to Agra, and in the next year her body was permanently laid to rest in Agra. As it was not possible to erect a new building within such a short period of time and hence there is no doubt that an existing building was used as her permanent burial. In this regard, Badshahnama says that a marvellous building (imarat-e-alishan), with splendid dome (wa gumbaje) known as the palace of Raja Man Singh, at present owned by Raja Jai asingh, grandson of Man Singh, was selected for the burial of the Queen. Badshahnama also says that Shah Jahan gave Raja Jai Singh a place called Sharifabad in exchange of that grand palace (Ali Manzil). It is to be noted here that Badshahnama did not furnish any datail of the place Sharifabad, not also the location of the
place. So, many believe that, Shah Jahan occupied the palace by brute force and to save his face his sychophant cronicler Abdul Hamid Lahori, later on, fabricated the story exchange of land in the mythical place Sharifabad.
It should also be noted here that, according to Islam, looting kafir properties is a pious duty for every Muslim. During the life time of Prophet Muhammad, Allah, through his divine message in Koran, directed the Muslims to kill the adult male kafirs, loot their wealth and riches, occupy their properties, take their women and children as captives, rape their women, keep them as sex-slaves or sale them in the slave market and so on. Muhammad, in his life time, used to receive one fourth of the loot as hoily Khum. So long Akbar was alive, the people of Allah could not perform their pious duty of occupying the palace as Mansingh was an ally of Akbar. But after his death and the death of Mansingh, there remained no hindrance for Shah Jahan to usurp the building by force and convert it into a mausoleum for his wife.

A captive kafir woman is being sold by the Muslims in a medieval slave market
It should also be mentioned here that, an author called Khan Bahaddur Syed Muhammad Latif, in his book Agra Historical and Descriptive had mentioned that the palace, now called Taj Mahal, was the property of Mansingh and after his death his grandson Jaisingh became the owner of the palace. So, Dr Godbole writes, “In 1896 Khan Bahaddur Syed Muhammad Latif wrote a book entitled Agra Historical and Descriptive. He refers to Badshahnama many times but does not quote specific page numbers. On page 105 he says, “ – The site selected for the mausoleum was originally a palace of Raja Mansingh but it was now the property of his grandson Raja Jaisingh.” Many authors have referred to Latif in their bibliography but have not cared to see what he has said. This truth was also hidden away from us by our Historians.” [1]
Aurangzeb’s Letter refutes Shah Jahan’s Authorship of Taj:

There is another strong evidence to show that the building, now known as Taj Mahal, was not built by Shah Jahan. “In 1652, Aurangzeb wrote a letter complaining of the extensive repairs that are in need of being done on Taj Mahal. He says that several rooms on the second storey, the secret rooms and tops of the seven storey ceiling have all absorbed water through seepage and are so old that they were all leaking, and the dome had developed a crack on the northern side. …. However, in the letter herein Aurangzeb ordered immediate repairs at his expense while recommending to the emperor that more elaborate repairs such as the roof be opened up and redone with mortar, bricks and stone.” [2] The facsimile of the letter is shown above.
The reader should notice that, according to general rumour, Arjumand Banu died in 1631 and Shah Jahan initiated the construction of Taj Mahal in the same year, and it took 22 years to complete the construction. It implies that Shah Jahan finished the construction of Taj Mahal in 1653. So, when Aurangzeb wrote the above letter, Taj Mahal should have been a newly constructed building. But according to the description of Aurangzeb, Taj Mahal was a very old building that deserved a massive repair work. So, Aurangzeb’s letter is more than sufficient to conclude that the claim of Shah Jahan’s authorship of the building, now known as Taj Mahal, is a fraud.
According to Stephen Knapp, Aurangzeb wrote the said letter in 1632 and if that is true, it appears that Aurangzeb wrote that letter when the construction of Taj Mahal had just begun. Stephen Knapp, in this regard, writes, “It also covers such things as the descriptions found in the old Agra court papers on the Taj; descriptions and measurements of the building in the old records; Aurangzeb’s letter of the much needed repairs even in 1632 which is unlikely for a new building; ….” [3]
However, to give the existing palace an Islamic face, Shah Jahan had to undertake some modification of the existing palace, such as replacing Hindu symbols and decorating it with Koranic inscriptions. Nearly a year was, perhaps, spent to finish these jobs at the cost of Rs 40 lakh. And hence the Badshahnama says, “… the foundation was laid and geometricians with far sight and architects of talent incurred an expenditure of Rs 40 lakhs on this building.” [4] It is also evident from Badshahnama that, it was decided before bringing the body of Arjumand Banu to Agra, that her body would be permanently laid to rest at the palace of Jai Singh. So the Badshahnama says, “The site covered with a majestic garden, to the south of the great city (of Agra) and amidst which the building known as the palace of Raja Man Singh, at present owned by Raja Jai asingh, grandson of Man Singh, was selected for the burial of the Queen, whose abode is in heaven.” [4]
The above view has been endorsed by Stephen Knapp and he writes, “ … records that reveal Shah Jahan acquired marble but was it enough for really building the Taj or merely for inlay work and decorative coverings; the observations of European travelers at the time; the actual age of the Taj; how the architecture is definitely of Indian Hindu orientation and could very well have been designed as a Shiva temple; the issue of the arch and the dome; how the invader Timurlung (1398) took back thousands of prisoner.” [3]
But if we accept the other view, as presented by the Munj Bateswar Edict that, the building now called Taj Mahal, was built, as a temple of Lord Shiva, by the Bundel King Paramardi Dev, nearly 500 years before the times of Shah Jahan, Aurangzeb’s description of Taj Mahal becomes plausible and acceotable.
The cost of construction of Taj Mahal:
There is another important point to notice in this regard. According to Badshahnama, Shah Jahan spent Rs 40 lakh (or Rs 4 million) to build the Taj Mahal. But the so called pseudo secular historians of India could detect that, even in those days a sum of Rs 4 million was not enough to erect an edifice like Taj Mahal. So, they began to inflate the figure according to their sweet will. The estimates by different authors are given in the following table.

Spending in rupees

A H Lahori [4]

R C Majumdar [5]

A C Roy [6]

Muhammad Din [7]

Guide to Taj [8]

Kanwar Lal [9]

Keene [10]

J B Tavernier [11]
The wild variations of the figures suggests that they have not been collected from an authentic source. Simple common sense tells that, had Shah Jahan built the edifice by spending money from the royal treasury, it would have been possible for the authors to collect the actual figures from records. But, since such records are not there, they have put a figure according to their sweet will and conjecture. One observes from the above table that the figure supplied by Keene is the highest and it is nearly 23 times of the figure given by Abdul Hamid Lahori. Out of the figure 4,18,48,000 given in the Guide to Taj, it is said that Rs 86,09,000 was spent from the royal treasury, while the rest was donated by the Nawabs. But there is no mentioning of the source, where from the data have been collected. It is needless to say that the said anomaly of figures points to the same conclusion that the building, now known as Taj Mahal, was not built by Shah Jahan.
Time taken for construction of Taj Mahal:
One observes a similar anomaly regarding the time taken to build the edifice called Taj Mahal. A detail is given in Table – II below.

Year of initiation
Year of completion
Time Spent (Years)

Encly Britt. [12]

Muhammad Din [7]

R C Arora [13]

J B Tavernier [14]

Col. Gazetteer [15]
It has been mentioned earlier that Arjumand Banu, the wife Shah Jahan, died in 1631. It was not possible for Shah Jahan to begin the construction of a mausoleum before the death of his wife and hence it is plausible to assume that Shah Jahan began the construction of Taj Mahal in 1631 or1632 AD. Historian A C Roy, to avoid the dispute regarding the year of beginning and the year of completion, simply says that it took 18 years for Shah Jahan to complete the construction. [6] Most importantly, the renowned historian R C Majumdar has kept silence in this matter. It is not difficult to understand that the absence of a reliable source is the cause of his silence.
According to the account of Tavernier, Shah Jahan had begun the construction 10 years after the death of Arjumand Banu and hence one should conclude that the construction was completed during the reign of Aurangzeb, who ascended the throne in 1658. But no historical record says that Aurangzeb had completed the construction of Taj Mahal. Most importantly, all these accounts seem to be meaningless, in view of the letter of Aurangzeb in 1652, suggesting an urgent repair of the building called Taj Mahal. So, from the above discussions, it becomes apparent that there is no authentic record to ascertain the year of beginning and the year of completion of the construction of Taj Mahal and hence the data furnished in the Table – II are baseless and untrue. It points to the same conclusion that Shah Jahan was not the author of Taj Mahal and we have seen, in the previous article that, the building, now known as Taj Mahal, was built by the Bundel King Paramardi
Dev, as a temple of Lord Shiva , nearly 500 years before the times of Shah Jahan.
Who Prepared the plan of Taj Mahal?:
The similar is the case with the question, “Who was the designer of the building now known as Taj Mahai?” In this regard the historians of India say that Shah Jahan floated a global tender and the respondents were asked to submit designs and wooden models along with the tender. Innumerable plans with models had been received by the authorities and at last a council of the renowned architects selected Muhammad Isa as the chief architect and his model. It should be pointed here that these historians simply copied the version of Encyclopaedia Britannica which reads, “The plan was prepared by a council of architects from India , Persia , Central Asia and beyond and the credit for the final plan was given to Ustad Isa of either Persian or Turkish origin.” [16]
All these extremely ridiculous narrations make one amazed – how far the baseless wild conjectures can go. While reading all these cock and bull stories, we should take care that in those days horse driven cart on land and boats plying on oars on water were the speediest modes of transport. For common people, bullock cart was the only mode of transport capable of moving 40 miles a day (Tavernier). An example would make the point clear. In 1756, nearly 100 years after the times of Shah Jahan, Siraj ud Daula, the nawab of Bengal, invaded Calcutta and occupied the city by defeating troops of the East India Company.
At that time general Clive was in Madras . It took more than a month for general Drake to convey this message to Clive in Madras and it took another month to bring forces from Madras to Calcutta and recover the lost city. So, any sane man would refuse to believe that in those days Shah Jahan floated a global tender, asked for designs and wooden models, many respondents submitted their designs and models and out of these specimens Shah Jahan picked up the model submitted by Muhammad Isa and the entire job was done within less than a year. Perhaps, even a donkey would refuse to believe in all such nonsensical narrations of the secular and Marxist historians of India .
(To be continued)

[1] Dr V S Godbole, Taj Mahal – It is time to tell the truth, (http://agrasen.blogspot.com/2009/04/hidden- facts-in-indian-history.html )
[2] Aseemaa, June 2009, p-42
[3] Stephen Knapp,Taj Mahal: Was it a Vedic Temple ? The Photographic Evidence ( http://www.stephen-knapp.com/was_the_taj_mahal_a_vedic_temple.htm )
[4] Mullah Abdul Hamid Lahori, Badshahnama, Asiatic Soc. Bengal, I, 403.
[5] R. C. Majumdar, H. C. Raychaudhury and K. Datta, An Advanced History of India, MacMillan & Co (1980),586.
[6] A C Roy, Bharater Itihas (in Bengali), I, 186.
[7] Muhammad Din, Illustrated Weekly, Dec 30, 1951.
[8] A Guide to Taj at Agra , Victoria Press, 14.
[9] Kanwar Lal, The Taj, R K Publishing House, Delhi , 10.
[10] Keene ’s Handbook for Visitors to Agra & its Neighbourhood, E A Duncan (Editor), 154
[11] A C Roy, ibid, I, 107.
[12] Encyclopaedia Britannica (1964), XXI, 758.
[13] R C Arora, The City of Taj , Hibernian Press, Calcutta .
[14] Jean Baptiste Tavernier, Travels in India , (Tr. V Ball), (1889) MacMillan & Co, London .
[15] Columbia Lippincot Gazetteer, II, 19.
[16] Encyclopaedia Britannica (1964), XXI, 759.

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