Since time immemorial, India has always been known as a land shrouded in folklore and mystery. There are so many stories, myths, and cultures that revolve around the ancient Gods and saints that to this date, India stays true to the title.
The country is home to various places of worship that have stood against the ravages of time and are century-old. Such places allude to people mostly because of the myths surrounding them. Sometimes the faith of people here is rewarded in the form of miracles, however, sometimes, it’s shunned with a curse.
However, what’s truly striking about my country is how she interprets love. India is a land of culture and mystery but it is also a land of passion and romance.
Be it the story of Anarkali and Salim, wherein a young courtesan fell in love with the prince and upon revelation was ordered to be enclosed within a wall of the palace where she died upon which the prince built her a magnificent tombstone, or the story of Rani Padmini for whom Raja Ratan Rawal Singh built the Chittorgarh Fort as a witness to their love, certain monuments in India serve as grand declarations of romance and not are not just limited to delicate and intricate architecture.
One such monument is the Taj Mahal in Agra, Delhi.
The Story Behind Taj Mahal
A sublime ethereal beauty, there’s no mausoleum or an epitaph of love grander and more majestic than the Taj Mahal. The marble-clad marvel was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan between 1631 and 1648 as a mausoleum for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died in childbirth.
The cenotaphs honoring Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan lie within the stunning mausoleum, in a quiet room below the floors of the mausoleum, at garden level.
However, the counterfeit imitation of the real sarcophagi of the cenotaphs lies in a gorgeously enclosed eight-sided ornamented chamber with a marble lattice screen.
However, what has always been a beacon of curiosity for both the Indians as well as the foreigners is what lies in the 22 closed rooms of the Taj Mahal which are clad in white marbles with a symphony of intricate and delicate architecture.
A Mystery That Isn’t
More often than not, human beings concoct various stories and fables around the unknown. To some, the unknown is interpreted as a curse owing to some ritual gone wrong or a death whereas to some there must be some divine intervention waiting to be revealed.
However, such is not the case for the Taj Mahal.
Mr. Rajneesh Singh who is a BJP youth leader had filed a petition to open the locked doors of the 22 rooms in Taj Mahal in order to find out the entire history of the monument.
He beseeched the court,
“We all should know what’s there behind these rooms.”
Even though his petition was dismissed, Ebba Koch who is an aficionado of Mughal architecture, a professor of Asian Art at the University of Vienna and the author of a magisterial study of the Taj revealed the contents of the room.
“There were seven larger rooms extended by niches on each side, six squarish rooms and two octagonal rooms. The large rooms originally looked out onto the river through handsome arches.
The arches showed traces of painted decoration under the whitewash and there were netted patterns arranged between concentric circles of stars with a medallion in the centre. It must have been a beautiful airy space, which served the emperor, his women and his entourage a cool place of recreation when visiting the tomb. It now has no natural light.”
Apart from that, the Archaeological Survey of India has released pictures of the insides of these rooms in order to stop the spread of misinformation. The pictures depict extensive constructions being done in order to restore these rooms to their original form.
What had truly caused such a spark was Mr. Singh’s claims that the rooms housed a Shiva temple and other deities were being kept inside.
The claims were dismissed the moment ASI released pictures of the restoration work going inside the rooms.
To conclude, not everything unknown is associated with some mystery latching onto it. Sometimes, it is just to preserve these monuments given that they are not only ancient but the constant rampant of tourists just might end up disrupting the essence of the place altogether.
In short, some things are better left unknown.
Disclaimer: This article is fact-checked.
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This post is tagged under Taj Mahal. Delhi, Agra, Shah Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal, symbol of love, mausoleum, white marbles, intricate and delicate architecture, locked rooms, mystery, 22 locked rooms of Taj Mahal, BJP, restoration work
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