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Taj Mahal: The True Story

3.8 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0961161446
ISBN-10: 0961161442
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: A Ghosh (May 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0961161442
  • ISBN-13: 978-0961161446
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,810,036 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Kumar on April 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
The Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his wife MumtazMahal built the Taj Mahal. It was built in 22 years (1631 to 1653) by 20,000 artisans brought to India from all over the world. Many people believe Ustad Isa of Iran designed it." This is what your guide probably told you if you ever visited the Taj Mahal. This is the same story I read in my history book as a student in India.
No one has ever challenged it except Professor P.N. Oak, who believes the whole world has been duped. In his Mahal's tomb but an ancient Hindu temple palace of Lord Shiva (then known as Tejo Mahalaya).
In the course of his research, Oak discovered the Shiva temple palace was usurped by Shah Jahan from then Maharaja of Jaipur, Jai Singh. Shah Jahan then remodeled the palace into his wife's memorial. In his own court chronicle, Badshahnama, Shah Jahan admits that an exceptionally beautiful grand mansion in Agra was taken from Jai Singh for Mumtaz's burial. The ex-Maharaja of Jaipur still retains in his secret collection two orders from Shah Jahan for surrendering the Taj building. Using captured temples and mansions, as a burial place for dead courtiers and royalty was a common practice among Muslim rulers. For example, Humayun, Akbar, Etmud-ud-Daula and Safdarjung are all buried in such mansions. Oak's inquiries begin with the name Taj Mahal. He says this term does not occur in any Moghul court papers or chronicles, even after ShahJahan's time.
The term "Mahal" has never been used for a building in any of the Muslim countries, from Afghanistan to Algeria. "The unusual explanation that the term Taj Mahal derives from Mumtaz Mahal is illogical in at least two respects. Firstly, her name was never Mumtaz Mahal but Mumtaz-ul-Zamani," he writes.
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Format: Paperback
P. N. Oak expounds an intriguing version of the Taj Mahal's origins in this book. He strongly refutes the traditionally accepted belief that the monument was constructed by 17th century Mughal emperor Shah Jehan as a mausoleum to his deceased wife Mumtaz Mahal, by attempting to prove that it was in fact a 12th century temple-palace seized from Raja Jaisingh of Jaipur and converted to accommodate Mumtaz's tomb. Mr Oak forcefully argues his case on several fronts, his first point being that the only original source of the claim for the Taj Mahal to be Shah Jehan's creation is an inaccurate and misinterpreted journal written by 17th century French jewel merchant and sometime India traveller, Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, and that all other subsequent accounts were either based on Tavernier's unverified statements or were sycophantic additions after Shah Jehan's time. Mr Oak quotes firstly from Mullah Abdul Hamid Lahori, Shah Jehan's own official chronicler, that Mumtaz's body was laid to rest in a "lofty sky-high palace with a majestic dome" procured from Raja Jaisingh. He further quotes from the journals of Tamerlane (1336-1405) and Babur (1483-1530) to show that this palace pre-dates Shah Jehan and also points to the notable absence of any claim by Shah Jehan himself for its construction. He particularly refutes Tavernier's claim of having seen the beginning and end of the entire construction work being carried out during his sojourn at Agra by pointing out the enormous discrepancies between the three periods during which Tavernier stayed at Agra, between 1641 and 1663, and the period over which it is clamed to have been constructed (1631-1653).Read more ›
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By A Customer on May 8, 2004
Format: Paperback
It's interesting to see the negative reviewers only brand the author with typical propoganda like "racist", without even trying to dispute any of the evidence presented.
Just see a closeup photo of the Taj's upper walls yourself. Designs with Cobra and Lotus are clearly visible, both symbols associated with Shiva. Also, what is Kalash(pot containing holy water) and Sriphal (coconut) doing on top of the dome? Why would Shah-jahan (who had five-thousand women in his harem, by the way. Love monument, my foot!) put Hindu symbols on the building, especially when symbolism is explicitly prohibited in his culture?
The anti-Hindu spin doctor reviewers here probably have similar concocted stories about Bamiyan Budhdha destruction, or even the WTC/Pentagon destruction. Shame on you, the masters of disguise!!
Truth seekers, read the book yourself. Also search the web for photographs supporting the evidence. Amazon also sells Yanni's Taj concert video, which has some closeups of this disguised Shiva temple.
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Format: Paperback
The author has made his case out in a very logical manner that the Taj Mahal is a refashioned Hindu structure predating Shahjahan. It should be remembered that history written by the British was strongly tilted to suit their ends. A book like this serves the purpose to scientifially verify or disprove, at a very fundamental level, any belief that the world has been fed through text books having roots in colonial works.
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It is a well known fact that Mughal invaders destroyed Hindu architecture and appropriated everything. British tried to promote the same and now our leftists, the descendents of British are trying to do the same. In 'Badshahnamah' it is clearly mentioned that Shah Jahan acquired a palace from then raja Man singh for a grave. Why do our leftist historians intentionally turn blind when you point this item. Why can't we a scholarly research? Why can't archealogists open the rooms in the ground floors? Doesn't that suggest something? Why are all the doors and windows closed with a rudimentary brick wall construction. If they were built to be closed like that why would Shah Jahan build it. Show me another mosque in the world which doesn't face Mecca. Why is the mosque adjacent to Taj not facing Mecca?

Well the truth is obvious but no authentic proofs. If researchers are allowed to enter the rooms and see what's behind the marble plates we can't make out.
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