7. The Great Taj Mahal Conspiracy
The Taj Mahal is without a doubt India’s most famous—and probably most beautiful—building. This magnificent white marble structure, considered one of the world’s contemporary marvels, was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a tomb for his deceased wife. Wasn’t it?
Some beliefs claim that the Taj Mahal was never the architectural representation of eternal love that history knows it to be. Instead, some evidence shows that the structure is roughly 300 years older than its ostensible constructor. The guy behind this hypothesis, New Delhi professor P.N. Oak, says that the structure was never intended to be a mausoleum. He claims it is truly Tejo Mahalaya, an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to the worship of the deity Shiva. If this is accurate, it completely changes the narrative of the Taj Mahal: instead of creating one of the world’s most valuable structures, Shah Jahan would have just decorated an existing shrine and dedicated it to his bride.
While this may sound unlikely to those of us who already adore the Taj Mahal, it’s worth noting that Indian monarchy has a history of seizing enemy temples and homes and repurposing them as graves for their loved ones. Furthermore, the memoirs of visitors in the area around the time of the Taj Mahal’s alleged construction contain no mention of its construction, even stating that the “Taj” already existing as a significant, established structure. Is the Taj Mahal’s reputation as the ultimate symbol of romance based on a massive lie created by sloppy historians and propagandists? The mystery will remain unsolved until the Indian government decides to unlock the building’s locked chambers so that specialists may fully investigate them.