Taj Mahalor or Tejo Mahalaya
  • Hi Friend,
    This is a very old debate which probably does not hold any water, however I am
    very much interested in listening the arguments.
  • This is another Ramajanma bhoomi case and no progress is possible in our
    lifetime. We have to wait for a more favourable environment when an
    archeological investigation can be done without destroying anything,
    perhaps a radar survey by the canadian experts.
    Till then it is futile to discuss.
  • Hi all,

    This theory is almost definitely something made up by arm-chair historians
    of the revisionist stripe, to promote an agenda of claiming that every piece
    of heritage in India is purely Hindu, and that outsiders did not add
    anything, possibly with a view to suit certain political viewpoints. This is
    not how history should be looked at.

    For the Taj, we have quite a few secondary pieces of evidence - we know how
    much it cost (about 32 million rupees at the time), how long it took (10
    years for the base and plinth, 12 years or the rest), who were the principal
    architects (Ustad Isa and others), the material used for the base (rubble),
    who originally owned the parcel of land where it stands, and details of the
    acquisition (Maharaja Jai Singh, who was compensated with a palace at
    another location), and a whole lot more.

    That the structure is definitely Islamic, there can be no doubt. There's no
    garba griha, or any of the other standard components of a Hindu temple. Yet,
    when we compare to Humayun's tomb, it's quite obvious that there's a
    continuity in Islamic architecture. The Mughals, and especially Shah Jahan,
    came at a time when Muslim rulers had been established in India for about
    400 years, which is sufficient time for architectural styles to diffuse.
    Other examples of this diffusion can be found in the palaces of Rajput kings
    of the time, which employ several techniques and themes more common in
    Islamic architecture than in traditional Indian architecture (and in other
    fields like music and religion, which I don't think I need to get into).

    Given all this, the preponderance of current evidence points to the Taj
    being what it has been claimed to be, not what wishful thinkers with an
    agenda would like it to be. The burden of evidence lies on the proposers of
    the so-called "Tejo Mahalaya", not with people in the mainstream. As of now,
    they haven't even made a decent *prima facie* case for re-examining the
    evidence at hand.

    It's wrong to try and show an equivalence between what's established using
    so much evidence and the small claims of a few, who, in the words of the
    Supreme Court, have a "bee in their bonnet" about the subject, and then say
    that "it needs further investigation". Such questions warrant further
    investigation *if and only if* the proposers can show that there is a large
    piece of evidence that cannot be explained by current theories. It's
    irresponsible to propose a hypothesis without a need for it.
  • Our patron, Rajaraja Cholan was responsible for unlocking the vaults in
    Chidambaram and rescuing the Thevaram manuscripts. We need another
    Arulmozhi to break the barriers and shine a torch on the hidden secrets
    and locked chambers.
    I remember Koenrad Elst saying that the history of Taj may be different
    from the official version; of course, he also doesn't subscribe to the
    hindu temple theory.
    The poor guy Oak would have escaped vilification, had he stopped with
    his original premise, that it was a palace. He too wanted further study
    by others.
    A request for a new study, should not be dismissed as one motivated by
    political or religious hindutva. We are now in an age when every
    historical theory and version is questioned.
  • Rajarajam unlocking thevaram? That is a story. There are enough epigraphs to show that thevaram singing was in practice even in pallava period and pre RRC period.
  • Arulmozhi had two things to do. 1. To confront Uttama Chola for the
    murder of Karikalan and order him to abdicate. 2. To rescue thevarams
    from Thillai temple. He chose the second as it was more important than
    exposing Uttama. Ref' Udayar by Balakumaran.
    Even existence of azhwar pasurams was known and some pasurams were sung
    in temples. But the pasurams were collected, classified and set to music
    by Nathamuni.
    By the way, there are many such historical 'facts' in Udayar. I wish
    Venkatesh is here to add interesting information.
  • It is a kind of bantering we, some members, do from time to time. Of
    course, you don't get it. Doesn't matter. Such references are not
    arguments in favour or against.
    Coming back to the old issue - why such an opposition to do a
    non-invasive, non-destructive study of taj - current view is that there
    was a palace (not place!) where the taj stands. Was it fully
    demolished, or partially demolished up to the basement or simply
    converted - this is the issue. When something like this is vehemently
    opposed, doubts crop up. That is why we need Rajaraja to pierce the
    'historic/secular' protective layer.
    A planned study by ASI, under supervision of Supreme court (necessary
    for all sensitive issues) will only gladden historians and common folks,
    by providing proof or anti-proof.
    Quotes from Dr. V S Godbole's article:
    "In 1905, H. R. Nevill, ICS, compiled Agra District Gazetteer. In it he
    changed the words "Raja Mansingh's Palace" to "Raja Mansingh's
    piece of land." Ever since all historians have followed suit and
    repeated "Shahjahan purchased Raja Mansingh's piece of land, at that
    time in the possession of his grandson Raja Jaisingh." This deception
    has been going on for more than a century.

    In 1982, the Archaeological Survey of India published a booklet entitled
    "Taj Museum." Though the authors repeat the usual legend, they say
    "Mumtaz died in Burhanpur and was buried there. Six months later
    Shahjahan exhumed her body and sent her coffin to Agra, on that site
    until then stood Late Raja Mansingh's Palace……"
  • Nice thread and would request members to look at things objectively....

    Some questions - do you find the name tirumurai kanda cholan as one of the
    titles of RRC in any epigraph?

    Tirumurai Kanda puranam of Umapathy Sivachariyar is dated to which period?
  • On the same topic

    Coming to the legend of the thirumurais - the moovar are supposed to have
    ordered the thillai 3000 to keep the verses locked up till they come back
    and ask for it. If that were true, can we list the circumstances of the last
    songs of each of the moovar and the circumstances when they were sung.
  • Appropriate response,Sir. I should say wellsaid

    Desiree or War and piece cannot be used as reference books on History. Just enjoy reading them.

    A Kalki fan since 1944.
  • Since ASI is cash strapped, manpower deficient, and has to tread
    cautiously when a beehive is likely to be disturbed, I will wait
    patiently for a private initiative to do a re-archeological-document
    (original persian and not just translations) study of Taj. I hope, due
    permission will be given by ASI when such a study is proposed.
    It is difficult to put a Q.E.D. for history. And all those who demand a
    study need not be historians. Like saying, one must not become be a
    music critic unless he can do a 3 hour concert.
    One cannot just brush aside historical novels as more fiction than fact;
    the authors spend some time in research and structure their novel based
    on data collected by them, as done by Balakumaran for Udayar, which is
    radically different from Kalki's Ponniyin Selvan. Even in case of
    Nandini, a hotly debated character, Kalki leaves several hints outside
    the novel, that she is real, though many argue otherwise.
    To conclude, I vote for reassessment of Taj's history with modern tools.
    Nothing more on this subject from me.


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