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Black Taj Mahal – Myth or Reality

Taj Mahal is considered as one of the Seven Wonders of the World and it’s a symbol of true love dedicated to Mumtaz Mahal, wife of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. But do you know after erection of Taj Mahal, Shah Jahan wanted to build another Taj Mahal for himself in black marbles that would have been exactly identical to the white Taj Mahal. According to Shah Jahan this Taj Mahal would have been situated just opposite Mumtaz’s white Taj Mahal, across the other side of river Yamuna and a beautiful decorated bridge connecting both the Taj Mahals. The white Taj Mahal is Mumtaz’s Tomb and the black Taj mahal was supposed to be Shah Jahan’s Tomb. A European traveler by the name of Jean Baptiste Tavernier who visited Agra in 1665 first mentioned the idea of Black Taj in his fanciful writings. The writings of Tavernier mention that Shah Jahan began to build his own tomb on the other side of the river but could not complete it as he was deposed by his own son Aurangzeb.


According to Aurangzeb, his father was in subconscious state of mind and in love with Mumtaz and he was wasting a lot of money unnecessarily in constructing monuments. After winning the throne from his father, he jailed him in the Agra fort where Shah Jahan spent last years of his life and died in 1966. The black taj mahal plan was interrupted because of war with Aurangzeb and Aurangzeb after holding the Throne didn’t complete it.

Some scholar suggests that the blackened marbles in Mehtab Bagh that lie on the other side of the river are actually grim remains and foundations of an abandoned plan. It’s a big question in front of us “Why Shah Jahan wanted to construct another black Taj mahal?” Was he willing to convey some message to the world, like to differentiate between heaven and hell? But these entire questions will remain unanswered, and will flow with rumours.

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