The Controversial Taj Mahal-Rauza-i-munavvara

Rauza-i-munavvara aka later Taj Mahal

Shah Jahan had named Mumtaj Mahal’s tomb as Rauza-i-munavvara
(The Illumined Tomb)

It got to be known later as Taj Mahal-a corruption of Mumtaj Mahal




Mausoleum of Mumtaj Mahal and Shah Jahan


If things would have happened as per the British plan, there would have been no Taj Mahal in India
The surpising fact is that the Taj Mahal was sold by the British. The plan was to break it so that they could take the precious stones with them to the UK and the rest of the marble could be sold to fill their government banks.
In 1828, the Governor General, Lord William Bentinck, took out a tender on the last page of a newspaper in Kolkata
. At that time, a businessman of Mathura, Seth Laxmichand had bought Taj Mahal in Rs. 7 lakhs. However, then something happened because of which we are able to see the Taj Mahal even today.


Experts suggest that some of the old care takers of Taj Mahal had come to know about the plan of the British rulers to break it. This information moved to London. And there were questions raised on the auction of Taj Mahal in London Assembly. It was then when the Governor General, Lord William Bentinck cancelled the auction of the Taj Mahal.


Historian, Prof. Ramnath in his book ‘The Taj Mahal’ has mentioned about this incident. British author HG Cannes also mentioned about this incident in his book ‘Agra and Naibr Hoods’.


According to historian, Prof. Ramnath, the capital of British government that time was Kolkata show that the British government at the time was the capital of West Bengal. On July 26, 1831, an advertisement to sell Taj Mahal was published in an English daily ‘Janbul’. This was the second attempt to see Taj Mahal.


Seth Laxmichand had once before also bought Taj Mahal in one-and-a-half lakh, but that time the auction was cancelled. The Seth family still lives in Mathura.


Taj Mahal in 1870


Later Lord Curzon announced the first auction of Taj Mahal on 7 February, 1900.

Many old paintings and precious carved stones were auctioned by William Bentinck in the auction. Some stones were sent to London by Lord Hastings.


This was how the Taj Mahal was protected from bomber jets in 1942 during world war.
It was covered with huge scaffold, to make it look like a stockpile of bamboo and misguide bombers.
The covering is still incomplete in this photo. The whole of Taj Mahal was covered but this picture shows only the main dome covered. The govt. did not allow any photographers later to shoot the final scaffold cover.
During the India-Pakistan war in 1971, it was protected by covering it with a green cloth and making it almost invisible i.e. camouflaged within the greenery around it.
Even in 2001, after the Sep 11 attack, Archaeological Survey of India took up the precautionary measure to cover it with cloth and it took them more than 20 days to do that!!


Yet it has survived

Generations shall come and go but names scratched on the ‘Sands of Time’ are meant to last through centuries………….

Writing name on Taj Mahal - 1940s

Agra, India-in 1940s. Adventurous soldiers climb 250 feet up the repair scaffold to the top of the Taj Mahal dome, where they place their initials. Left: Corporal Anthony J. Scopelliti, and Private First Class John C. Byron, Jr.


A compilation of  information


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