Taj Mahal v/s Tejo Mahalaya: What is the Story Behind This Concept

The war has broken out once again over the history of the Taj Mahal. The biggest question arising is whether it is the Taj Mahal or Tejo Mahalaya? On scouring the pages of history, two books are found in which this dispute has been discussed in detail.

Let’s look behind the story of “Tejo Mahalaya”

The seventh wonder of the world… a sign of love and incredible artwork… this indelible impression of the Taj Mahal is sitting in people’s minds. It was started in 1632 by the Mughal ruler Shah Jahan. It has been read in books since childhood that when Shah Jahan’s Begum Mumtaz died, then this Taj Mahal was built in her memory.

But now what is written in the books, which has been taught to all, is being directly challenged. It is being said that thousands of years ago there was a Shiva temple at the Taj Mahal. It has also been claimed that the real name of the Taj Mahal is ‘Tejo Mahalaya’.

Recently, Rajnish Singh, the BJP media in charge of Ayodhya, did the work of rekindling this controversy. Who filed a petition in the High Court and said that the 22 rooms lying under the Taj Mahal should be investigated.

Allahabad High Court on Thursday (May 12) dismissed a petition filed by BJP leader Rajneesh Singh asking for a fact-finding panel to establish “the real History of Taj Mahal”, and for more than 20 sealed “rooms” to be opened to look for the possible presence of idols of Hindu gods on the premises of the monument.

Over the years, several BJP leaders have repeated and amplified the anecdotal claims that the Taj is a Hindu temple built long before the reign of Shah Jahan. In 2017, Vinay Katiyar, who was then a Rajya Sabha member of the BJP, claimed that the monument was actually a Shiva temple named “Tejo Mahalaya”, which was “originally” built by a Hindu ruler.

PN Oak and his Tejo Mahalaya claim: Root of the Controversy

The “Tejo Mahalaya” claim was first made by a historian named P N Oak in a book written in 1989. Several years ago a book was also written supporting the theory of BJP leaders. In this book, it was first claimed that there used to be a temple in Agra instead of the Taj Mahal. Its author was PN Oak and the name of his book was ‘Taj Mahal: The True Story. At that time that book was written in the Marathi language.

He said in his book that the Taj Mahal is actually Tejo Mahalaya which was built in 1155. Apart from this, PN Oak did other important work. He had translated into English two pages of the Badshahnama, which gives the complete chronology of Shah Jahan’s life.

Why did PN oak consider the Taj Mahal as a temple?

By the way, in the 70s, PN Oak wrote another book on the Taj Mahal. The name of that book was The Taj Mahal Is A Temple Palace. Now if he had focused on Tejo Mahalaya and later Jai Singh in his book ‘Taj Mahal: The True Story, while in his second book, he had made some such arguments on the basis of which he was considering the Taj Mahal as a temple. His questions were very clear.

Question No. 1– Why were 108 Kalash made in the Taj Mahal marble lattice? (Hindu temples also have such a tradition)

Question number 2- It is not allowed to take off shoes and slippers in the tomb, but why on the marble steps?

Question number 3– Sanskrit words ‘Taj’ and ‘Mahal’, how was the tomb given the Sanskrit name?

Role of UNESCO

After all these controversies, the question arises in the minds of the people that if the court directs to open those 22 doors and even if the claim of the petitioner is proved to be true, will it remain a World Heritage.

Its answer and its final decision are in the hands of UNESCO only.

Leader’s Petition Dismissed and Reprimanded by the Court

On Thursday (May 12, 2022) on a petition related to the Taj Mahal, the Allahabad High Court strongly reprimanded the petitioner. Said to go and do research first. Go and study, do MA and Ph.D. and if someone refuses to take admission in research on such a subject, then they should come to the court.

The court clearly said, “You should not misuse the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) system. The court also raised the question of whether history will be read according to the petitioner.

The Taj Mahal

Shakeel Badayuni’s famous poem on the Taj Mahal, the symbol of love…


ik shahanshāh ne banvā ke hasīñ tāj-mahal

saarī duniyā ko mohabbat kī nishānī dī hai

is ke saa.e meñ sadā pyaar ke charche hoñge

hatm jo ho na sakegī vo kahānī dī hai

– Shakeel Badayuni

In 1964, a film named Leader came, a political drama written by Dilip Kumar, this nazm was used in this film. Today, we remembered it’s nazm because neither politics is taking the name of ending nor drama regarding the Taj Mahal.

The whole world comes to India to see this wonder, UNESCO has considered it a World Heritage, which shows that it is an invaluable heritage for the world.

In the last week, the word Taj Mahal was searched 14 lakh times in a day, in the last three years, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has earned more than 200 crores.

Despite all this, some people are dissatisfied here who will be calm only by making Taj Mahal Tejo Mahalaya, that is why sometimes they insist on worship on the day of Eid, sometimes they threaten to recite Chalisa and sometimes they file such cases in the court. Nothing to do with it.

There was a time when Tejo Mahalaya’s talk could be laughed at openly, in response to such things, it could also be said that he is ignorant but now that era has also ended.

Oak’s theory about the Hindu temple has no historical basis, some historians have said that the land on which the Taj stands was indeed originally under the control of the Jaipur royals. This piece of land by the Yamuna, across the river from the Agra fort which was used (and expanded) by Akbar (and by other dynasties before the Mughals), was requisitioned from Jai Singh, who was duly compensated by Shah Jahan.

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