Why Is The Basement Of Taj Mahal Sealed?

Taj Mahal, the epitome of love and indeed an architectural wonder. The immeasurable beauty of this place tantalize visitors around the world. Build by the Mughal emperor Shahjahan for his beloved wife Mumtaj, the place still holds the beauty that easily enchants people.

A lot has been written, said and debated upon its heavenly beauty but even the white marble structure has some dark revelations linked to it. Every now and then this grandeur Mughal architecture stands amidst the controversies that question its existence. Among all, the most prominent debate that led many to believe that it is, in fact, a Hindu temple is the mystery of its closed basement.

Source: huffpost
Source: huffpost

Many old pictures of Taj Mahal clicked from the riverside revealed that the building actually has a two-level basement. In 1911 a British Indologist and art historian, Vincent Smith published this picture in his book “History of Fine Art in India and Ceylon”. As soon as the age of internet broke and the photograph became easily accessible, all sorts of assumptions and rumors started doing rounds.

Source: wikimedia
Source: wikimedia
However, the truth still stays hidden inside the dark rooms of that basement. Here are 2 theories that are most convincing of them all.

1. Exposure To Carbon Dioxide.

Some theorists believe the basement which was closed during period 1995-1996 houses the second and third level of the monument. The reason behind locking these chambers was to excess exposure to Carbon Dioxide. According to their theory, these chambers are made of marble which gets transformed into Calcium Carbonate when exposed to Carbon Dioxide which converts marble into a powdered form.
Source: blogspot
Source: blogspot
To avoid the further deterioration of the monument, the basement was sealed completely without any ventilation. It was done deliberately as it could have affected the four Minars surrounding the Taj Mahal and a major part of the monument may have collapsed.

2. The Safety Of Real Grave Of Mumtaj.

It is said that the graves that are open for public in Taj Mahal are dummy graves. The real graves of Mumtaj and Shahjahan are preserved in the basement. To keep their original graves safe, the basement has been sealed.
Source: fanpop
Source: fanpop
There is another theory that proposes that Shah Jahan wanted to preserve the dead body of Mumtaz Mahal so he buried her according to the Unani techniques, in a form of Mummy. A researcher Armanul Haq who was a curator at the Museum of History claimed that Mumtaj was mummified.

3. Hiding The Truth

It is believed that in 1974, an American professor Marvin Mills took a sample from the door of carbon dating and released a research that the monument predates Shahjahan. According to some people, after this revelation, the government of India removed the timber doors of the basement and bricked them.
Source: quoracdn
Source: quoracdn

Nobody knows the reality of those closed walls inside the basement of Taj Mahal. Some people believe it is best kept hidden as any shocking fact can stir up the aggression among people.

Who knows what truth is and who is bothered as long as it is standing tall shining in moonlight, bewitching everyone of it’s beauty.

12 October 2017
Avni S. Singh