Do you know that Mughal emperor Shah Jahan suppressed a bitter truth about the Taj Mahal? If the truth had been revealed when Taj Mahal was being built, it would have become almost impossible to construct the monument.
Journalist-writer Afsar Ahmed in his book "Taj Mahal or Mummy Mahal" has disclosed several unknown facts related to Mumtaj Mahal's death. The book's e-version has been launched recently.
Falling in the history-non fictions genre, the book has details about Mumtaj Mahal's death, her last few days and the procedure for preserving her body. The book has almost 200 pages and its biggest USP is the revelation about the mummification of Mumtaj Mahal's body.
Mumtaj was buried thrice - two times it was depository burial and then the final one. But how was her body preserved during the period? Did the Mughals use the method of ancient Egypt or was it some other procedure? Did the Mughal have a ritual of preserving dead bodies? But the biggest question the book tries to answer is if Mumtaj Mahal's body is still preserved.
The writer Afsar Ahmed says he wants to lift the veil and mystery surrounding the death and subsequent burial of Mumtaj Mahal. Shah Jahan's court writers could have shed light on the entire incident but they could not do so as they were under instructions not to reveal anything which showed the emperor in poor light. Afsar says the reader has the right to know the truth behind Mumtaj's death and burial. Was it a common burial or did the emperor try to hide it from the general public?
The book describes in detail the possible causes behind Mumtaj's death. It also has a chapter on the royal tours of the era and also explains the political situation during the period of Mumtaj's death. It also sheds light on depository burials and the truth behind it. It also tries to find answers if the Mughal only followed Islamic rituals and the different methods of burial.
The reader will also know how Mumtaj's body was preserved and buried. The book also explores the annual urs at Taj Mahal, its construction and the graves present there.
The book is available on Amazon in Kindle format. It can be viewed and brought here. The book's English version in e-format will be available soon.
About the author: He has been a journalist for over 15 years and started his career with ETV. He joined Bennett and Coleman in 2001 and worked with the Navbharat Times online team. He then moved to Navbharat Times print and in 2008 joined Network18. He is currently the Editor of IBNKhabar, the website of IBN7. He has written extensively on the Mughal period.