Agra: Was Mumtaz Mahal's body mummified before her temporary burial in Burhanpur and later finally laid to rest at the Taj Mahal in Agra? This is the subject of a book "Taj Mahal ya Mummy Mahal?" written by Afsar Ahmad, released on Sunday by the registrar of Central Hindi Institute Dr Chandra Kant Tripathi, in Agra.
Historical records say that Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, the builder of the world heritage monument Taj Mahal, had her body transported to Agra from Burhanpur, six months after her first burial.
Her body remained buried in a 'kachcha' grave in the Taj Mahal complex for around 12 years and was then transferred to the main mausoleum.
How was Mumtaz Mahal's body preserved for so long? Afsar Ahmad tries to answer this question in his book "Taj Mahal ya Mummy Mahal?" He claims that her body was mummified.
Shah Jahan built the 17th century Taj Mahal in Agra in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz who died while giving birth to their 14th child in Burhanpur, a town in Madhya Pradesh.
"The real truth about Taj Mahal was suppressed. If the truth had been revealed when Taj Mahal was being built, it would have become almost impossible to construct the monument," Ahmad said.
The journalist-turned-writer has also disclosed in the book what he claims are several unknown facts related to Mumtaz's death. The book has details about Mumtaz's death and her last few days and details of the mummification of her body.
The book has been published by Evoco Networks. A large number of scholars and heritage conservationists were present at the release of the book at a hotel in Agra.