Taj Mahal India Tours

The Third Grave

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As per a said, it is believed that an underground burial chamber exists below the red sandstone platform (chamli-farsh) holding the third and perhaps the real set of graves. Two staircases on the northern side of the red marble plinth of the Taj lead below into basement chambers which are seventeen in number and have laid out in a line on the riverside of a narrow through-corridor. The rooms and corridor are of actuate construction in brick and plaster, with stucco and painting ornamentation, distributed aesthetically on the soffits. At the extreme points on both sides these are doors sunk in the northern wall. As may be guessed; the set on the northern side could have been repeated on all the four sides below the marble arrangement, with a rotating corridor, chambers and perhaps a crypt in the center, all being interconnected. This crypt would have controlled the third and the real set of graves. The tradition of providing cenotaphs or replicas had been followed by the Turks and the Mughals alike as we meet with this perform at the Tomb of Iltutmish at Delhi and at the tombs of Saqtd Khan and Akbar at Agra. The vault of Akbar has three tombstones, one on the grave and two as cenotaphs. As is normally supposed, the actual grave was made underground, in which the dead person could wait till the Day of verdict given by almighty. The tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah and Chini-ka-Rauza too had three tombstones each. These instances point out that the Mughals liked to provide three tombstones in a mausoleum.

In Taj also, the third is conventionally alleged to exist. It is only in these underground crypts that the third set could have been placed. The doors in the basement corridor undoubtedly exist and must have originally given entry to some underground arrangement of chambers and corridors. However they are now blocked, their existence lends weights to the legendary version. As we have facts, in the Persian manuscripts which contain the account of `third grave, expenditure on the Taj Mahal, of costs of three sets of tombstones. As the two are unlock to us, the third one is still mystery. It is probable that the crypt and the passages were blocked down in 1652 by Aurangzeb to give extra potency to the base which supported such a massive load above.