The mystery surrounding Mumtaz Mahal's burial at the Taj Mahal has deepened with a book claiming that her body was mummified.
Mughal emperor Shah Jahan built the 17th century Taj Mahal here in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz who died while giving birth to their 14th child in Burhanpur, a town in what is now Maharashtra.
"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," Afsar Ahmad, author of the controversial e-book 'Taj Mahal or Mummy Mahal' (Self-published, 200 pp, Rs.150), told IANS.
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 the mummification of her body.
Mumtaz was buried thrice - twice in a depository and then the final one.
But how was her body preserved during the period? Did the Mughals use the method of the 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 Mumtaz's body is still preserved.
Ahmed said he wants to lift the veil and mystery surrounding the death and subsequent burial of Mumtaz.
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.
The author said the reader has the right to know the truth behind Mumtaz's death and burial.
The e-book also tries to find answers if the Mughal only followed Islamic rituals and the different methods of burial.
The book is available on Amazon in the Kindle format.