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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

Get ready for a black Taj Mahal

Gautami Srivastava, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 14, 2014
First Published: 20:48 IST(14/2/2014) | Last Updated: 10:50 IST(15/2/2014)
Meet IN Khan (46) who has dedicated 30 years of his life in studying the architecture of the Taj Mahal to find clues that will prove that the black Taj Mahal was an unfulfilled dream of emperor Shah Jahan. He is now creating a of 2.5 sq metre masterpiece of the black Taj.

The ambitious project is at its final stage and will be ready soon. Khan had won national award in 1996 for building a 1 sq metre prototype of the black Taj Mahal.

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Driven by sheer passion and without any formal training, Khan designed various tools to build it by replicating minute details of the Taj. A resident of Sector 6 Vasundhara, Khan has a workshop in Sahibabad.

"When I first visited the Taj, I realised that there was irregularity in the placement of Shah Jahan's cenotaph, especially its superimposition on the border. I have visited the monument more than 500 times to measure each of its section. I carried threads and tied knots to keep the measurement accurate as measuring tapes are not allowed in the premises," said Khan.

According to Khan, the perfect alignment of Mahtab Bagh with the Taj confirms that it was an integral part of the original construction, but the balancing elements that are visible in the Taj Mahal do not match with the landscape of Mahtab Bagh.

"The irregular position of Shah Jahan's cenotaph in comparison to Mumtaz Mahal's is similar to the Itmad-ud-Daulah tomb in Agra, but no superimposition of cenotaph on the borders is visible," added Khan.

"I realised that people want more information about minarets, dome, cenotaph and other intricate details of the monument. I want to build an interactive museum that will give details of Taj Mahal's interiors by showcasing the miniature Black Taj Mahal," he added.

Khan also said that the Black Taj Mahal is being made using the same techniques that were used in construction of the Taj Mahal while the base material used is ebony wood. "In my book 'Black Taj Mahal - The emperor's missing tomb, 'I have pointed several discrepancies in the symmetry of the Taj that proves that the black Taj Mahal was not merely a myth," said Khan.

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