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History

Soon after Taj Mahal's completion, Shah Jahan was deposed and put under house arrest at nearby Agra Fort by his son Aurangzeb. Upon Shah Jahan's death, Aurangzeb buried him in the Taj Mahal next to his wife. By late 19th century, parts of Taj Mahal had fallen badly into disrepair.

During the time of Indian rebellion of 1857, Taj Mahal faced defacement by British soldiers and government officials, who chiseled out precious stones and lapis lazuli from its walls. At the end of 19th century British viceroy Lord Curzon ordered a massive restoration project, completed in 1908. He also commissioned the large lamp in the interior chamber, modeled on one in a Cairo mosque. It was during this time the garden was remodeled with British looking lawns that are visible today.

In 1942, the government erected a scaffolding in anticipation of an air attack by German Luftwaffe and later by Japanese Air Force. During the India-Pakistan wars of 1965 and 1971, scaffoldings were erected to mislead bomber pilots. Its recent threats came from environmental pollution on the banks of Yamuna River including acid rain due to Mathura oil refinery. In 1983, Taj Mahal was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Nine Unknown Men

Nine Unknown Men are a two millennia-old secret society founded by the Indian Emperor Asoka.