TAJ MAHAL MYTHS
The designer of the Taj Mahal planned to give strength and firmness to the tomb and for this reason he worked out the minutest particulars with severe accuracy. His planning ensured that the weight of the arrangement was evenly distributed, massive vaults were constructed to hold the weighty load, and first-rate bonding material was used to help battle tensile stress.
in spite of these protective actions, just four years after its completion, cracks and leakages appeared in the substructure of the Taj. in a letter written by Aurangzeb to Shah Jahan in 1652, he talks about these cracks. At the same time, some faults were uncovered in the dome. As repairs were carried out, the cracks were not exposed. in 1810, again the cracks were seen to have grown to dangerous extent. An Advisory Committee on the restoration and preservation of the tombstone was established, which undertook a survey, to access the damage.
From the assessment, some important facts came to the notice including that the platform of the mausoleum on the northern side also known as the riverside is lower by 3.5cms than on the south. Further, it came to be known that though cracks were not seen on the exterior wall, they were there on the second story vaults of the marble construction and on a great deal with larger intensity in the underground vaults underneath the northern side.
in the underground vaults, the cracks could have been due to the crushing of lime because of the tremendous weight or as appears more probable, this may be owing to the dipping of the complete structure towards the riverside. This sort of dipping would transfer the load out of balance and the uneven settlement would fracture the fragile points, mainly the arches and vaults, which are in reality, occurring in the underground chambers.
The arrangement of the Taj, which is positioned on the edge of water, has an innate tendency to move towards the open side as the higher border always acts, as a strong buttress and pushes it in the opposed way. This is the reason, the whole mass and not just a fraction of it, is gradually sinking. This is what can be assumed, from the available data.