THE THIRD GRAVE
As per one saying, it is supposed that underneath the red sandstone plinth of Taj Mahal, there is an underground burial chamber, which holds the third and possibly the genuine set of graves. To the north of the red platform of the Taj there are two staircases, which direct underneath into the basement chambers that are seventeen in number and are set out in a line. The building of the rooms and corridor has been done of plaster and brick, with painting ornamentation and stucco, spread artistically on the soffits. There are doors, which are sunk in the northern wall, at the farthest points of both sides. As can be deduced, the set of doors on the northern side of the Taj Mahal could have been replicated beneath the marble arrangement on all four sides, which could have a revolving corridor, chambers, and possibly a tomb in the middle, all being interrelated. This tomb would have contained the third and the actual set of graves. The Turks and Mughals, alike had followed the tradition of presenting replicas, as seen at the tombs of Saqtd Khan and Akbar, at Agra and Iltutmish in Delhi. There are three tombstones in the tomb of Akbar, one on the grave and other two as cenotaphs. It is believed, the authentic grave was made underground where the dead person could remain for the Day of verdict, which is given by the almighty. There are also three tombstones in the tombs of Chini-ka-Rauza and Itmad-ud-Daulah. These examples point to the fact that the Mughals, liked to provide in a mausoleum, three tombstones.
This is the reason that in Taj too, the third tombstone is assumed to exist. The third set could have been located only, in these underground tombs. Certainly, the doors do exist in the basement corridor, which must have initially given entrance, to some underground set of corridors and chambers. Although, they are now shut their reality lends credence, to the celebrated story. There is written proof also in the form of Persian manuscripts that contain explanation of the third grave, spending on three sets of tombstones, and expenses on the Taj. The two are open to us but the third one remains, an obscurity. It is possible; Mughal ruler Aurangzeb, to give extra strength to the base that bears such an enormous load, blocked the passages in 1652.