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The Third Set of Graves in the Taj

The chief set of graves can be seen in the main chamber of the Taj Mahal, which has been covered by a randomly cut marble jaali (screen), within the principal tomb. The second set of graves can be found in the lower chamber, which sits directly underneath the main chamber. But, not many know that there is a third set of graves as well. So, what are these?

It is difficult to believe that an age-old Turkish tradition of erecting three sets of tombs would have not have been the roadmap for building the Taj Mahal – this tradition is evident in all the tombs of Moghul royalties to the likes of Akbar’s tomb, Itmad-ud-Daulah’s tomb, Mumtaz Mahal’s tomb and not to forget the famed Chini-ka-rauza in Agra. Hence, while erecting the Taj Mahal, ShahJahan ought to have followed the typical Turkish design of erecting three sets of graves, with the original tomb of Mumtaz Mahal and tomb of ShahJahan as part of the three set of graves.

This is the myth of the ‘third set of graves’ of the Taj Mahal – a tradition that has been followed in the aforementioned tombs that only adds to this myth. In the accompanying section, we'll get acquainted with why among the many myths of the Taj Mahal, this one, by all accounts, can be a possibility or even a fact.

It has been said that the original set of graves must be located at a place inside the underground vaults that exist underneath the platform of the Taj Mahal made of red sandstone. What's more? On the northern end of this red-sandstone platform are two staircases that lead us straight to the seventeen vault chambers that have been laid out in straight line on the riverside However, the entryways on the center on both the sides have been obstructed for some unknown reason – one reason that stands out and one that has been stated by numerous historians and researchers is that the obstruction is a way to cover the original graves of Mumtaz Mahal and ShahJahan.

As indicated by the Muslim tradition, the original graves are always located underground with the goal that the soul remains undisturbed and can rest in peace till the Day of Judgment.

Regardless of these myths, to date, it stays obscure as to where the third set of graves are actually located within the Taj Mahal and the question is if they really exist or not.