Many people have claimed that Shah Jahan had a plan of constructing another Taj Mahal in black marble on the opposite bank of River Yamuna that was to be his own tomb and was to be joined with Mumtaz's Taj by a bridge. According to the French merchant Tavernier who was there at the time, this plan could not be realized because Shahjahan got busy in the wars and later was imprisoned by his rebel son Aurungzeb, who was not disposed to complete it. The story was told and retold again and again and people tried to put forth the irregular position of the Shahjahan's cenotaph as compared to that of Mumtaz Mahal, situated centrally in the hall, as the evidence of some other plans in the emperor's mind.
According to Moinuddin, the Mehtab Burj and the adjoining walls
opposite Taj Mahal are actually the remains and foundations of the
abandoned plan. However, other scholars merely dismiss this idea of
black marble as a myth. If Shah Jahan had anything of this sort in mind,
he would have undertaken the project immediately after the completion of
Taj in 1648, after which he had ten years before he was imprisoned in
1658. The idea just seems to be too fanciful to be true. Even the
contemporary Persian chronicles, Lahauri and Kambo, do not mention any
such plan. The walls adjoining the Mehtab Burj are not the foundation of
the new Taj but remains of the enclosing wall of the Babur's Mehtab
Babar's memoirs mention the charbagh at the site and water channels,
tanks, loose brackets and stone slabs near the place indicate its
presence. These scholars also point out that the irregular position of
Shahjahan's cenotaph is not unique. Similar positioning of cenotaphs can
also be seen at Itmad-ud-Daulah's tomb and can be attributed to the fact
that Islamic law states that husband should be placed at right side of
his wife and that bodies should be buried with their faces towards Mecca
and legs towards the South.
Story of the Taj Mahal has many twists. Read some interesting facts on Taj Mahal story.