Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Taj Mahal & Its Wood Foundation

Taj Mahal!
Name Strikes &
First thing that occurs in mind of people could be as simple as from being Symbol of love, A mausoleum of Shah Jahan's Beloved Wife, One among Seven Wonders of World, White Marble Structure with rare glare and beauty to as complex as being a Tej-O-Mahalaya- a Shiva Temple Seized and Converted By Shah Jahan according to a theory given by Shri P.N.Oak.

Well I am here nor to discuss anything from above neither wants to dig out the stories of magnificent treasure that it was said to be embedded by this great Structure once upon a time.

This post is to make you aware that one of the Seven Wonders of World- 'Taj Mahal' is built on a foundation which is supported by gigantic wooden slabs built over deep wells.

Now a curious and sensible mind will quickly raise a question that how is it possible when it is in very basic nature of wood to 'swell' under excessive moisture content?

Yeah, that is quite true but not the complete fact!

Some Observations and Key Points that have been noticed by me with respect to Taj Mahal and its Wood Foundation are listed below-
Technical Points
  • Different woods exhibit different moisture stability.
  • According to experts wood fibres are dimensionally stable when the moisture content is above fibre saturation points i.e. above 30%. But it experiences a disrupts in dimensions or swells if moisture content tends to show an increase or decrease phenomenon.
General Points
  • According to Surveys and Studies carried out by ASI- Archaeological Survey of India, it is believed that 'ebony's wood' was used in the construction of foundation and the reference to the same can be found in many books on historical monument.
  • One more precise but extremely technical detail that was put to use in wooden foundation is that -"it is only the combined action of water and air present in environment that's deteriorate the wood. Neither of them alone have the capacity enough to deteriorate wood by virtue of their action. 
  • Wooden part of foundation lies well below the river Yamuna and it is the secret that wood used therein is still have the necessary strength or bearing capacity to carry on the weight of Superstructure-Taj Mahal.
  • If we talk w.r.t Hindu Science of Elements- Ebony is the only wood known to have Elemental Association with all the five elements-air, water,earth,fire and sky. 
  • Also, since Ebony has a very high density its easily sink in water.
One can easily notice how ancient people have used general properties of a building material to their advantage and gave the world a structure of immense beauty, Taj Mahal.The motive behind this post is to make you realize that our ancestors were far more scientifically knowledgeable than we are today and if we combine this knowledge with our today's technological capability ... I can only say that it will be a step to next phase of evolution and growth.

For all those of you who wants to know in depth about Taj Mahal theory given by Shri P.N.Oak along with photographs. Here is the link to the same.

Explore and Enjoy.


  1. Hello Ashish! I am an architecture student and my class visited Agra recently. We were also given an assignment that entailed the documentation of the Taj's building constructions techniques and materials. I was searching on the internet fanatically when i came across this link and I was absolutely happy because i had found what i was looking for. Your article is really enriching and helped me out with me assignment. Thanks to you

  2. Hi. I'm also doing assignment on architecture of Taj Mahal perhaps you can suggest me some bibliography or references to make my assignment better

  3. Thanks for sharing historical facts about Taj Mahal. The epitome of love and romance, Taj Mahal was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a dedication to his beautiful wife Mumtaz Mahal. Made from white marble in the typical Mughal style, it seamlessly blends elements from Persian, Islamic and Indian styles. Click here to know more about Taj Mahal.

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. You are intelligent enough to notice dates of publication

  5. Very nice and contentious post, really got much knowledge about the Taj Mahal. Same day Agra tour is really very thankful to you.