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  • Category: Competition Entries

    A classroom lecture on the riverine security force for Taj Mahal

    Dear Friends,

    Good Morning! Today I am going to discuss a lesser-known but very interesting fact associated with Taj Mahal. All of you know that Taj Mahal is the most popular and most discussed architectural monument of India. But even then, there are many details of the grand monument which are not known to most of us. For example, how many of us have heard the names of Ismail Afandi, Ustad Isa, Puru, Qazim Khan, Chiranjilal and Amanat Khan? I think, very few. They were the main architects, sculptors and calligrapher of Taj Mahal.

    Similarly, almost none of us know about the riverine security force which used to protect the Taj and other neighbouring residential buildings during the time of Shahjahan and the initial years of Aurangzeb. It is astonishing but true. Let us know about this interesting force and its commander.

    If we go through Badshahnama, written by the court historian of Shahjahan, Abdul Hamid Lahori, we come to know that Shahjahan issued a special firman (order) to create a post of 'faujdar-i-nawahi' (Police Officer of the River, i.e., River Yamuna). The mandate of the Officer was to protect the Taj and the riverfront around it. Under this Officer, a special riverine security force used to operate. This force consisted of a very strong naval fleet with boats, sailors and heavily armed soldiers. This force controlled and regulated traffic around River Yamuna and used to protect the Taj and the havelis (residential buildings) of very high-level officials of Mughal Durbar from the pirates and other criminals.

    Now, some of us will be very curious to know who was the 'faujdar-i-nawahi'. Badshahnama also mentions his name. The officer was Agah Khan, who had earlier been the security in-charge of the jenana-mahal (ladies' quarter) of Shahjahan. After his promotion to the post of commander of the riverine security force, Agah Khan built a massive haveli on the bank of River Yamuna which had a vast landing ghat for his force. Agah Khan held the position until his death in 1656. After his death, the force was slowly disbanded.

    We can still see the ruins of 'Agah Khan ki haveli' (the mansion of Agah Khan) on the bank of Yamuna in Agra.

    That's all for today. I hope you have enjoyed it.

    (Entry for Classroom Lecture contest)
  • #650109
    I never heard of Agha Khan. I have been to Taj Mahal many times but never seen Agha Khan's haveli. I will surely see it next if I go watch Taj Mahal.

    " It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not" ... Andre Gide

  • #650115
    So far I have not visited Taj Mahal. I had been to Delhi many times and even to Agra, two times. But I couldn't have the fortune of visiting this monument because of my official work pressure. The story narrated by the author is not known to me and I am happy that I learned some more information about this grand monument. I never heard about the riverine security force for Taj Mahal. I am thankful to the author for sharing some good information.
    always confident

  • #650116
    A very interesting lecture giving such rare information to the readers. I never heard such a thing existed during those times for security and vigil of this monument.

    I thank the author for sharing this unique narration with all of us.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #650139
    Many of the facts from our past history for instance of Mughal & British era is not possible to cover during the routine discourse unlike in the current thread which is yet another fact which is quite interesting to know of. I have heard of Agah Khan as an important personality during the Mughal time but I wasn't aware about his role in connection with the Taj Mahal. I thank the author for his research & the ways in which this has been briefed here which doesn't lose the interest anywhere during the course.

  • #650180
    It is very interesting to learn about the riverine security force of Taj Mahal. Not all things are mentioned in the history books that we study in schools and we get to know certain things during higher studies. Even then also, many facts remain untold and a continuous research about specific things are required to know every aspects associated with the history of popular architectural monuments. The facts are beautifully described by the author and a lesser known but very important aspect of security of the architectural wonder are explained to us with all the details.

    "Life is easier when you enjoy what you do"

  • #650182
    A great lecture about the Riverine security force. I never thought that Tajmahal had a threat that needed to be guarded. A good lesson taught by Partha from the History. Curiously waiting for Partha's next interesting session.
    No life without Sun

  • #650263
    Mr Partha,
    Good information about Taj Mahal.
    What was the purpose of building Taj Mahal, the splendid architectural wonder?
    I don't believe that it was built as a symbol of love. Why such a massive structure built for love? No way.
    Generally, monuments are the "storehouses" of technology. For example, Egyptian pyramids. A lost civilizations entire technological know-how were codified and depicted in the pyramids at Giza, Egypt.
    Archaeological departments might be having the facts. May be considered as classified documents due to various reasons. Even the Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel statue built recently in Gujarat contains codified data. Once the entire human race erases from the planet and become the lost civilization, new life begins, and then they can decode the data.

  • #650389
    Thanks to the members who have read this thread. The appreciating comments encourage me to do further study on various unknown or little-known aspects/periods of history.
    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #650454
    Kindly change your thread title by including the words " Classroom lecture" as per the contest author's directive. Absense of the word 'ClassRoom" may disqualify your entry to the contest.

    No life without Sun

  • #650457
    Mr. SuN: Although it is not required, I accepted your advice.
    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

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