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The Taj Conspiracy (Mehrunisa Trilogy #1)

3.42  ·  Rating Details  ·  429 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
Mughal scholar Mehrunisa Khosa stumbles on a conspiracy to destroy the Taj Mahal when she discovers the murder of the Taj supervisor, and the Quranic calligraphy on the tomb of Queen Mumtaz altered to suggest a Hindu origin of the Taj Mahal....

That urban legend had always existed. Now, though, someone was conspiring to make it come true. In the case of the famed marble mo
Paperback, 412 pages
Published May 21st 2012 by Westland Ltd (first published May 1st 2012)
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Rhea Roy
Feb 06, 2014 Rhea Roy rated it did not like it
Healthy Advice..stay away if you can...the writer has no clue to what she is writing about, the book is inundated with details that are not needed and where the details are needed, you don't seem to end up finding them. For Example: she tells us about the two chandeliers that were looted from the Taj but gives us no description on why the chandeliers were important. how they looked like, any such significant details that would draw it upon the reader that a thing of such immense beauty and impor ...more
Vishal V
Aug 24, 2012 Vishal V rated it it was amazing
Having read other reviews on this site, and seen the comparisons with Dan Brown - let me assure readers that this book is not a Da Vinci rip-off. It is a different story and a different genre; I cant say more without revealing the plot of the story...

A man is found dead on the floor of the Sanctum of the Taj Mahal, with enough hints on the tomb as well as on the body to suggest a hindu origin of the famous monument. The investigation into this murder and its remifications form the rest of the st
Vikas Datta
Jan 16, 2016 Vikas Datta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Picks up a very feasible and revisionist plot and the treatment is mostly adequate but somehow the sum of all the parts - some of them very good - doesn't make for a very satisfactorily convincing whole.. The characters sometimes don't display a sense of urgency and their thought processes are sometimes too elevated, their movements are a little too contrived and sometimes inexplicable, some plotlines slip through the cracks, like the jihadis and the swami, and some become quite obvious to the r ...more
Sep 07, 2013 Tushar rated it it was ok
First things first, this book will remind you of all Dan Brown books. The writing style, the characters, everything. The protagonist here has a fear of basements like Mr. Langdon has a fear of closed spaces, there is a scholar who accidentally gets involved, a cop who is hard in the beginning and then cools down. There is a lot in this book that takes you back to the world of Dan Brown, the good things is that it makes the book worth reading, the bad thing; it doesn't make it a good read. BJP be ...more
Jahnavi Jha
Sep 10, 2012 Jahnavi Jha rated it really liked it
One of the wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal often defines India. Yet, there is so little we know about it. We know about the love story, yes, but there is so much more! Manreet Sodhi Someshwar has successfully brought the Taj to life. This is a book to love. There is history, there is mystery and lots more in between. Each character is strong and lively. The protagonist, is aptly chosen and she leads the story beautifully to a climax. The events are connected so wittily that one must compleme ...more
Jul 07, 2012 Gaurav rated it really liked it
Finally we have a good contemporary Indian thriller. The plot elements are similar to that of Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. The character sketch was a bit edgy at parts though, and in some parts the flow of the plot became a bit clumsy. But, it is one heck of a thriller. Unlike the disappointing Shiva trilogy (immortals of meluha and secret of the nagas), this book is very well researched. Love the way how the story moves ahead with the help of tales from the hindu mytholo ...more
Jairam Mohan
Apr 25, 2014 Jairam Mohan rated it it was amazing
The Taj Conspiracy introduces us to Mehrunisa Khosa, a budding Mughal scholar who is embroiled in the murder of Arun Toor, the caretaker of the Taj Mahal. Starting from page 1, the plot takes us down the path that Mehr takes along with SSP Raghav of the Agra police and RP Singh from the CBI during the investigation of this crime.

Although Mehr starts off as a suspect in the eyes of the authorities, her valuable insights into the various clues left behind by the killer, her friendship with the vi
Kulpreet Yadav
May 14, 2015 Kulpreet Yadav rated it liked it
The writing, particularly in the first half, is crisp, and even though it seemed lyrical, it prodded me enough to keep reading. The narrative has a sense of urgency and the historical relevance gives it the right amount of intrigue. Characters are lively, the supporting characters vivid, and there are a couple of delicious twists which surprised me. The buildup for the climax was good but I thought it disappointed me in the end as the final scenes moved too far away from the protagonist.

Sudha Kuruganti
Feb 20, 2014 Sudha Kuruganti rated it it was ok
One line review: Dan Brown-esque thriller set in India

I was prepared to like this book from the moment I opened it, mostly because it featured a female protagonist written by a female author (I am shallow that way), but I will admit that it was difficult. The very first day I started reading, I had to stop because I felt bored.

Which brings me to the main reason I couldn’t like this book, just as I couldn’t quite get behind any of the Robert Langdon books – when I’m in the middle of a murder mys
Arcopol Chaudhuri
Aug 07, 2012 Arcopol Chaudhuri rated it liked it
This book set the stage for a very convincing Dan Brown kind of thriller, and believe the author almost got the formula correct. Except, the ending. Major disappointment, unpalatable. Nevertheless, it's a good effort at combining, history, architechture, religion and conspiracy.
Shweta Sinha
May 23, 2014 Shweta Sinha rated it liked it
Shelves: indian-authors
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 06, 2015 Udhayt rated it really liked it
First of all, I really appreciate the author for her extensive research on Taj Mahal. In this book, she depicts her indepth knowledge of Taj.

As i started to read, I thought it was about the Taj history. Slowly it made me to realize that the story is a fictional one.

Few years back, there was a rumor around that Taj was a Shiva temple. Even i heard about and believed it. Now, I got to know that the origin of that rumor is this book. People had spread their half knowledge,what they got from this bo
Rudra Kapalin
Jun 18, 2012 Rudra Kapalin rated it it was amazing
She has the makings of Dan Brown
Hemantkumar Jain
Mar 04, 2014 Hemantkumar Jain rated it really liked it
The author has taken the ‘conspiracy theory’ about the Taj Mahal being a Shiva Temple by the name Tejo Mahal and woven a very engaging story around it.

Manreet captivated my attention in the first 4 pages of the Taj Conspiracy. This … in spite of the Da Vinci like clichéd start. Thankfully, the similarity ended there. The story moves at a decent pace and there is enough suspense about the different characters to hold you.

The characters in the book, each with their own past and some very interesti
Cynthia Rodrigues Manchekar
Feb 04, 2015 Cynthia Rodrigues Manchekar rated it really liked it
Full and detailed review:

The Taj Conspiracy by Manreet Sodhi Someshwar is total paisa vasool. Manreet's prose is remarkably evocative. If this book were to be filmed, I would imagine the screenplay writer would have it quite easy.

The best thing about this desi thriller for me was the chance to be able to relate so perfectly with nuances and cultural connotations. The narrative flows on seamlessly. The descriptions of the Taj, in particular, are ample pro
KS Selvakumar
Aug 16, 2015 KS Selvakumar rated it really liked it

The Taj Conspiracy is a mystery-thriller, set in India, written by an Indian author. The story begins with the protagonist, Mehrunisa, a researcher on the Taj, its architecture and history, stumbling upon the body of the Taj supervisor and a set of clues at the site of the murder. The story goes on to describe how the mystery is solved and a religious conspiracy is averted. In the process the author takes the reader through some of the history of the Taj, its structure, myths surrounding its ori
Harini Padmanabhan
Jun 10, 2013 Harini Padmanabhan rated it liked it
I don't usually read Indian mystery novels unless they are extremely popular and in the recent past, i have not had the chance to figure out what is popular so effectively, i have not strayed beyond the safety net of established authors. A birthday gift ensured I picked up and read one end to end. I have to admit - I enjoyed the experience.

The plot begins with the murder of the supervisor of the Taj. A researcher - Mehrunisa, discovers the body when she comes to the Taj ahead of opening time to
Amit Si
Mar 30, 2014 Amit Si rated it liked it
The Taj Conspiracy

The writer is a post graduate of the hallowed institute of IIM Kolkata, and the usage of English in her maiden writing is a testimony to it. An upcoming trend among Indian English writers is the use of incomprehensible English words to cover up for the weak plot and storyline. This isn't to say that the story of Taj Conspiracy is weak, but at the end of the book, all it evoked was a yawn.

The story traces the efforts of Mehrunissa and Inspector RP Singh as they try to find out t
Feb 19, 2013 Raghu rated it it was ok
This novel has two components. One is the murder mystery and its resolution. The other is the social context in which the murder mystery happens. I found the murder mystery itself not too exciting. It didn't grab my attention deeply nor did it sag too badly. One reason may be that I was able to anticipate part of the suspense well before it was revealed. The other half of the suspense deals with impersonation which felt rather far fetched to be pulled off in reality. On the contrary, I found the ...more
Ashish Mishra
Mar 20, 2014 Ashish Mishra rated it did not like it
Giving single star to any book requires an effort on my side; as after finishing the book, I really can't be so critical.(books have this effect)
anyways, I think the movie on this novel will be better as the book itself doesn't offer much as information or new theory or new revelations.
It can't be termed as historical fiction as historical facts are not touched.
the book is written more like a screenplay for a movie.
If you're reading this to learn some really deep secret or controversial facts th
Anil Swarup
Jul 24, 2014 Anil Swarup rated it really liked it
Maturity in Indian authors is clearly in evidence. The book begins in the manner of "Da Vinci Code" but evolves differently. The narration is crisp and fast paced. The background is well researched and the story isn't totally in the realm of fantasy. The characters evolve as the story progresses to its climax at the Taj. The chief protagonist is not portrayed as a heroine. In fact, this under-stated character acts as a pivot. The book keeps you riveted in the second half. Well written
Girish Kohli
Jan 29, 2013 Girish Kohli rated it it was ok
Ordinary story telling. Decent writing.

All in all, a wannabe DaVinci code that has a poor story, Filmi characters that are present everywhere and are capable of doing anything, Abbas Mustan kind of twists which look completely manufactured and an attempted open ending which simply fails to excite.

It is slightly informative for those who are unaware of the Taj's story and the associated rumours. I knew everything already so even that didn't excite me. I did get excited when a certain secret trap
Divya Ganti
Jan 16, 2014 Divya Ganti rated it really liked it
I couldn't put the book down. I have always liked books which have a historical conspiracy twist. True, it may remind you of a Dan Brown novel, but The Taj Conspiracy holds its ground with a good story line. It is fast paced and engaging. I do think that some of the characters could have had more of a back story, but that is minor. I do agree with another reviewer that the author used fancy words, but it definitely better than reading books with bad grammar and mostly in Hinglish. Do give it a r ...more
Jul 06, 2015 Ramya rated it it was ok
I bought this book thinking that it will explore the facts but turns out that its just a conspiracy story revolving around the claim that the Taj is actually a Shiva temple.The author has managed to keep the reader hooked. its more like a typical Bollywood story.
Aug 29, 2012 Crimsonshadows rated it liked it
It is one straightforward plot, numerous characters and that one mystery begging to be solved. Mehrunisa Khosa, a Mughal scholar, unearths a conspiracy to destroy the Taj Mahal when she discovers the murder of the Taj supervisor and the Quranic calligraphy on the tomb of Queen Mumtaz, which has been altered to suggest a Hindu origin of the monument.
Thereafter, the narrative jumps from Agra to Delhi to Jaipur to PoK Kashmir to Chattisgarh, back to Agra and Delhi, and so on. The places, the charac
Aug 30, 2012 Rinaya rated it really liked it
Picture a beautiful & scholarly girl, rushing down the streets of Delhi-Agra, attempting to save herself from assassins & also the wonderful monument that identifies India. Mehrunisa may look fragile but she is determined in her attempt to justify history & revert a major disaster. Murders happen & questions remain unanswered.
A dead body & an enigmatic riddle sparks off this mystery that ends with a thrilling climax. Use a bit of your imagination & you will find yourelf w
Sep 24, 2012 Mukesh rated it really liked it
Short review: If you read one book in a decade than this is the book you want to pick up. (unless you want to wait for my book to come out)


Detailed one: I happened to visit the book launch organized by Bangalore International Center. Honestly, I was completely bowled over by the author Manreet Sodhi Someshwar. What a strong hold on the subject coupled with absolute clear diction and a calm composure. Honestly, I never bought a book during the book release in the past, but this time I had to buy
So it all starts off very well. There's a promising bright girl, a genius historian and untainted policemen. There's also a terrorist. In fact, there are too many random characters. I was worried for the book when a hard-boiled terrorist plotting a large-scale attack decides to chill out, happy that the common people were ruining what he wanted to take down. He then escaped to a sunny island where he cavorted with pretty damsels while sipping on cocktails. Yes, the book starts of sinister and co ...more
Ravi Jain
May 06, 2013 Ravi Jain rated it really liked it
“History + Mystery = The Taj Conspiracy”

While doing my engineering, I had come across P.K.Oak’s conspiracy theory that Taj Mahal was in fact a Shiva temple called ‘Tejo Mahalay’. I had spent days researching the topic, reading historical literatures, articles and conspiracies alike. I had drawn my own conclusions and even at the slightest opportunity would speak hours on the topic. So, you can imagine how I felt when ‘The Taj conspiracy’ was released. I pre-ordered the book and finished reading
Ashwin Chitransh
Sep 18, 2015 Ashwin Chitransh rated it it was ok
Too much unnecessary information just for filling pages
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“The large hall, together with the tomb chamber over the actual burials below and the outer dome above, was the Taj Mahal’s core. A bronze lamp hanging above the cenotaphs cast a golden glow. During the day nobody noticed the lamp, even fewer were aware of its romantic history. A gift from Lord Curzon, a viceroy of British India, it was inlaid with silver and gold, and modelled on the design of a lamp that hung in the mosque of Sultan Beybars II of Cairo. The story went that on a visit to the Taj, Lord Curzon was so dismayed by the smoky country lanterns used by his guides to show him around, that he resolved to present the Taj with worthy lighting. For a century now, Mehrunisa reflected, an Englishman’s love had illuminated the imperial Mughal tomb.” 0 likes
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