It is believed that when Taj Mahal first saw the light of the day, the precious, semi precious, and other priceless decorative items it was adorned with, shone as if the stars themselves came down to bask it in a heavenly glory. As many as 28 kinds of rare stones and metals were used in the inlay work in the Taj Mahal. And as per the "theft in Taj Mahal" myth, over the course of time, particularly during the British rule, many of the items of that were originally a part of Taj Mahal went missing in the later years. While, it is true that some items were removed from Taj, the theft of a number of other items is more of a legend.
Some of the items that form a part of the "legend of Taj Mahal theft" are:
- A gold leaf that is said to have covered all or a part of the Taj dome
- A golden railing believed to have surrounded the cenotaphs
- Diamonds supposed to be inlaid in the cenotaphs
- A Pearl blanket allegedly covering Mumtaz's cenotaph
The items that were indeed stolen from the Taj include:
- An entrance door of carved jasper
- Gold leaf covering the cast iron joints of the jali screen around the cenotaphs
- Numerous rich carpets that covered the tomb's interior
- Enameled lamps from the tomb's interior
However, at the end of 19th century, the government under the orders of British Viceroy Lord Curzon ordered a restoration project that got completed in 1908. Although many of the precious stones that were stolen couldn't be placed back, whatever was in the possibility was restored back. A large lamp, the light of which is never supposed to go out was placed in the interior chamber of the Taj Mahal. It is believed to be modeled after the one in the Cairo Mosque.