Taj Mahal is a Muslim tomb not a Hindu temple, Indian court told

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A court in India has been told by government archaeologists that the Taj Mahal is a Muslim mausoleum, dealing a blow to revisionists who claim it is a Hindu temple. 

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) was ordered to give its official verdict after a new petition renewed calls to re-evaluate the monument’s origin. The petition, signed by six lawyers, states that the Unesco world heritage site had originally been a temple called Tejo Mahalaua dedicated to the Hindu deity Shiva. 

The ASI confirmed the prevailing belief that the Taj Mahal was built by a Mughal emperor in the city of Agra to honour his dead wife. But Hindu revisionists have made periodic claims against this theory. 

Currently, only Muslims are allowed to pray in the monument. The petition is the latest in demands to allow Hindus to worship in the Taj Mahal. 

Dr Bhuvan Vikrama, the ASI’s superintending archaeologist in Agra, said he rejected the claims: “Our written statement called the claims concocted and we asked the court to dismiss the petition. It’s up to the judge to decide what happens.”

Since the publication of “Taj Mahal: The True Story” in 1989, there have been calls for the book’s theory that the monument was built before Muslim invaders came to India to be recognised.

Some Hindu groups argue that since some of the Mughal invaders destroyed Hindu temples or converted them into mosques, it follows that the Taj Mahal must have originally been a Hindu structure.


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