Taj Mahal a tomb not temple, ASI tells court
The Taj Mahal is a tomb and not a temple, the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) has told the a court in Agra. The ASI refused to accept the contention that the Taj Mahal, a world heritage site was built on a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
The court in April 2015 admitted a law suit filed by six lawyers, who had claimed the Taj is a Hindu temple, Tejo Mahalaya and as such followers of the religion should be allowed access inside the premises of the monument to perform 'darshan' and 'aarti.' They also asked for opening of the locked rooms in the monument. The matter has been adjourned to September 11.
The counsel for the Union of India and ASI, appearing before the court, stated that the petitioners had no locus standi in the matter and neither did they have the right to worship or perform any religious rituals as the monument is Islamic.
In its reply, the ASI also denied the existence of any temple within the Taj Mahal.
On the basis of available records, the ASI asserted that the is a mausoleum was constructed by seventeenth-century Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his queen.
The theory of the Taj Mahal being a Hindu temple-Tejo Mahalaya came up after historian P N Oak in a book Taj Mahal: True Story claimed that the monument was built in 1155 before the Muslim invasion of India.