The Archaeological Survey of India has told an Agra court that the Taj Mahal is a tomb and not a Shiva temple gifted to Mughal emperor Shahjahan, Hindustan Times reported. The ASI also denied the claims that the mausoleum was built on the Shiva temple.
In April 2015, a law suit was filed by six lawyers claiming that the Taj Mahal was a Hindu temple by the name of Tejo Mahalaya. The petitioners had also asked Hindus to be allowed access inside the premises of the monument to worship.
On Thursday, the ASI filed a written statement in the court of civil judge. The counsel, appearing for the Centre and the ASI, said the plaintiffs did not have the right to perform any religious rituals inside the monument. The ASI also said that the lawyers did not have a locus standi in the matter.
The name Tejo Mahalaya as stated never existed at the place of present Taj Mahal, the ASI said, according to The Times of India.
On August 10, the Central Information Commission had asked the Union Culture Ministry to clarify whether the Taj Mahal is a mausoleum or a Shiva Temple. CIC Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu said that the ministry should put an end to the controversy, and quash all doubts concerning the Taj Mahal.
The question of Taj Mahal’s origin has been the subject of various court cases, and is presented as an alternative narrative of history.