What has happened?
- A petition filed in the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court has sought directives to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI),
- To open 20 rooms inside the Taj Mahal in Agra to ascertain whether Hindu idols and inscriptions are hidden there.
About the petition
- Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) media in-charge of Ayodhya district, Dr Rajneesh Singh has filed the petition which is yet to come up for hearing.
- Advocate Rudra Vikram Singh is representing the petitioner in court.
- “There is an old controversy related to the Taj Mahal. Around 22 rooms in Taj Mahal are locked and no one is allowed to enter.
- It is believed that in these rooms there are idols of Hindu gods and scriptures,” said Dr Rajneesh Singh.
- “I have filed a petition in high court seeking directives to ASI to open these rooms to ascertain facts.
- There is no harm in opening these rooms and setting to rest all controversies,” said Singh.
- In the plea, the petitioner has sought directives from the court to the state government to constitute a committee that would examine these rooms and look for any evidence related with Hindu idols or scriptures there.
RTI since 2020
- Rajneesh Singh said he has been trying to ascertain facts about the 22 locked rooms of Taj Mahal since 2020 through the Right to Information Act (RTI).
- Singh filed an RTI in 2020 with the union ministry of Culture seeking information about the rooms.
- “Since 2020, I have been trying to ascertain facts about the locked rooms of Taj Mahal. I had filed an RTI.
- Replying to the RTI, the union ministry of Culture informed the Central Information Commission (in Delhi) that these rooms were locked due to security reasons,” Singh said.
- And no detail was provided about these rooms, he added.
- “When all my efforts failed then I have approached the Lucknow high court seeking directives to the government to open these rooms and constitute a fact-finding committee to find out whether Hindu gods and scriptures are inside them,” he added.
An old shiva temple
- The plea, filed through advocate Rudra Vikram Singh, argued that many Hindu Groups have been claiming that,
- The Taj Mahal is an old Shiva Temple which was known as Tejo Mahalaya and this is supported by many historians as well.
- “It is said that Taj Mahal was named after the name of Shah Jahan’s wife Mumtaz Mahal,
- However in many books the name of the wife of Shahjahan was described as Mumtaz-ul-Zamani, not Mumtaj Mahal,
- Also the fact that the construction of a mausoleum takes 22 years for completion is beyond the reality and totally an absurdity,” the plea stated.
- “It is there in many History books that in 1212 AD, Raja Paramardi Dev had built Tejo Mahalaya temple palace (presently Taj Mahal).
- The temple was later inherited by Raja Maan Singh, the then Maharaja of Jaipur.
- After him, the property was held and managed by Raja Jai Singh but was annexed by Shah Jahan (in 1632) and later it was converted into a memorial for the wife of Shah Jahan.”
- The plea stated that in the 22 permanently locked rooms in the upper and lower portion of the four-storied building of Taj Mahal lies a temple of Shiva.
Q) Who was the writer that referred Taj Mahal in his book, Badshahnama, as rauza-i munawwara, meaning the illumined or illustrious tomb?
- Jean-Baptiste Tavernier
- Abdul Hamid Lahauri
- Mahtab Bagh
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