Taj Mahal
A petition filed in a court wants the 17th century Taj Mahal, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, to be declared a Hindu temple. File photo

Agra court moved to declare Mughal-built Taj Mahal as Hindu temple

The petitioner cited historical books to claim the structure has a history predating its recognition as Taj Mahal and it should be declared a Hindu temple

A new petition has been filed in a court in Agra demanding that the iconic Taj Mahal – one of the wonders of the world -- be declared a Hindu temple.

The Wednesday petition has called for a halt to all Islamic activities and other practices in the 17th century monument not suitable for a Hindu place of worship.

The matter is to be heard on April 9, IANS news agency reported.

Petitioner’s claim

Advocate Ajay Pratap Singh has filed the suit as the patron of Bhagwan Shree Tejo Mahadev and as president of the Yogeshwar Shree Krishna Janmasthan Sewa Sangh Trust and Kshatriya Shaktipeeth Vikas Trust.

He cited historical books to support his claim that the structure has a history predating its recognition as the Taj Mahal and that it should be declared Tejo Mahalaya, a Hindu temple.

Several petitions have been filed demanding the declaration of the Taj Mahal as a Shiva temple. Some petitions have been dismissed; others are still pending.

Tourist attraction

The Taj Mahal is an ivory white marble mausoleum built on the bank of the Yamuna river in Agra by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to the house the tomb of his wife Mumtaz Mahal.

It also houses the tomb of Shah Jahan himself. The complex includes a mosque, and is India’s most sought after tourist attraction.
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