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ASI says Taj Mahal is a tomb, not a Shiva temple

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Taj Mahal is a tomb and not a temple, told the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to an Agra court. In a written statement filed in the court of civil judge (senior division) on Thursday, the ASI refused to accept the contention that the world heritage site was built on a temple dedicated to Hindu god Shiva.

A law suit filed by six lawyers was admitted in the court in April 2015, who had claimed the Taj is a Hindu temple, Tejo Mahalaya. They said that such followers of the religion should be granted access inside the premises of the monument to perform ‘darshan’ and ‘aarti’. They even asked to open the locked room inside the tomb.

Currently, only Muslims are allowed to worship at the site, offering Friday prayers at a mosque attached to the monument.

The court has fixed the next hearing on September 11.

The counsel for the Union of India and ASI, appearing before the court, stated that the petitioners had no locus standing in the matter. They neither have the right to worship or perform any religious rituals as the monument is Islamic, the counsel added.

In its reply, the ASI also denied the existence of any temple within the Taj Mahal.

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