Is Taj Mahal Sitting on a Hindu Temple?

South China Morning Post by Nilosree Biswas; 29 May, 2022 / India.com August 11, 2017

Is India’s Taj Mahal sitting on a Hindu temple?

Is Taj Mahal previously been a temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva?

Historical documents and farman (official decrees) from the 17th century show that the land the Taj Mahal was built upon previously housed a riverfront estate belonging to Jai Singh, a senior general and minor royal of the Mughal empire.

Oak, however, claimed the mausoleum was built atop an earlier temple to the Hindu goddess Durga called “Tejo Mahalaya”. His book The Taj Mahal is a Temple Palace was out of print for years, but found a new audience among Hindutva ideologues after being republished in 2003.

Earlier this month, a member of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party even petitioned Allahabad High Court, in Uttar Pradesh state, to throw open 22 locked doors at the Taj Mahal to find out its “real history”.

The BJP is petitioning the Allahabad High Court to open the 22 locked doors at the basement of the Taj Mahal to find out its “real history”

The court dismissed the petition, with judges calling the issue “non-justiciable” and warning petitioners not to make a mockery of India’s public litigation system that allows unaffected third parties to file cases on others’ behalf. But it and similar pending court cases show just how much traction the theories of P.N. Oak – who also claimed that the Vatican, Kaaba and Westminster Abbey were originally Hindu temples – have gained in the age of WhatsApp and reactionary Hindu-nationalist discourse.

Nevermind that the Archaeological Survey of India has published photos showing that the Taj Mahal’s 22 doors lead nowhere except a long, continuous arched corridor.

Oak, however, claimed the mausoleum was built atop an earlier temple to the Hindu goddess Durga called “Tejo Mahalaya”. His book The Taj Mahal is a Temple Palace was out of print for years, but found a new audience among Hindutva ideologues after being republished in 2003.

The debunked temple theory picked up steam after Modi’s BJP took power in 2014, ushering in a wider campaign aimed at “reclaiming” India’s Mughal-era and Muslim architectural heritage from what right-wing activists label a foreign invader’s attempt to usurp and supplant Hindu civilisation.

22 Mysterious Locked Rooms Inside the TAJ MAHAL that Aren’t Accessible to the Public

One of the most high-profile cases involved a 16th century mosque in the northern Indian city of Ayodhya, which is now being replaced with a temple to the Hindu god-king Ram after being torn down by a mob in 1992. The site was left in legal limbo for years before the BJP took power. In 2019, India’s Supreme Court ordered the land be handed over for temple construction and Modi himself helped bless the site at a groundbreaking ceremony a year later.

~ by Joel Huan on May 30, 2022.

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