Source: BBC News
BY Amrit Dhillon in Delhi
A court in India has heard testimony from government archaeologists that the Taj Mahal is a Muslim mausoleum built by a Mughal emperor to honour his dead wife – delivering an official riposte to claims it is a Hindu temple.
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), which protects monuments of national importance, had been ordered to give its view in response to a petition filed by six lawyers stating that the Unesco world heritage site in the city of Agra had originally been a temple called Tejo Mahalaya dedicated to the Hindu deity Shiva.
The petition also demanded that Hindus be allowed to worship in it. Only Muslims are permitted to offer prayers at the 17th-century monument.
Dr Bhuvan Vikrama, the ASI’s superintending archaeologist in Agra, said he rejected the claims: “Our written statement called the claims concocted and we asked the court to dismiss the petition. It’s up to the judge to decide what happens.”