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ASI shares images of Taj Mahal’s ‘underground cells’

The ASI shared pictures of the maintenance work of underground cells.

The ASI shared pictures of the maintenance work of underground cells. | Photo Credit: Archaeological Survey of India

At a time when a plea in Allahabad High Court seeks a "fact-finding inquiry" into the history of the Taj Mahal and the "opening of 22 rooms" on the monument's premises, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on May 9 published photos of underground cells in the Taj Mahal with recent renovations.

In its newsletter, the ASI shared pictures of the maintenance work of underground cells. "Decayed and disintegrated lime plaster was removed and replaced by laying of lime plaster and traditional lime processing before application," it stated. The ASI shared the January newsletter on its Twitter page recently.

While a civil suit on the same issue remains pending in Agra court, the Allahabad High Court on May 12 dismissed the plea filed by the media in-charge of the BJP's Ayodhya unit, Rajneesh Singh, saying the petitioner failed to point out which of his legal or constitutional rights were being infringed.

The Taj Mahal was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his wife Mumtaz and took nearly 22 years to be completed. However, several Hindu right-wing outfits in the past have claimed that the marble monument was a Lord Shiva temple.

Dismissing the plea as misconceived, the Bench pulled up the Mr. Singh's counsel Rudra Pratap Singh over and again for moving the PIL without properly conducting legal research work. It declined to intervene in factual issues as to what was behind the closed doors of the Taj.

Meanwhile, BJP MP Diya Kumari on May 11 claimed the land on which the Taj Mahal was built originally belonged to Jaipur's ruler Jai Singh and it was acquired by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Supporting Mr. Singh's petition, she said the records are available with the erstwhile Jaipur royal family.

“People should know why the rooms are locked there. There could have been anything before the Taj Mahal, maybe a temple. People have the right to know what was there originally before the 'maqbara',” Ms. Kumari was quoted as saying by PTI.


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Printable version | Jun 8, 2022 7:15:02 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/asi-shares-images-of-taj-mahals-underground-cells-ahead-of-court-hearing/article65425764.ece