‘This is an unnecessary controversy’
This is a most unfortunate development. The Taj Mahal has got every record, for the construction, the land grant and even for the marble. The land belonged to Raja Jai Singh, who happens to be Shah Jahan’s cousin. Shah Jahan’s mother was from the royal family of Marwar. Taj Mahal is the climax of every Mughal architectural inheritance.
I have worked behind the revival of more than 100 temples and have a good idea about Shiva, Ganapathy and Vishnu. But I have not heard of Tejo Mahalaya, which is supposedly a Shiva Temple.
I have seen the insides of Taj Mahal, there are just a lot of empty rooms inside it, which were constructed to elevate the height of the structure. This is an unnecessary controversy.
– K. K. Muhammed, Former Regional Director (North), Archaeological
Survey of India.
‘People have been claiming that every monument in India is a Hindu temple’
I doubt Vinay Katiyar’s credentials. Time and again people have been claiming that every monument in India is a Hindu temple. Even if the Taj Mahal wasn’t a UNESCO world heritage site, we must not forget that it has been a part of our history and heritage. We must protect it from getting dragged into controversies. Also, another scary thing is vandalism. I feel that the security should be doubled so that the beautiful monument doesn’t get vandalised.
– Anil Dharker, columnist and writer
‘One should celebrate the heritage that the structure comes with’
It is absolute foolish to drag a historical monument down like this. One should celebrate the heritage that the structure comes with. The monument generates income for the state and the country. Taj Mahal was built by Indian craftsmen for the Indians. Political parties should recollect the recognition that the monument has received worldwide. It has become synonymous to India for many foreign tourists.
–Anuradha Reddy, co-convenor, Intach Telangana
‘The Taj Mahal isn’t a symbol of religion, it is a symbol of heritage’
Removing the Taj Mahal from the list of seven wonders isn’t going to change the number of tourists visiting the attraction. The move is unnecessary. We need to take examples from progressive nations like France, where religion isn’t a priority.
We have been known and recognised as a secular nation and this move seems to break tag. The Taj Mahal isn’t a symbol of religion, it is a symbol of heritage; all monuments are. The facilities for the tourists who visit the monument can be bettered and renovated. It is a tourist spot that gathers a lot of crowd. This move is hideous and dangerous for the country’s progress as a secular nation.
–Araathu R., Writer
'The claim has several loopholes’
The claim has several loopholes. It is doubtful that Taj Mahal is Tejo Mahalya since anyone who has any knowledge of Vaastu Shastra can tell that a double dome structure cannot be associated with ancient temple architecture. Besides, the land on which the Taj Mahal stands belonged to Raja Jai Singh. He sold the land to the Mughals for a handsome price. Had it been an important temple, he would have never attempted this blasphemy. Its resemblance to the description in the Quran also proves the theory otherwise.
It is a pity to see that we are fighting over the authorship of a structure which contributes majorly towards India’s tourism income. Such debates not only disturb the communal harmony of the nation, but also affect the overall fabric of society.
–Vikramjit Singh Rooprai, Founder, Heritageshaala