BJP leader Kapil Mishra, who has been in limelight for the past few months for his alleged inflammatory speeches preceding the riots in North-East Delhi in February, shared an article on Twitter and stated that Taj Mahal is a Hindu temple.
"All scientific evidences prove that Taj Mahal is Tejo Mahalaya, ancient Hindu vedic temple For 300 years the world was fooled to believe that Taj Mahal was built by the Shahjahan," he wrote.
At the time of writing this report, his tweet was shared over 8000 times.
To support his claim, Mishra shared an article from a website called kreately.in, which has an image dissecting architecture of the Taj Mahal. According to the website, Taj Mahal is actually Tejo Mahalaya, an ancient Hindu temple complex in Agra.
"It is octagonal because the Hindus believe in 10 directions. The pinnacle pointing to the heaven and the foundation to the nether world, plus the eight surface directions make the 10 directions. Divinity and royalty are believed to hold sway in all those 10 directions. Hence in Hindu tradition, buildings connected with royalty and divinity must have some octagonal features or the buildings themselves should be octagonal. The two flanking cupolas (two others to the rear are not seen in this photo) are also identical," reads the report which is an ongoing series. Three parts of which has been published till now.
The claims made by Mishra has been shared several times on Twitter and Facebook.
Taj Mahal is actually Tejo Mahalaya, an ancient Hindu temple complex in Agra.
The claim is false and has been recurring over the years.
Dubious Website As Source Of News
The website which was cited by Kapil Mishra is not a news portal rather it publishes user-generated content.
The Twitter bio of the website clearly states, "Publish Yourself. Sign up and be a writer, it's that easy."
Earlier also, Mishra had shared information published on Kreately as news.
Is Taj Mahal A Hindu Temple?
The Archaeological Survey of India had earlier denied this claim in 2017.
According to a Hindustan Times report, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) told an Agra court that the Taj Mahal is a tomb and not a temple as was claimed by a group of petitioners.
In a written statement filed in the court of civil judge (senior division) in August 2017, the ASI had refused to accept the contention that the world heritage site was built on a temple dedicated to Hindu god Shiva.
Back in April 2015, a lawsuit was filed by six lawyers, who had claimed that the Taj is a Hindu temple, Tejo Mahalaya and as such followers of the religion should be allowed access inside the premises of the monument to perform 'darshan' and 'aarti.'
The counsel for the Union of India and ASI, appearing before the court, had stated that 'the petitioners had no locus standi in the matter and neither did they have the right to worship or perform any religious rituals as the monument is Islamic'.
Further, the ASI had also denied the existence of any temple within the Taj Mahal.
The ASI based on available records, clearly stated that Taj Mahal is a mausoleum which was constructed by seventeenth-century Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his queen.
Origin Of Claim
Following the release of historian PN Oak's book in 1989 book Taj Mahal: The True Story, which claimed the monument was built in 1155, decades before the Muslim invasion of India, similar claims have been doing the rounds.
According to him, its name is a corrupt form of the Sanskrit term "Tejo Mahalay".
Oaks had also filed a petition to declare that the monument was built by a Hindu ruler several years ago. The Supreme Court in 2000 had dismissed the petition.
In a clarification released by the Central Information Commission, it was stated that there was "no record" to suggest that iTaj Mahal was actually "Tejo Mahalaya" and that it was gifted by Raja Maan Singh.
(1) In April 2015, six lawyers filed a petition claiming that the monument was actually an ancient shrine to the lord Shiva.
(2) According to one of the lawyers, Harishankar Jain who quoted historian PN Oak's 1989 book Taj Mahal: The True Story, Tejo Mahalaya was built by Raja Paramardi Dev and later inherited by Hindu kings Raja Maan Singh and Raja Jai Singh.
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