Last year, lawyers from Agra, where is Taj Mahal, has filed a court petition alleging that the Taj Mahal should be declared a Hindu temple because there is «irrefutable evidence» that it was originally built as a temple of the Hindu God Shiva, the BBC reports.
The petition set forth that the Church ought to communicate to the Hindus and to forbid the Muslims to do it in religious ceremonies.
The government of India replied to the petition denial. The Minister of culture of India Mahesh Sharma has said that the authorities have found no evidence to substantiate the claims of advocates.
The mausoleum-mosque Taj Mahal was built by order of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died in childbirth (and later was buried there himself Shah Jahan).
The Taj Mahal is the most striking example of Mughal architecture that combines elements from Persian, Indian and Islamic architectural styles. In 1983, the Taj Mahal was named a UNESCO world heritage site «the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the recognized masterpieces of the architectural heritage, which is admired around the world.»
The building was begun about 1632 and completed in 1653, its construction employed thousands of artisans and craftsmen. Inside the mausoleum are two tombs – Shah and his wife.