LUCKNOW: Two pages on the Gorakhnath temple, and not a word on Taj Mahal. This is the new booklet released by the Uttar Pradesh government on Tourism in which the Taj has been dropped altogether.

The booklet was released by former Congress and now BJP Minister Rita Bahugana amidst the usual fanfare. The 32 pages, with Ganga on the cover, has been ostensibly released to promote tourism in Yogi Adityanaths state.

When caught out by sections of the local media, Bahugana did a back flip insisting that there was no question of leaving out the Taj, that “the Taj is our cultural heritage and priority” whatever that means.The explanation given out is that the booklet listed the heritage sites where work had been done or was underway under Adityanath!

Significantly Adityanath who is doubling up as Chief MInister of UP and head priest of the Gorakhnath temple where he was seen in full form during the Dussehra celebrations has maintained that “the Ramayana and the Gita represent Indian culture and not the Taj.”

Right wing organisations have questioned the Taj Mahal, with six lawyers actually filing a petition in the Agra district court in 2015 maintaining that the heritage monument that is amongst the seven wonders of the world is actually a Shiva temple, and Hindus should be allowed to do puja there.

A book by someone called P.N.Oak called Tajmahal: the True Story spells out the argument in great detail. A right wing online site actually summarises the book in a 100 points to prove that the Taj is indeed a Shiva temple, and that has nothing to do with accepted history.

Some of the points from the book summarised by the site:

-The term Tajmahal itself never occurs in any mogul court paper or chronicle even in Aurangzeb's time. The attempt to explain it away as Taj-i-mahal is therefore, ridiculous.

-The ending "Mahal"is never muslim because in none of the muslim countries around the world from Afghanistan to Algeria is there a building known as "Mahal".

-The unusual explanation of the term Tajmahal derives from Mumtaz Mahal, who is buried in it, is illogical in at least two respects viz., firstly her name was never Mumtaj Mahal but Mumtaz-ul-Zamani and secondly one cannot omit the first three letters "Mum" from a woman's name to derive the remainder as the name of the building.

-The term Taj Mahal is a corrupt form of the sanskrit term TejoMahalay signifying a Shiva Temple. Agreshwar Mahadev i.e., The Lord of Agra was consecrated in it.

-The tradition of removing the shoes before climbing the marble platform originates from pre Shahjahan times when the Taj was a Shiva Temple. Had the Taj originated as a tomb, shoes need not have to be removed because shoes are a necessity in a cemetery.

No wonder then that Taj no longer exists for the Adityanath government.