Archaeological Survey Of India Releases Photos Of Taj Mahal’s “Underground Cells”

On May 9, three days before a court hearing on a petition to open 22 locked rooms in the mausoleum to look for the presence of Hindu idols or scriptures, the Archaeological Survey of India revealed photos of underground cells in the Taj Mahal.

On May 12, the Allahabad High Court’s Lucknow bench dismissed a petition brought by Rajneesh Singh, the head of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s media unit in Ayodhya.

The Taj Mahal, according to Singh, is an ancient temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva known as the Tejo Mahalaya. He requested that the Archaeological Survey of India form a fact-finding commission to access the rooms and investigate the monument’s “real history.”

However, the court reprimanded Singh, stating that such issues should be addressed by historians, academics, and scholars.

The Archaeological Survey of India posted its January 2022 bulletin in a tweet prior to the hearing. According to tourism sector officials, the organisation tweeted these photographs to prevent the dissemination of false information about the accommodations.

The photographs depict the Taj Mahal’s underground cells undertaken maintenance.

“The work of maintenance of underground cells on the river side was taken up,” the newsletter said along with two images each before and after the restoration work was carried out. “Decayed and disintegrated lime plaster was removed and replaced by laying of lime plaster and traditional lime processing before application.”

Two more photographs showed the Taj Mahal’s exterior area repaired by the conservation team.

Shah Jahan, the Mughal king, ordered the Taj Mahal’s construction in 1632, and it was completed in 1653. However, some Hindutva pseudo-historians claim that the monument predates Shah Jahan and was constructed before Muslim dominance in India began.

An official from the Archaeological Survey of India’s Agra Circle unit told The Indian Express that the images published in the newsletter were from December. “Even after that a lot more work was done and pictures were taken,” the official said. “Whether they find space in the next issues of the newsletter will be an editorial decision.”