The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) recently told a court in Agra that the Taj Mahal is actually a tomb and not a Shiva temple gifted to Mughal emperor Shahjahan.

In April 2015, a court in Agra had admitted a lawsuit filed by six lawyers claiming that the Taj Mahal is actaully Tejo Mahalaya (a shiva temple) and Hindu followers should be allowed to go inside the premises of the monument to perform ‘darshan’ and ‘aarti’.

In a statement, the ASI on Thursday refused to accept the argument that the Taj Mahal was once was Shiva Temple and the next hearing is fixed on September 11.

On August 10, the Central Information Commission had asked the Union Culture Ministry to decide whether the Taj Mahal is a tomb built by Shahjahan in the memory of his wife Mumtaz or a Shiva Temple gifted to the Mughal emperor by a Rajput king.

“Historically and even according to records as available there is an ancient monument named as Taj Mahal alone at the bank of river Yamuna at Agra duly declared by the government to be of national importance having gained the worldwide recognition as the 7th wonder of the world. As per available records right from the British period since 1904, the monument Taj was declared a protected monument by notification on December 22, 1920”, ASI stated in its affidavit.