Taj Mahal Missing From UP Tourism Booklet? Know About The Booklet On Which All The Controversy Based On

The Taj Mahal may be one of the ‘seven wonders of the world,’ a prominent UNESCO heritage site. For decades, people from across the world have made arduous journeys for a glimpse of the Taj. Almost a fourth of visitors to India travel to Agra to see the Taj, but it has failed to feature in Uttar Pradesh’s tourism booklet.

A controversy has broken out over a new booklet released by the UP government to mark 6 months of Yogi Adityanath in power which does not mention the Taj Mahal. The booklet, which has the famed Ganga aarti as its cover image, has been printed to promote tourist spots in Uttar Pradesh.

However, clarifying its stand the Uttar Pradesh government has maintained that the booklet is only documented some development projects taken up by the BJP government to boost the tourist attraction of Uttar Pradesh.

On Monday, the state government also released a press statement which said that Rs 370 crore has been set aside for tourism in UP of which Rs 156 crore will be utilized to improve tourist attraction in and around Taj Mahal.

Taj Mahal irrelevant to Indian culture – CM Adityanath

Yogi Adityanath, earlier this year, said Taj Mahal and other minarets – monuments made during the medieval and Mughal era – were not reflective of Indian culture.

Last month, Uttar Pradesh deputy chief minister made the controversial statement that Mughals were “plunderers” and not “our ancestors” as depicted in Indian history.

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The Booklet On Which All This Controversy Based On  

The Uttar Pradesh Tourism Booklet named ‘Uttar Pradesh Paryatan-Apaar Sambhavanaayein’ with the Ganga Aarti of Varanasi as the cover image, the 32-page booklet has elaborate pictures of various tourist destinations like the Ramayana, Budhha, Krishna, Bundelkhand, Vindhya and Awadh printed in glossy pages.

While the booklet features the Gorakhnath temple where Yogi Adityanath is the head priest, the government has been criticized for deliberately excluding one of the seven wonders of the world the Taj Mahal built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan.

UNESCO declared it as a World Heritage Site in 1983 for being “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage”.

Opposition Criticizing The Adityanath Govt

Opposition leaders in UP have criticized the move, saying that the BJP is critical of Muslim art and wants to erase any traces of it from the history of India.

Rajendra Chaudhary of the Samajwadi Party told media that exclusion of Taj is a reflection of BJP’s mentality, emphasizing that Taj Mahal bears no connections to caste and community and must be preserved.