Taj Mahal fails to feature in UP tourism booklet, critics say move shows Adityanath govt's stand on Indian culture

Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage site, has failed to feature in Uttar Pradesh's  recent tourism booklet namely 'Uttar Pradesh Paryatan-Apaar Sambhavnayen' .

The booklet, published to mark six months of the Yogi Adityanath government in the state, was released on World Tourism Day on 27 September. The revelation took many by surprise as all tourist spots in Uttar Pradesh were listed on the booklet except for the world-renowned Taj Mahal.

 Taj Mahal fails to feature in UP tourism booklet, critics say move shows Adityanath govts stand on Indian culture

File image of Taj Mahal. Image courtesy: Reuters.

News18 reports that the Taj Mahal, which attracts many tourists from around the world, failed to find a spot in UP's tourism guide. It also cited that earlier in June this year, the Uttar Pradesh chief minister had said that  Ramayana and Bhagwad Gita represent the Indian culture and not the Taj Mahal.

The Scroll dubbed the move as not a surprise and suggested that with this, the Adityanath government has made it clear that Taj Mahal does not reflect Indian culture.

Taj Mahal, which means the Crown of the Palace, is an ivory-white mausoleum built in the memory of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan's favourite wife Mumtaz Mahal in 1632 on the bank of Yamuna river in Agra.

The monument was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 for being 'the jewel of Muslim art in India' and is one of the universally admired masterpieces.

Yet, this iconic monument did not fit into the booklet.

Meantime, Uttar Pradesh health minister Sidharth Nath Singh told NDTV that there has been a miscommunication that undermined the Taj Mahal. "We are even thinking of constructing an international airport at Agra for the convenience of passengers," he said.

Hindustan Times's reports from July suggests the Adityanath-led government in Uttar Pradesh, had not included Taj Mahal as a part of Uttar Pradesh’s cultural heritage including its first state budget for 2017-18 which had no mention of Taj Mahal in its special section ‘Hamari Sanskritik Virasat’ (our cultural heritage).

The exclusion of Taj Mahal from the state tourism booklet is definitely going to attract some serious criticism, however, the state's tourism department told the NDTV that the booklet was released only for the purpose of the press conferences and not as a guide to Uttar Pradesh's tourism spots.

“It mentions new and upcoming projects of the Uttar Pradesh tourism department and new focus areas," said Avanish Awasthi.

Updated Date: Oct 03, 2017 09:10:25 IST