The Taj Mahal, which has been in the crosshairs of controversy, has finally found a place in the 2018 calendar brought out by the Uttar Pradesh government.
The 17th century architectural marvel is included in the month of July in the calendar brought out by the state information department.
Also finding a place in the calendar is the Gorakhnath Temple in Gorakhpur. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath represents the Gorakhnath Mutt.
Apart from carrying images of important heritage sites and tourist spots of the state, the calendar mentions the popular BJP slogan of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas – UP government ka satat prayas’. Pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the chief minister also feature in the calendar prominently.
The world famous monument recently found itself embroiled in controversy with BJP MLA Sangeet Som questioning the monument’s place in India’s heritage, stressing that history would be re-written to erase Mughal emperors from it.
Som’s comments came soon after the Yogi Adityanath government reportedly omitted the Taj Mahal from an official tourism booklet.
“Many people are pained to see that the Taj Mahal was removed from the list of places (tourist destinations). What type of history?” Som recently posed in a statement.
The BJP had distanced itself from the comment saying it was Som’s personal view and the party had nothing to do with it.
Following media reports, the state government had issued a press release stating, “Tourism projects worth Rs 370 crore are proposed, under which schemes worth Rs 156 crore for development of parks and various facilities are meant for the Taj Mahal and its surrounding areas in Agra.”
The chief minister was also prompt in clearing the air by stating, “It is immaterial as to who and how Taj Mahal was built. It was made by the saputs (sons) of Bharat Mata through their khoon and pasina. It is famous across the world for its architecture. It is a historical monument and its protection and further development of tourism is the responsibility of the government.”
He also said that he will visit the historical monument and the Taj city of Agra on October 26 to review the tourism schemes there.
Prayagraj Triveni Sangam (Allahabad), Ram ki Paudi (Ayodhya), Barsane ki Holi (Mathura), Gurudwara Nanakmattha Saheb (Pilibhit), Devgarh Jain temple (Lalitpur), Sarnath Stupa (Varanasi), Rani Jhansi ka Kila (Jhansi), Sri Krishna Janmsthan temple (Mathura), Vindhyachal trikon darshan (Mirzapur) and Kanshi Vishwanath temple (Varanasi) also found a place in the calendar.