Taj Mahal missing from Uttar Pradesh tourism booklet

Taj Mahal missing from Uttar Pradesh tourism booklet

For the Uttar Pradesh government, Taj Mahal, the monument of love, which is a 'World Heritage Site' and visited by around 60 lakh domestic and foreign tourists every year, does not hold any attraction for the tourists.
 
The booklet issued by the UP Tourism department on the occasion of the World Tourism Day this year has omitted Taj Mahal from the list of attractions in the state. Incidentally, Taj Mahal is the biggest revenue earner for the tourism department in UP.
 
The booklet makes mention of almost all the major religious events and places in the state including the famous Ganga Arti, Mathura, Vrindavan and Ayodhya.
 
The Goraksha Peeth of which UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath is the 'mahant' (chief) has also found mention in the booklet as an important religious spot.
 
A few 'shakti peeths ' (temples of goddess Durga) have also been mentioned in the booklet along with a description of Ramayana and Buddha circuits.
 
A tourism department officials have so far not explained the omission of Taj Mahal from the booklet.
 
That there was no love lost between the Taj Mahal and the UP government was evident earlier when the state government did not include the Monument of Love in its plan for the development of the cultural heritage of UP in the budget for the ongoing financial year.
 
The cultural heritage of the state included Ayodhya, Varanasi, Mathura, Naimisharanya, Chitrakoot and Vindhyachal and the budget has made a provision of Rs  2800 crore for developing infrastructural facilities at all these places.
 
Opposition leaders said that the UP government seems to seek revenge on monuments that belonged to a particular religion.
 
Adityanath had on several occasions in the past said that Taj Mahal did not represent the country's cultural heritage. ''Taj Mahal may be a beautiful building...but it can not be a symbol of our cultural heritage,'' Adityanath had said earlier.
 
Avadh historians and social activists, however, said that Taj Mahal certainly represented India's rich heritage and it deserved to be treated as such.

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