Pics Of Taj Mahal Rooms Emerge Amid Row Over “Locked Doors”

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) tweeted a newsletter with photos of what it called “underground cells” in the Taj Mahal – three days before a court hearing on petition to open the rooms – in what was seen as a reminder by the monument conservation body to clear the air on the controversy.

The ASI, short for the conservation body, tweeted its January 2022 newsletter on May 9, three days before the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court heard a petition seeking an inquiry into the “history” of the Taj Mahal. By May 9, the petition was already in the news and subject to intense discussions and debates.

The court dismissed the petition, which asked for opening of the doors of the Taj Mahal’s 22 rooms to see “the truth, whatever it is”.

The photos in the ASI newsletter show restoration work in the underground cells of the Taj Mahal, a World Heritage Site located on the bank of the Yamuna River in Uttar Pradesh’s Agra.

The ASI newsletter details restoration work on monuments under its care across the country. In a section titled “Taj Mahal, District Agra”, the ASI showed four photos – two each before and after restoration work was carried out. “Repair to the walls and stairs etc. included scrapping of old and decayed lime plaster and replaster,” the caption reads.

Two more photos show repairs in the outer area of the Taj Mahal.

“The work of maintenance of underground cells on the river side was taken up. Decayed and disintegrated lime plaster was removed and replaced by laying of lime plaster and traditional lime processing before application,” the ASI said in the January 2022 newsletter, referring to its restoration and repair work at the Taj Mahal.