NEW DELHI: Uttar Pradesh government has dropped Taj Mahal, an Unesco world heritage site that draws millions of tourists from across the globe and earns the government crores in revenue from the list of tourist destinations. Taj Mahal did not get place in newly published booklet by UP government and instead it carries the name of temples from Mathura, Ayodhya and Gorakhpur in the list.
Iconic Ganga aarti on its cover, the 32-pages booklet titled ‘Uttar Pradesh Paryatan-Apaar Sambhavanaayein’ (UP Tourism-Unlimited Possibilities), has been printed to promote the tourist spots in Uttar Pradesh, but surprisingly the most prominent and popular one is missing.
The booklet was released in Lucknow at a press conference on World Tourism Day by UP’s tourism minister Rita Bahuguna Joshi.
In June, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath while speaking in Bihar had said that Taj Mahal and some ‘minaret’ doesn’t represent Indian culture.
“Foreign dignitaries visiting the country used to be gifted replicas of the Taj Mahal and other minarets which did not reflect Indian culture”, Adityanath was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.
Earlier too, the Yogi government made no mention of Taj Mahal in the special section ‘Hamari Sanskritik Virasat’ (Our Cultural Heritage) annual budget for 2017-2018.
The exclusion faced criticism from all sectors of the nation, especially from academicians and historians who slammed the government for not promoting the multi-cultural faith of the country.