The Curious Case of The Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal, India

In recent episode of KBC there was one question related to the currency notes. Don’t remember the exact question and the options, but it went something as follows:

Which of the following monuments / symbols is NOT present on new Indian currency notes?

  1. A motif of Hampi with Chariot
  2. the Sanchi Stupa 
  3. The Taj Mahal
  4. The Mars Orbiter / Mangalyaan

The question was worth several lakhs. But for anybody who follows Indian politics the answer was obvious: The Taj Mahal.

 In 2015 and 2016 there were reports in media that new currency notes being planned by RBI would have various “Indian” monuments (Source: The Hindu) 

  • Hampi’s stone chariot will appear on the Rs 10 notes
  • Red Fort in Delhi will appear on the Rs 20 notes
  • Sun temple in Konark will appear on th Rs 50 notes
  • The Taj Mahal in Agra will appear on the Rs 100 notes
  • The Goa Church and Convents will appear on the Rs 500 notes
  • The Ajanta cave temples, Padmapani painting of the cave temples will appear on the Rs 1000 notes  

It was safe to say that Goa Church and Convents would never have been a reality. It was planted probably because some election was in the offing. Some would have thought that the Taj Mahal would be a possibility and deserving candidate.

The new currency notes launched by RBI (an autonomous institute) since 2016 were as follows:

  • 10: Odisha’s Konark Sun Temple 
  • 50: A motif of Hampi with Chariot along with the Swachh Bharat logo
  • 100: Rani ki Vav (Queen’s stepwell) – Yet to be released. This is as per media reports.
  • 200: A motif of the Sanchi Stupa (New currency note)
  • 2000: A motif of the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM).(New currency note)

Taj Mahal? – Left out as an option for a KBC question (someone should carry that burden too, right?

But anybody who follows the news would not be surprised as they would know how much the Hindu Taliban (aka Builders of New India) hate Taj Mahal.

Here are few notes for the uninitiated:

  • In Oct 2017, the Govtof UP dropped the Taj Mahal from UP tourism booklet. The CM of UP justifiedthis. He had said in June 2017 that “Taj Mahal did not reflect Indian culture“. The CM also discontinued the practice of presenting foreign dignitaries withreplicas of the Taj Mahal.
  • UP CM softened hisstand slightly in due course. He visited Taj Mahal and said that Taj Mahal was built by bloodand sweat of Indians.
  • Then there have beennumerous controversies about whether Taj Mahal is pride of India, or a symbolof love, or whether it is really a Hindu monument (Shiva’s temple)
  • Just yesterday BajarangDal activists protested at Taj Mahal and threatened to perform Puja inside TajMahal


No matter what some fringe groups say or do (actually they are no longer fringe, they are the power centers) the Taj Mahal will remain one of the few important monuments which world recognizes India by.

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