AGRA, India (AP) -- Hindu nationalists tried to wash the Taj Mahal with Ganges River water and cow urine Friday to ``purify'' it after the visit of Pakistan's president during a weekend summit with India's prime minister. Police arrested more than a dozen members of the Shiv Sena party when they started wiping the floor of the 17th-century marble mausoleum with the mixture of water and urine that is considered pure by many Hindus. Pakistan's President Gen. Pervez Musharraf met with Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in Agra to improve relations and find a solution to a bitter dispute over the Himalayan region of Kashmir. During a break in the summit Sunday, Musharraf and his wife, Sehba, spent nearly an hour at the Taj Mahal, the monument of love built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife, who died in childbirth. The Taj Mahal is considered an embodiment of Hindu and Muslim cultural heritage in India. Pakistan is Muslim and India is largely Hindu. The Shiv Sena, a powerful Hindu nationalist party and a key ally of the prime minister, opposed the three days of talks. The group washing the Taj Mahal was led by Sanjeev Kavania, who was arrested twice before the summit when he burned the Pakistani flag and an effigy of Musharraf.
more from beliefnet and our partners
Close Ad