There is concern that the Taj Mahal, a white marble monument built in the 17th century, could be damaged by rising waters in the river that passes through the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh and laps at the walls of the Taj Mahal’s enclosure in Agra city.
Unusual rainfall in northern India, especially Uttar Pradesh, has raised the water level of the Yamuna in recent days. Since the four-month monsoon season began on June 1, Uttar Pradesh has received 108 percent of its normal rainfall.
Late on Tuesday, the river near the Taj Mahal reached a height of 152 meters (499 feet), according to the Central Water Commission (CWC) of India. This is significantly higher than the danger level of 151.4 meters. At 152.4 meters, it becomes risky to be outside.
The water reportedly last reached the monument’s walls in 1978, 45 years after it was constructed by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in commemoration of his queen Mumtaz Mahal.
According to CWC records, the peak flood level of the river that year was measured at 154.76 meters at a station not far from the monument.
On Tuesday, images from the region showed the mausoleum towering above the scene, unscathed by the river that surrounding it. The border wall of the Taj Mahal is made of red sandstone.
There is “no serious concern” regarding the Taj Mahal at this time, according to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), which is responsible for the upkeep of the Taj Mahal and other Indian monuments.
“If it rains more, or if the water stays this high for some days, we will need to assess the situation again,” said Raj Kumar Patel, ASI’s superintendent archaeologist.
“have been submerged” and damaged, he claimed, were several other monuments and gardens around the Taj Mahal, closer to the banks of the Yamuna.
The garden area of Mehtab Bagh, which dates back to the 1600s, is currently under water, and the structure of the tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah, commonly known as the “baby Taj,” has been ruined.
Even as the tides rose on Tuesday evening, visitors from all over the world kept pouring through the Taj Mahal’s gates.
Mathew Kreton, a 20-year-old student from Lucerne, Switzerland, stated, “It is crazy to see the water go up so much, but to see the Taj Mahal was beautiful.”
The locals were more worried, thinking the river will flood their houses at some point.
All of our stuff is up top where it won’t drift away. We are also keeping a close eye out,” said Sundar Dubey, 49, who resides in the temple area.
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