The Great Indian Building ‘Taj Mahal’ will collapse within five years unless urgent action is taken to shore up its foundations, campaigners have warned. Within 5 years, world might see the end of this beautiful building.
The 358-year-old marble mausoleum is India’s most famous tourist attraction, bringing four million visitors a year to the northern city of Agra. But the river crucial to its survival is being blighted by pollution, industry and deforestation.
The Taj Mahal was built by Mogul emperor Shah Jahan, who was grief-stricken by the death of his wife Mumtaz Mahal in childbirth.
Its romantic image has attracted film stars and royalty, including Princess Diana, who posed in front of the building after the breakdown of her marriage to Prince Charles.
Cracks appeared last year in parts of the tomb, and the four minarets which surround the monument are showing signs of tilting.
Professor Ram Nath, a historian who is one of the world’s leading authorities on the Taj, said: ‘The Taj stands just on the edge of the river Yamuna which has now dried up.
‘This was never anticipated by its builders. The river is a constituent of its architectural design and if the river dies, the Taj cannot survive.’