Tan Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, in Indian city Agra suffered a pillar collapse Wednesday night due to thunderstorm and heavy rainfall with wind speed of more than 100 kmph.
The 12-foot metal pillar was at the the main gate, Darwaza-e-Rauza, of the monument.
Located on the bank of the Yamuna river, three km south of Agra, the Taj Mahal took 22 years to complete at a cost of trillions of dollars by today’s currency. Twenty thousand men and over 1000 elephants worked on the project, using material from India and Asia, as far as China and Afghanistan.
The Taj Mahal was declared a World Heritage site in 1983 and measures are in place to protect it from pollution. Tourist coaches and cars are kept well away from the gate and access is on foot or by electric vehicle.
India’s top World Heritage site was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died aged 38, giving birth to their 14th child. She had never left her husband’s side, even during his military campaigns, and the inconsolable Emperor promised he would build the most beautiful mausoleum ever seen.
True to his word, Emperor Shah Jahan set to work with his first architect to design the world’s most celebrated monument to love. Later, deposed and imprisoned by his son in Agra’s Red Fort, the Emperor gazed from afar at the marble dome mirrored in the river, grieving until the day he died. He now rests with Mumtaz in the Taj Mahal.