Stone pieces fall from Taj Mahal’s royal gate
The monument was open for public viewing when the incident happened but no one was injured.Updated: Mar 06, 2018 20:51 IST
Pieces of red stone used in the construction of the royal gate at India’s biggest tourist draw - the Taj Mahal - fell on Tuesday morning after a rusted clamp used to hold stones together gave way.
The monument was open for public viewing and there was tourist movement, but no one was injured mainly because the pieces of stone fell in a corner of the gate.
The incident occurred at about 10 am on Tuesday at the periphery of monument. The royal gate is a majestic one where tourists reach after entering the Taj premises from the eastern and western gates. It is from this royal gate that tourists get their first view of the Taj Mahal.
“No harm or injury was caused as the stone fell from a corner of royal gate enclosure at about 10 am on Tuesday. It seems that the clamps used to hold the red sand stones were rusted and lost the grip resulting in fall of red sand stone pieces,” said Ankit Namdev, the conservation assistant for Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) at Taj Mahal.
About three years ago, the chandelier within royal gate enclosure had fallen.
There had been other incidents of stone falling from different parts of the 17th century monument built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal.
The ASI has been undertaking regular repairs besides using mudpack therapy to keep the ageing monument intact in the fourth century of its existence in the face of rising environmental threat.
However, crowd pressure also remains an issue and step ticketing is to be implemented at the monument to streamline crowd pressure at this World Heritage site of the UNESCO.