Taj Mahal minaret’s pinnacle being restored
To avoid a ruckus, officials of the Archaeological Survey of India started the restoration work of Taj Mahal's south-west minaret's pinnacle. Pictures of the missing pinnacle made rounds on social media, which led to rumors that Taj Mahal's structure was damaged due to ASI's negligence. ASI officials stated that the restoration-work of the pinnacle on the 250-feet high minaret would take 5-6 days.
The Taj Mahal is an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the banks of Yamuna River in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. In 1632, Shah Jahan commissioned it to house his wife Mumtaz's tomb. The mausoleum was completed in 1643, and the 42-acre-complex was finalized in 1653. In 1983, the monument was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site for being one of the most admired masterpieces globally.
In 2000, an initiative by New7Wonders of the World Foundation was started to choose 7 new wonders of the world. In 2007, the results were announced, and Taj Mahal was declared one of the New7Wonders of the World.
An Indo-US study had found that Taj Mahal was slowly being discolored due to the high level of air pollution. The researchers had found that 3% of the deposits on the walls were black carbon, 30% organic carbon and the remaining was dust. The study had also confirmed that the poor air quality in Agra was impacting India's most wonderful historical monument.
The pinnacle of Taj Mahal's south-western minaret had fallen during repair work by the Archaeological Survey of India. Witnesses stated that the crest was found lying on the platform near the tower which was later covered with cloth. Syed Munawer Ali, a trustee of Taj Mahal, stated that it was the first time that the pinnacle of Taj Mahal had fallen.
Shamshuddin, President of Approved Guides' Association-Agra, stated that the pinnacles were originally made out of gold in the Mughal era. But, later, the British rulers had replaced them with brass pinnacles during their time.
Archaeological Survey of India had denied that a minaret's pinnacle had fallen during repair. ASI officials stated that the pinnacle was removed due to its weak condition only to be repaired. They added that monkeys had weakened the structure and that the corroded iron rod that holds the pinnacle would be replaced. Taj Mahal had been undergoing chemical cleaning for the past few months.