Oh No! The Taj Mahal Is Falling Down!

One of the greatest monuments to love, the Taj Mahal, will collapse within five years if nothing is done about it. Oh no!

Oh No! The Taj Mahal Is Falling Down!

One of the greatest monuments to love, the Taj Mahal, will collapse within five years if nothing is done about it. Oh no!

-Lucia Peters

Taj Mahal

You guys. According the Daily Mail, the Taj Mahal will collapse within five years unless something drastic is done to shore up it’s foundations. That’s right: The Taj Mahal. The 358-year-old marble mausoleum. The architectural wonder of the world. The moving tribute to a beloved wife who died in childbirth, which has been standing since 1653. Romantic backdrop to countless films, photos, and memories.

THIS IS TERRIBLE NEWS.

The foundations of the Taj, you see, have become brittle, and as a result, they’re disintegrating. Last year, cracks began appearing in parts of the tomb, and the four minarets which surround the tomb look suspiciously like they’re starting to tilt. Ramshankar Katheria, the MP for Agra who is leading the campaign to intervene on the Taj’s behalf, told the Daily Mail, “If this persists the minarets may also collapse since the wooden foundation—beneath the wells—is rotting due to lack of water.”

The Taj notably used to stand on the edge of the river Yamuna, which has since dried up. Professor Ram Nath, one of the world’s leading authorities on the Taj, said, “This [the river drying up] was never anticipated by its builders. The river is a constituent of its architectural design and if the river dies, the Taj cannot survive.”

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Forgive me for getting all symbolic on you, but what does it mean that this perfect symbol of love is collapsing during our lifetime? Chiara Atik of HowAboutWe commented that even though she thinks the concept of monogamous romance is evolving and/or on its way out, the news of the Taj crumbling has caused her to think, “All of a sudden, I’m not sure I’m ready to give up on that idea quite yet.” She went on to say, “I don’t want the Taj Mahal to crumble, because I want to go visit it one day with my husband and our unwilling kids and take cheesy pictures in front of it. I don’t want the Taj Mahal to crumble because I want there to be, somewhere on this earth, a looming, physical reminder of love. I don’t want the Taj Mahal to crumble because I’m not ready to let the idea of romance disappear with it.”

And I totally hear where she’s coming from. I’ve never been to the Taj Mahal, but I’d like to someday, preferably with a whole lot of people that I love, specifically because it’s such a fantastic monument to the love one person bore for another. But if it collapses, that will never happen, and one of the great wonders of the world will truly be lost.

But while I sit here and twiddle my thumbs, fretting, the Indian government has set up a committee to deal with the Taj Mahal’s preservations. Apparently, officials connected with eight different projects told the Daily Mail that both the national and state governments are teaming up to see what they can do about it. The projects, unfortunately, have been “held up since 2003 for want of funds,” BB Awasthi, regional officer of the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board, told the Daily Mail; but he expects now that the projects “would receive top priority treatment.”

And I hope it does. I really, really do. Because somehow a world without the Taj is a world with a little less love in it, and that’s just unthinkable.

Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s associate editor.


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