A storm has destroyed two ancient pillars at the entryways of India’s probably most famous landmark, the Taj Mahal. Yet, the monument remained open to the public on Thursday.
"Two decorative pillars collapsed last night amid high-velocity winds. One of the pillars stood at the royal gate, and the other at the southern gate," an official from the Archaeological Survey of India said. The damaged pillars were about 3 to 4.5 metres in length. Nobody was injured in the incident.
Bhuvan Vikrama, the regional head of the Archaeological Survey of India said the damage was minor and will be repaired soon. "The two small turrets, which are decorative features, came down during the storm that had winds reaching up to 130 kilometres per hour," Vikrama said.
There was no damage to the main marble structure or the four big minarets which surround it. The stunning white Taj Mahal was built in the mid-17th century by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his third and favourite queen, Mumtaz Mahal. It draws an estimated 7 million to 8 million visitors annually.