Historians and politicians claim that the Taj Mahal could collapse within five years if work to repair the structure’s timber foundations are not carried out.
Cracks in the tomb and four minarets, as well as subsidence, was first recorded last year, according to the MP for Agra Katheria Ramshankar. “If the crisis is not tackled on a war-footing, the Taj Mahal will cave in between two and five years,” claimed Ramshankar.
The mausoleum, which attracts 4M visitors a year, was built in 1631 and is supported on mahogany posts. According to Ramshankar and a team of historians, the foundations are believed to have been drying out and rotting over many years but the low water levels in the adjacent Yamuna River this summer have accelerated the problem.
Despite the evidence of structural damage, Ramshankar reports that no inspection of the foundations has been carried out for over 30 years and is calling on the Indian government to take action.