Deadly thunderstorm in northern India partly damages Taj Mahal

A deadly thunderstorm that swept through parts of northern India destroyed portions of the Taj Mahal palace, including the main gate and a railing beneath its five towering domes, officials said on Sunday. One of the Latest Seven Wonders of the World, India's biggest tourist attraction, has been suspended since mid-March as part of measures to seek to counter the coronavirus pandemic.
image source-Google | image by-dawn.com
AFP photos showed staff inspecting the railings of the central mausoleum after the storm that hit Agra City in northern Uttar Pradesh on Friday night. "One sandstone railing that was part of the initial structure has been destroyed," Vasant Kumar Swarnkar, Superintendent of Archeological Survey of India, told AFP.
"An additional marble wall, a false ceiling in the tourist holding area and the base stone of the main gate, has also been destroyed." He added that the key construction of the shrine to love — built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a tomb for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth in 1631—was not harmed.
Local media confirmed that thunderstorms and lightning killed at least 13 people in two districts of Uttar Pradesh on Friday. Fatal lightning strikes are very common during the monsoon season of June-October. Last year, at least 150 people were killed by lightning in August and September in Madhya Pradesh, Central India.


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