Parts Of Taj Mahal Complex Damaged In Thunderstorm, Main Structure Safe

One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, the country's top tourist attraction, Taj Mahal, has been shut since mid-March as part of measures to try and combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Parts Of Taj Mahal Complex Damaged In Thunderstorm, Main Structure Safe

Taj Mahal Damaged: Images showed workers assessing the railing of the main mausoleum

Agra:

A deadly thunderstorm that rolled across northern parts of the country damaged sections of the Taj Mahal complex, including the main gate and a railing running below its five lofty domes, officials said Sunday.

One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, the country's top tourist attraction has been shut since mid-March as part of measures to try and combat the coronavirus pandemic.

Images showed workers assessing the railing of the main mausoleum, after the storm on Friday night battered Agra.

"One sandstone railing which was a part of the original structure has been damaged," Superintending Archaeologist of the Archaeological Survey of India, Vasant Kumar Swarnkar, told AFP.

"One marble railing which was a later addition, a false ceiling in the tourist holding area and the base stone of the main gate has also been damaged."

He added there was no damage to the main structure of the monument to love -- built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a tomb for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth in 1631.

Local media reports said thunderstorms and lightning on Friday killed at least 13 people in two Uttar Pradesh districts.

Fatal lightning strikes are relatively common during the June-October monsoon season.

Last year, at least 150 people were killed by lightning in August and September in Madhya Pradesh.