Written by Pujita Mohta, a grade 7 student in Mumbai
Did you know that the Taj Mahal, Shah Jahan’s lasting legacy, is getting ruined?
Taj Mahal was built by Shah Jahan in Agra, India in a memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died while giving birth to their 15th child in 1631.
This stunning monument was once white as snow. Its pristine white beauty had always been fascinating. Unfortunately, it has begun to turn yellowish-green.
Let’s find out why
The reasons are many – air pollution, environmental neglect, damage caused by tourists, discoloration of marble due to oxidation of constituents, and many other causes. You still might be wondering how could just pollution and other things destroy the white color, and change it to yellowish green? Well, the air is filled with algae and dirt.
Since the marble in Taj is not used in its pure form, it has minerals that get oxidized over time leaving brown spots. Rain, weathering, and rusting of iron dowels have also stained the marble.
Throngs of people visit this spectacular monument daily, causing the humidity level to rise, resulting in the darkening of the walls. In addition, the dust and filth from the tourist’s palms can darken the walls.
Constant cutting of trees for modern development is wreaking havoc, as there is no natural obstruction between the hot dusty winds and the monument. These winds have a highly abrasive effect on the monument.
The dust and carbon-containing particles emitted during the burning of fossil fuels, biomass and garbage have been the leading cause for the discoloring of the national monument.
Taj Mahal is turning yellowish-green mainly due to air pollution and tourism. We can reduce air pollution by decreasing the burning of fossil fuels and other wastes. The tourists could be provided with gloves for their hands and shoes to keep the marble clean.
We need to save this wonder of the world.
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