The timeless beauty of the Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, attracts not only locals but also a multitude of tourists from around the globe. The pristine white marble structure, illuminated by the moonlight, has long been a symbol of architectural magnificence. However, recent concerns raised by media reports suggest that the iconic Taj Mahal is undergoing a subtle yet significant transformation in its color.
Why is the Color Changing?
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has delved into a study within the Taj Mahal premises, revealing that the historical monument is facing a threat from tiny insects. These insects, seemingly harmless at first glance, are causing a shift in the color of the marble. The walls of the Taj Mahal are gradually turning green due to the impact of these minuscule creatures.
The Culprit: Goeldichironomus
In 2015, the ASI became aware of the issue and has since been actively working to mitigate the damage caused by Goeldichironomus, the insects responsible for the color change. These insects thrive in polluted water and emit waste that is detrimental to the marble’s pristine appearance. The rapid multiplication of these insects poses a severe threat to the structural integrity of the Taj Mahal.
The Danger of Goeldichironomus
The Goeldichironomus insects thrive in dirty and polluted water, and their population grows rapidly. A single female insect can lay up to a thousand eggs at once. The excrement from these insects is gradually turning sections of the Taj Mahal’s walls from white to green. The period between March and April to September and October sees a heightened risk of infestation, especially along the banks of the Yamuna River.
ASI’s Survey and Preservation Efforts
Rajkumar Patel, the Director of ASI in Agra, highlighted in a media interaction that ASI is diligently studying ways to halt the increase of these insects on the Taj Mahal’s surface. Completely eliminating these insects may take up to a year, and efforts are underway to use medications to reduce their breeding cycle. The study indicates that these insects thrive at temperatures between 28 to 35 degrees Celsius.
Supreme Court’s Concerns
Expressing concern over this serious issue, the Supreme Court addressed the matter in 2018. The court sternly reprimanded the central government, emphasizing the need for a rigorous approach to preserve the global heritage site. Recommendations were made to take stringent measures for the upkeep and conservation of the Taj Mahal.
As the Taj Mahal undergoes an unexpected transformation, efforts from the ASI and the Supreme Court underscore the importance of preserving this architectural marvel. The battle against Goeldichironomus insects serves as a reminder of the ongoing challenges in safeguarding historical treasures against environmental threats.