Is Taj Mahal sinking? Read on to know about the legend and myth concerning the sinking of Taj Mahal.

Sinking Taj Mahal Myth

Taj Mahal
As long as there have been magical monuments, there have been mystical and mythical tales surrounding them like fog on a misty morning. And the Taj Mahal of Agra is no exception to it. So, what myth is it this time? It's the myth of the sinking Taj! Standing on the banks of river Yamuna in Agra, Taj Mahal received utmost care in its construction. Its architects took all the possible measures to make sure that the Taj was totally stable. Even its weight was distributed in a uniform way and the strongest bonding material was made use of. Nonetheless, in spite of all the precautions, cracks were discovered in it, just four years after its completion. Though the cause was unknown, it is believed that building Taj Mahal on the banks of river Yamuna played to its disadvantage. After Aurangzeb cited this fact in his letter of 1652, repair measures were taken to solve the problem.

However, again in 1810, cracks surfaced, this time more serious than the previous ones. This time, an advisory committee was constituted to decide on the renovation and preservation of the monument. It came to light that due to the northern side of the Taj being lower than south by 1-11/25(3.5cms), it was tilting towards the riverside. Though the exterior of that Taj is intact, the cracks were noticed on its second storey and the underground vaults below the northern side. There may be two reasons for these cracks. Either the lime may be crushing due to excessive weight or the Taj is sinking towards the riverside. If it's the sinking, slow but gradual shift of the weight of the entire structure could settle in an unequal way and may even crack at the weak points, particularly the summits of vaults and arches.

Moreover, this myth has recently gained more popularity and is now on the brink of turning into a possibility. The cause stems up from drying up of the river Yamuna. Many experts and activists fear that this myth could actually come true if the depletion of river Yamuna continues like this. The architects behind Taj Mahal, masterminds as they were, no doubt, were no prophets and failed to take into account the possibility of Yamuna drying up. But what damage could this cause? The fact that the marble mausoleum is propped on an ebony wood base that needs moisture to retain its strength, continuous depletion of water from Yamuna caused by drawing up of water for industrial purposes and construction of dams & canals that have further restricted the steady flow of water, and Yamuna drying up completely during the summer months gives rise to the possibility of sinking Taj.