In a rare and historic event, the Yamuna river water has surged to touch the outer walls of the iconic Taj Mahal complex in Agra after an interval of 45 years, causing flooding in the garden area behind the magnificent 17th-century marble mausoleum. The last occurrence of such flooding was recorded in 1978.
Despite concerns surrounding the rising water levels, officials from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), responsible for safeguarding the UNESCO World Heritage Site, assured the public that the floodwater is unlikely to enter the monument itself.
“The ingenious design of the structure rules out such threats. Water cannot enter the main mausoleum even during high floods. The last time Yamuna floodwater touched the outer walls of the Taj complex was way back in 1978,” stated Raj Kumar Patel, Superintending Archaeologist, ASI (Agra).
🇮🇳 Uttar Pradesh: The water level of the Yamuna River in Agra is steadily rising, to the extent that it has now reached the courtyard of the iconic Taj Mahal. pic.twitter.com/N6ytLutGZk
— JazzTasil ✋ (@TasilJazz) July 19, 2023
The sudden surge in floodwater was witnessed on Monday night following the release of thousands of cusecs of water from Okhla and Gokul barrages in Mathura. As a result, approximately 350 bighas of standing crops in Agra have been submerged.
In response to the flood situation, the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been deployed to Agra to conduct rescue and relief operations.
Government officials reported that the Yamuna is currently flowing at a level of 498 feet in Agra, with the low flood level marked at 495 feet and the medium level at 499 feet. There are concerns that the water levels may exceed 500 feet in the upcoming days.
While authorities reassure that there is no immediate threat to the Taj Mahal itself, low-lying areas surrounding the monument may face potential flooding as water levels continue to rise. As a precautionary measure, residents and authorities in the region are closely monitoring the situation.
The Taj Mahal, an architectural marvel and an enduring symbol of love, attracts millions of visitors from around the world each year. As it stands strong against the floodwater’s onslaught, efforts to protect and preserve this timeless wonder remain a top priority for ASI and local authorities.