Monday, May 15, 2006

Monkey brings down Taj Mahal gate turret top

The 350-year-old Taj Mahal, which has weathered many a storm over the centuries, could not bear a bit of jostling by a monkey.

A monkey brought down a flower vase carved atop the sandstone turret on the main entrance gate of the monument.

The incident occurred on Sunday morning when a leap by a monkey literally severed the flower vase from the steep turret and brought it down. It is said that the three-and-a-half century-old mortar used to fix the flower vase on the turret easily gave way under the monkey's weight.

"Fortunately, it did not hurt anyone. The passage below is the routine entrance for thousands of tourists visiting the Taj every day," Archaeological Survey of India official B Vikram told over telephone from Agra.

The restoration work was taken up on a war footing and by Monday afternoon, the flower vase was restored at its place. "We have successfully managed to fix the flower vase back after repair," Vikram said, adding, "It was not a very big task. Such minor repairs are undertaken off and on, and we have the expertise to carry these out."

Story here.

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