Taj Mahal to be Moved '800 metres to the South East'?

The Government of India just announced its intention to rip down the four famous minarets of the Taj Mahal and re-construct them in a new, lightweight polymer used in ocean-going racing yachts.

As early as 1652 it was reported that the Taj Mahal was sinking - built on the banks of river Yamuna in Agra, the Taj Mahal's architects took great care to distribute its weight evenly, but just four years after its completion cracks were discovered, which had to be repaired. 250 years later, in 1810, more serious cracks re-surfaced, apparently because the northern side of the Taj was lower than south by 3-4 cms, threatening to topple it into the river.

Then last year Professor Avril Buffon of the University of Nantes reported that a recent survey undertaken in partnership with the Government of India's Archaeological Survey of India (who run the Taj),  had discovered that the underground vaults were crumbling. Professor Buffon's radical solution was to move the whole structure 800 metres to the south east - but so far the Government of India has baulked. Last week they unveiled their own solution - dismantling the heavy minarets and rebuilding them in the lighter material. V. J. Shah, Delhi's minister for historic monuments, also announced that they would be selling off slabs of the milk-white marble from the minarets to what he called 'sponsors' in a bid to pay for the renovations. This drew a furious response from Hafiz Usman of the Sunni Waqf Board in Uttar Pradesh state, who have claimed ownership of the Taj Mahal for many years.

Professor Buffon commented: "It will only be a matter of time before they realise that the only solution is to move the structure - lock, stock and tonneau"

A petition has been started to pressurise the Government of India to reconsider.

Comments by other travellers

Taj mahal is very beautiful place in India.

Surely engineers can figure out how to support the Taj from below without destroying the minarets, or even worse moving the whole structure downstream 800 meters. The Taj is one of the most perfect and buildings ever constructed and is not only the prized patrimony of all Indian citizens, but of the whole world. Destroying the minarets and recreating them in plastic reduces the whole thing to a Disneyland attraction. India has more multi-billionaires than almost any place else in the world. Why don't they do a big capital campaign worldwide, with the base angels from this billionaire pool?

Follow the links to Professor Avril Buffon's website, before you get your panties twisted, fools.

Wow, they might want to consult a civil engineer instead of an archeologist. Of course all they got was a fantasy answer from that guy. There must be a practical engineering solution to stabilize the foundation of this historic landmark.

Keep it as what it is. Don't change anything. There must be somthing else we could do to solve the problenm. it's a very beautiful building, it would be shame to rebuild it!

I am a tunisian touristic guide and i know that archeologists have considerable technological alternatives to reconsider this ugly, poor and pityful decision concerning a humanity inheritage. I wish that polotical authorities will not allow this and that they'll be more objective in such a vital matter for all humanity...so please don't look for money just save it...for future generations

I think that the TAJ MAHAL is beautiful, and i want the indian government get the best material. So that it will last a lifetime.

Taj is just not any other monument,i really hope that the goverment of India should really utilize their heart too while dealing with this matter.Taj should be repaired with all due respect and care,its symbol of love and does not deserve such harsh treatment.I belive Taj is matter of pride for every Indian and for all those person who belive in love.Its an humble request to government of Indai do'not commit any wrong to such an extent that neither Taj nor we(Taj lovers)can sustain.

Please, don't touch of this wonder, it's like to move Machu Pichu or Pyramids. The Taj Mahal is a sanctuary, you can not change history and if you move it, the power of this site will be lost.

So, is this an April Fool's joke? What does "Buffon" mean? Is it just because her first name is French for "April?" I am really not sure whether to sign this now or not....

Please,dont even tatch it only make the sides of river faster.

Hope that this is the first of May tsoke.

"Avril Buffon", eh? Nice try for the 1st of April, April Fool's Day!!

Are you kidding me with this? Whoever suggested the idea of bring down minarets and restructuring them using whatever modern material doesn't have the slightest grasp of what HISTORIC MONUMENT mean !! It's not there for us to destroy and rebuild it. It's there for us to preserve it. If ancient pyramids were crumbling down would you suggest re-building it or finding ways to preserve whatever has left of it? There are some things that can't EVER be re-built no matter how advance our technology is.

Please preserve the symbol of love before it's too late. It's one of the best things every designed by a human. Please don't let it mingle with mud.

Taj is the sign of LOVE,and it has been our pride for centuries we surely want u to save it but not by selling its part how could the govt even think of doing it "SHAME ON U".

Oh dear Sofie and Nigel have you not noticed the date - or more obviously the name of the 'professor' Avril Buffon!

PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE keep all the original parts together. We don't want to see a plastic replica of this great monument!!! We want to see the original thing. Selling off bits would be sacrilege and an insult to Mumtaz. Surely she deserves better? There must be another way to conserve her famous tomb that was built out of love. Please treat her with the love, honour and respect she deserves.

Are the Indian government mad. The most iconic monument in the world being plastercast in a lightweight polymer. We live in the 21st Century this amazing building was built in the 1600 and stands for centuries now we want to destroy it and sell parts. I think the Indain Government has resources and the knowledge to move it the required 800 metres or strengthen its foundations. Its big scale underpinning. We have contructed iconic structures like the Palm in Dubai, the airport in Japan etc and with modern architects and construction engineers we cannot save the Taj Mahal. Its a disgrace and the Indian Government especially Mr V.J. Shah should be embarassed at even suggesting the proposed plans. Please think it over and as an Indian I am dumbfounded and ashamed to read such a statement from a Minister. He should resign his postion with immediate effect. He does not have a grasp of what the TAJ MAHAL is to many people and the sentimental value it has to Indian culture.

1 Reply

Nigel - quite right to be outraged. If it was true - this was posted on april 1st...

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  • James Dunford Wood

    Founder and former MD of Travelintelligence.com, James teamed up with online publisher James Blackwell to launch Worldreviewer …

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