- The iconic Taj Mahal in Agra, India, has been affected by devastating floods caused by the Yamuna River reaching its highest level on record.
- Experts warn that climate change is increasing the frequency and severity of floods in the region.
- Northern India, including Agra, remains at high risk of further flooding due to continuous heavy rainfall and water releases from barrages.
- India, as the world’s most populous nation, is one of the countries worst affected by the climate crisis, potentially impacting 1.4 billion people nationwide.
- Urgent climate action is needed to protect not only the Taj Mahal but also other vulnerable World Heritage sites from extreme weather events and erosion.
- Scientists emphasise that the world must take immediate measures to address climate breakdown, as billions of lives remain at risk.
- The Taj Mahal has already faced challenges from air pollution, insects, and tourism, which have caused damage to its exterior and mausoleum.
- Other cultural heritage sites, such as ancient Buddhist cave murals along China’s Silk Road and heritage sites in South Korea, are also under threat due to climate change-induced rainfall.
- The situation calls for a global effort to mitigate the impacts of the climate crisis and protect cherished landmarks for future generations.
Agra, India: In a rare event, the renowned Taj Mahal, one of India’s most iconic monuments and a major tourist attraction, has been engulfed by floodwaters from the Yamuna River. Videos and images on social media showed floodwaters lapping at the compound walls of the 17th-century Mughal marvel on Tuesday, causing concern among experts who warn that such occurrences could become more frequent due to the escalating climate crisis.
The recent floods have wreaked havoc across northern India, with the Yamuna River, a tributary of the Ganges, reaching its highest level on record. Last week, the river measured 208.57 meters (about 684 feet), prompting mass evacuations in several states and tragically claiming dozens of lives.
Reading Suggestion: UAE-India Travel: Guidelines for Cash Limits for NRIs and Tourists
Though floods are a common phenomenon during the monsoon season from June to September, climate change has exacerbated their severity and frequency. Indian authorities have issued warnings for areas in northern India, including Agra, which remain at high risk of further flooding in the upcoming weeks due to continuous heavy rainfall and water being released from barrages.
India, as the world’s most populous nation, is one of the countries hardest hit by the climate crisis, affecting approximately 1.4 billion people nationwide, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
NASA climate scientist Peter Kalmus stresses the urgency of the situation, stating, “There is no stronger sign that climate breakdown is here… Billions of lives remain at risk.”
In addition to the immediate threat from floods, the Taj Mahal has already endured years of environmental challenges, including air pollution, insects, and the wear and tear caused by the influx of tourists. The impact has led to the yellow-green discolouration of parts of the monument’s exterior and damage to its iconic mausoleum.
This incident also raises concerns about the vulnerability of other World Heritage sites to extreme weather events, with ancient Buddhist cave murals and statues along China’s Silk Road and cultural heritage sites in South Korea already experiencing damage due to climate change-related rainfall.
As India and the rest of Asia reel from the escalating climate crisis, experts emphasise the urgent need for action to mitigate the devastating impacts and protect cherished cultural landmarks like the Taj Mahal for future generations.