One of the Seven Wonders of the World, Taj Mahal was struck by a deadly thunderstorm that rolled across northern parts of the country on Friday, leading to damages in sections of the complex, including the main gate and a railing running below its five lofty domes, officials said on Sunday.
The world famous tourist attraction has been shut since mid-March as part of measures to try and combat the coronavirus pandemic.
While workers can be seen in images on social media assessing the railing of the main mausoleum, after the storm battered Agra, two days back.
“One sandstone railing which was a part of the original structure has been damaged,” Superintending Archaeologist of the Archaeological Survey of India, Vasant Kumar Swarnkar, was quoted by news agency AFP as saying.
“One marble railing which was a later addition, a false ceiling in the tourist holding area and the base stone of the main gate has also been damaged, ” he added.
Although the official clarified that there was no damage to the main structure of the monument to love, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a tomb for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth in 1631.
According to media reports, the thunderstorms and lightning on Friday killed at least 13 people in two Uttar Pradesh districts.
Fatal lightning strikes are relatively common during the June-October monsoon season.
Last year, at least 150 people were killed by lightning in August and September in Madhya Pradesh.