Around 70% of the population drinks contaminated water, exposing them to a variety of health risks. The Taj is erected on an elevated platform above a hilltop that is supported by wells underneath it. The wells would have contained water at the time of construction, but now supply groundwater rather than surface water.
The water in these wells may not be fit for drinking today because of contamination from pesticides used on nearby farms or from industrial waste dumped in nearby streams.
The presence of contaminants in the water could lead to problems with the building's foundations. For example, if arsenic is found in high levels in the well water, this would show up as stains in the white marble used in the building's construction. Arsenic is also known to leach into marble over time.
The quality of the building's water was one factor that concerned Indian builders during the creation of the monument. They wanted to make sure that they were using only the best materials available so their monument would be able to stand for many years to come.
Today the quality of the building's water is again becoming a concern for researchers. They are investigating whether changes happening in the environment due to human activity are causing levels of arsenic and other chemicals in the water to rise.
However, the dangers to Taj have evolved with time, and the structure is now susceptible owing to a variety of other reasons that have jeopardized its survival. Encroachment, deforestation, solid waste dumps, rubbish, dropping Yamuna water levels, acid rain, and pollution are all threatening the monument.
Also, illegal excavations for stone trade are becoming a serious problem for the monument. The government has imposed a ban on commercial activities within the sanctuary but it is still possible to sell stones found inside the complex.
The threat of terrorism also remains high. A number of terrorist attacks have been carried out against landmarks across India over the years including two incidents at Mumbai's Taj Hotel in 1993 and 2004. In addition, there has been a rise in vandalism of sites around India with symbols of hatred spray-painted on buildings related to slavery.
Slavery was a common practice throughout the Indian subcontinent until it was abolished in 1843. People owned by slaves were usually treated as property and not given wages. They lived in isolated villages far from home and had little contact with the outside world. This condition still exists in some parts of Asia, particularly in Nepal and Bangladesh. Slavery has been practiced here for hundreds of years and even today many people in the region remain enslaved.
Taj Mahal is created with magnificent gardens and trees that contribute to the mausoleum's visual appeal; yet, all of this shrubbery and plant life requires frequent watering, which is made simpler by placing Taj on the riverbanks of Yamuna, which is a source of plentiful water supply.
The river Yamuna is one of the four main rivers that flow into India from Pakistan. It is also referred to as Jhelum or Jheel in Hindi and Urdu. The word taj means "crown" in English. The tomb was built for the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to commemorate his third wife, who had died before he started work on it. He never finished building her a similar mausoleum.
In total, Shah Jahan ordered the construction of eight buildings within the garden area of the tomb. They include a mosque, two temples, a kitchen, and a palace. The mosque is the most important structure within the garden because it contains a small shrine where food offerings are made by people visiting the tomb.
The temple buildings are also important because they contain many sacred relics that were originally inside the bodies of Hindu gods. For example, there are beautiful blue-and-white plates inside the chest of the goddess Durga. These plates were used to serve food on during religious ceremonies. There are other valuable items such as jewels and gold objects stored in these temples too.