Human load is a growing threat to Taj Mahal growing

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From three metres 25 years ago, the length of the 'chadar' offered by the devout at the annual Shah Jahan Urs in the Taj Mahal has increased to 450 metres this time. The number of faithful has risen from a dozen to nearly 100,000.

With thousands freely entering the majestic Taj Mahal for the three-day Urs celebrations that end Sunday, questions are being raised over the security of the white marble wonder that thousands come to see from all over the world.

This year, for the 356th Urs, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and tourism circles estimate that a record 100,000 people will have visited the 17th century monument. The Taj contains the graves of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and his wife Mumtaz Mahal and putting a 'chadar', or sheet, over these graves is a Sufi way of honouring the departed....

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