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LOOK: Iconic Taj Majal Is Turning Yellow and Green! Here's Why

Jun 05, 2016 03:50 AM EDT
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Early this month, state newspapers in India reported that Taj Mahal, located in Agra, India is turning yellow because of pollution brought by the large-scale burning of municipal solid waste.

According to NDTV, a plea has been filed by an environmentalist explaining that the brown and black carbons coupled by particulate matter released from the burning are responsible for the yellowish color of the white marble monument.

In response, the National Green Tribunal has restrained authorities to burn wastes in Agra, including all municipalities near the 17th-century architecture.

Aside from damage brought by the large-scale burning, the iconic structure was also attacked by swarms of insects, leaving behind green-colored poo and further ruining the majestic structure.

According to Times of India, the insects are called Goeldichironomus which came from the nearby Yamuna river.

The color of the poo, according to entomologist Dr. Girish Maheshvri, is partially digested chlorophyll combined with fecal matter. He noted it will not damage the stone.

Despite this, ignoring the source will do no good. Solving the problem from its roots will start with eliminating pollution to prevent these insects from breeding.

"The deposit on the Taj is water soluble. We are trying to clean it with water. But cleaning the Taj Mahal with water will not solve the problem. We know where and how these insects grow, so if we solve the problem at the basic level, we can stop them from growing in numbers and there will be no marks on the Taj," archaeologist Bhuvan Vikram Singh told DNA India.

Pollution levels in India have been rapidly increasing. Just this year, Greenpeace India said the country's pollution levels are now higher than in China. Agra is among those cities listed as having hazardous pollution levels, a report on National Air Quality Index (NAQI) said.

The Taj Mahal, built by Shah Jahan in 1631 to honor his wife Mumtaz Mahal, was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 for being "the jewel of Muslim art in India."

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