With North India battling air pollution, a thick layer of smog engulfed Agra and its iconic monument Taj Mahal on Monday. The 17th-century mausoleum, which draws millions of tourists from across the world, was barely visible under the thick layer of smog, videos posted online showed.
“We have been waiting for an hour but nothing can be seen,” a tourist who had come to visit Taj Mahal, told the news agency ANI.
#WATCH | Uttar Pradesh: Taj Mahal in Agra engulfed in a layer of haze today amid the rise in air pollution levels.
(Visuals shot at 9:35 am today) pic.twitter.com/VWFXeX3CFz
— ANI (@ANI) November 6, 2023
It was not the first time that the Taj Mahal — one of the wonders of the World and the pinnacle of Mughal architecture — has disappeared under a blanket of smog. In 2021, visuals of the smog engulfing the Taj Mahal went viral on social media platforms.
In Agra, the air quality index (AQI) around 11 am was pegged at 171, which falls under the “moderate” category.
The PM2.5 concentration in Agra on Monday morning was said to be 6.5 times above the recommended limit given by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) air quality guidelines value.
Meanwhile, the air quality in Delhi, which is about 240 kilometres from Agra, remained severely polluted for the fifth consecutive day on Monday morning with the AQI still in the ‘severe’ category.
The national capital continued to battle the apocalyptical air pollution with the overall AQI being recorded at 488.
In view of the increasing air pollution levels, the Delhi government has shut schools up to class 5 till November 10. Schools up to classes 6-12 have also been advised to run online classes.