Taj Mahal, built in the 15th Century by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan finds its place in the digital world with its debut on microblogging site Twitter.
It is the first monuments to have its own Twitter account. An initiative of the UP tourism, UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav launched twitter handle of the wonders of the world @TajMahal on Independence day ih Lucknow.
Unfortunately, the launch event could not take place at Taj Mahal because of permission issues from Archaeological Survey of India, reports The Hindu.
The first tweet posted on Taj Mahal's page boasted of its grandness and popularity, clearly targeting many tourists who have or may not have visited the monument, known to be a symbol of love. It said: "There are two kinds of ppl in the world. Those who have visited me and follow me here and those who haven't seen me and yet follow me here.(sic)"
The bio of the page reads: "The official Twitter handle of the World's most Loved Monument, located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. One of the wonders of the World."
Interesting campaign targeting tourists
The page also started a Twitter trend #MyTajMemory. Many tourists from across India posted their pictures with the hashtag. Akhilesh Yadav too tweeted a family portrait with Taj Mahal in the background.
Highest grossing tourist spot
The handle seems to have generated even more interest in the monument that is already a top-grossing tourist hot spot. In 2014, the 362-old mausoleum raked in a whooping Rs 21.84 crore, mostly in entrance fees, leaving behind all other monuments in the country. However, one hopes this new buzz created around the monument with its digital presence, also increases the awareness about the damage caused to its white marble due to industrial pollution.
The many threats to the monument
Environment Minsiter Prakash Javdekar informed the Parliament recently: "Taj Mahal in Agra has been identified as a monument which needs to be protected from air pollution."
- Among the many threats to the white marble of Taj, Uttar Pradesh's Firozabad, the city of glass and bangles is one. A survey is on to access the adverse impact of the air pollution caused by its glass units operating within the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ) covering the Taj Mahal and 40 other protected monuments.
- The leather tanneries near the monument and degradation of the Yamuna bed is also responsible for the monument losing its sheen.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology and Environment and Forest headed by Congress MP Ashwani Kumar suggested that a water body should be formed near the Taj Mahal to stop further damage to the Taj Mahal.
The same committee noted that diesel generators in the area around the Taj Mahal are a major source of pollution. Thus it recommended 24-hour power supply in the region.
The government has established Taj Trapezium Authority under the Environment Protection Act, 1986 for mitigation of pollution in TTZ area and to minimise adverse impact of pollution on Taj Mahal.