Strong storm damages minarets at gates of Taj Mahal

LUCKNOW, India - An official says a powerful storm has toppled two minarets at the entry gates of the Taj Mahal in northern India, but no damage was done to the white marble monument.

An official of the Archaeological Survey of India, Bhubanesh Kumar, said Thursday the damage was minor and will be repaired by experts.

He said winds during the storm Wednesday night reached 130 kilometres (80 miles) per hour.

One of the damaged minarets was a 3-meter (12-foot) metal pillar at the main gate. The other was a smaller pillar at the southern gate used by visitors to reach the monument.

The 17th century Taj Mahal attracts more than 7 million visitors a year. It was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

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