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Wednesday, 26 September, 2001, 10:24 GMT 11:24 UK
Security tightened at Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal has been threatened before
India has stepped up security around one of the world's famous buildings - the Taj Mahal.

The white marble mausoleum, built by a 17th-century Mogul emperor for his queen, is to be guarded by troops after fears that it might be a possible target of guerilla attacks.

The step was taken after the 11 September attacks on the US.

Taj Mahal
The mausoleum took 22 years to build
Airspace over the monument has also been closed, according to a report in the United News of India.

The agency quoted civil aviation minister Sayed Shahnawaz Hussain as saying: "Henceforth, no aircraft will fly above buildings of significance and national importance."

Security fears

The civil aviation ministry is also carrying out a study to block aircraft from flying over tall buildings elsewhere in India.

It is not the first time that the Taj Mahal has been the subject of security fears.

In 1984 Sikh militants threatened to blow it up, since when the monument has been closed at night.

The Taj Mahal is on the bank of the Yamuna River in Agra and was built by the Mogul emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his wife, princess Mumtaz Mahal, who died in childbirth.

Construction began in 1631 and was completed in 22 years.

In 1968 flautist Paul Horn made a famous solo recording at night in the dome of the building.

His LP Inside The Taj Mahal went on to sell more than one million copies and became one of the earliest example of what has since become known as new age music.

See also:

20 Sep 01 | Music
Vengaboys cancel Indian concert
07 Sep 01 | South Asia
Calcutta Metro plays calming music
20 Jul 01 | South Asia
New road to the Taj Mahal
08 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Shankar is presented with CBE
24 Jun 99 | South Asia
Indian music - now online
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