Active + Adventure

Travel's Most Endangered Places

by Peter J. Frank

THE TAJ MAHAL

Where: Agra, India

What's at stake: This may be on your do-it-before-you-die list anyway, but you might want to move it up: The world's most famous mausoleum is under threat from environmental damage, with soot, particulates, and acid rain from nearby factories and refineries turning the monument's white facade a pale yellow. Several restoration projects are being bandied about, including a proposal to temporarily pack the Taj in mud—essentially, a gigantic facial. It's a sad irony that this grand gesture by an emperor to preserve the memory of his wife needs help being preserved itself.

Get thee to: The Oberoi Amarvilas, a luxury hotel just a five-minute walk from the monument. Nearly all rooms overlook the Taj, and staying here overnight means you can appreciate it at its finest hour: sunrise, when the white marble turns various shades of pink—naturally.

For more information:
UNESCO World Heritage

Oberoi Amarvilas
Tel: 800 562 3764 (toll-free)
Tel: 91 562 223 1515
Doubles from $741

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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