Agra: Once the cynosure for tourists across the globe, Sheesh Mahal – the palace of mirrors at Agra Fort, is losing its sheen owing to poor maintenance.

The historical monument once the restroom of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan’s wife Mumtaz Mahal has a series of mirrors which are etched on the walls and roofs. Such is the object d’art that even a slight ray of light can light up the entire room and every mirror will have its reflection.

But, due to defacing of the Mahal by the tourists it got spoilt and during its repair works the required lens could not be found. The mesmerizing sight of the Sheesh Mahal made everything lively about the artifact.

After Mumtaz’s death on June 17, 1631, the maintenance of the artifact witnessed a steep decline. On the 380th death anniversary of  Mumtaz Mahal on Friday, the historical monuments stands as a picture of neglect.

The mirrors outside and inside the Mahal were damaged by some tourists due to which rest of the mirrors also got affected and collapsed.

Although few years back, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) had closed the entry of tourists in the Sheesh Mahal. Around 21 years back, ASI placed new mirrors in the outside hall during the restoration process. However, despite the efforts the interiors could not be maintained.

According to sources, convex and concave mirrors are needed for its conservation and after much effort concave mirrors were not found.

Meanwhile few officers objected that the conservation work will end the originality and the repair works were halted.

Since then, no efforts have been made to conserve it again. ASI’s Superintendent Archaeologist ID Dwivedi said at present there is no proposal for restoration of Sheesh Mahal. “Unavailability of resources is not a reason and the restoration will start once the proposal is made,” he added.

JPN/Bureau