India’s World heritage sites Taj Mahal and Agra Fort is going to reopen from September 21. The heritages were closed for almost six months because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
But initially, only 5,000 tourists would be allowed at the Taj and 2,500 at Agra Fort daily.
Before the corona situation, the Taj Mahal used to have daily 80,000 people, and the Agra Fort had nearly 30,000 people on weekends. Seriously.
Moreover, Agra’s district magistrate Prabhu N Singh said that visitors will have to wear face masks at all times and thermal screening would be conducted at the entry gates.
He further said that the hotel industry will have to be more cautious as Covid cases are still rising across the nation.
“All arrangements have already been made at these monuments as per the culture and health ministries’ guidelines,” said ASI superintending archeologist (Agra circle) Vasant K Swarnkar, adding that entry tickets will be issued by e-mode only and ticket windows will remain shut.ASI superintending archeologist (Agra circle) Vasant K Swarnkar
- All entry ticket bookings will be done by QR codes standees deployed at the East and West gates of the monument, He informed.
- As per a report by TOI, he also informed that the entire area will be sanitized two times a daily basis and there would be small posters advising travelers to maintain social distancing and not touch the marble surfaces, doors and railings will be pasted across the monuments.
- “Group photography will be prohibited, a time limit of 3 hours will strictly be followed and visitors will be advised to keep a sanitiser and water bottle with them as a precautionary measure,” said Swarnkar.
The Taj Mahal along with other monuments in Agra was closed on March 17th due to a Covid pandemic.
Previously, other monuments in the area, including Fatehpur Sikri, were opened by the district authorities from September 1st.
The ministry of the Union had allowed the nationwide opening of all monuments protected under ASI from July 6th.
Local tourism industry hailed the decision of the Agra administration of opening the two most popular world heritage sites.
“This step would not only rejuvenate the tourism of Agra but would also make a positive contribution to the global tourism industry and would drive the subcontinental tourism,” said Rajeev Saxena, vice-president of Agra Tourism Guild,
He also said that the government should announce the start of international airlines and start issuing tourist visas for those aspiring to see the Taj Mahal.