The Taj Mahal and Agra Fort in Agra reopen today after six months. They both reopened today morning following the strict coronavirus safety guideline after being shut since March. Due to the worldwide pandemic both the heritage sites were closed for the public since March 17.
The superintending archaeologist of the Archaeological Survey of India (Agra circle), Mr Vasant Kumar Swarnkar had said in a statement that, all the safety protocols provided in the guidelines by the Centre will have to be adhered to while visiting the mausoleum and the fort. This crucially /involves social distancing and sanitising hands regularly.
Also, only 5,000 visitors will be allowed each day at Taj Mahal- 2,500 before 2 pm and 2,500 after. At the Agra Fort, only 2,500 visitors will be allowed each day. “Masks are mandatory to enter the monuments and all tickets must be purchased online. Ticket counters will not be open,” Mr Swarnkar said.
The Taj mahal attracts over seven million visitors each year comprising a large number of foreign tourists. The Agra fort attracts over 3 million visitors every year. Both the monuments contribute immensely to the Uttar Pradesh revenue.
“It’s incredible and historical at the same time. This is the first time that Taj was shut for six months. We are here to witness the change. The new normal has to be expected and adopted for our good. I have come with my family, stood in the queue, got digital tickets, and all set to see Taj,” a visitor told the news agency.
This move to reopen such heritage sites came in after the Centre gave relaxations in the Unlock phase-four. Although, the COVID-19 cases are still at the rise and Uttar Pradesh is the fifth-most affected state in the nation with over 3.48 lakh COVID-19 cases.