Pay extra to visit mausoleum of Taj Mahal
Tourists who want to visit the graves and architecture inside the tomb would have to pay RS.200 more. The decision comes after Union culture minister Mahesh Sharma’s visit to Agra on Sunday night.
To preserve the Taj Mahal for the generations to come, the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) that conducted a study on the Taj’s load-bearing capacity. The study recommended that the number of footfall must be reduced as an immediate step to protect its integrity.
Although, this year the government restricted the number of tourists visiting per day but it was not a viable option. The hike in prices is not to generate revenue, but to ensure that only people who are genuinely interested enter the area.
A group of preservationists warned in 2011 that the monument was in danger of collapsing within five years. It said the ivory-white marble building began to show cracks in 2010 and its wooden foundation was eroding.
Smog has been slowly yellowing the Taj’s brilliant marble and conservationists have long fought to close polluting industries near the monument. Interventions, including using mudpacks to draw remove the stains; have failed to arrest the slow decay of India’s biggest tourist attraction.
The Taj Mahal attracts millions of visitors every year, an average of 22,000 every day. And, during peak tourist season and other occasions, the number of tourists inside the complex crosses 60,000 to 70,000 every day.
The Taj Mahal was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. It is one of the Seven Wonders of the World which is considered as the most photogenic destinations of India. It is one of the most exquisite structures ever built by any emperor. It was constructed by the fifth Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the fond memory of his favorite wife Mumtaj Mahal. The Taj Mahal in terms of architecture, is one of the most symmetrical structures in the world, constructed using pure white marble and adorned with precious and semi precious stones. The construction started in 1631 and got completed in 1653 AD; 20,000 workers worked day and night together for 22 years.