Taj Mahal entrance ticket valid only for three hours
After restricting the number of visitors per day now the Archaeological Survey of India has decided that the entry ticket to the world heritage monument would be valid for only three hours. The move was necessitated by the surge in the number of visitors.
During peak tourist season, long weekends and festive holidays, the number of tourists visiting the Taj Mahal crosses 60,000 to 70,000. This could prove fatal for the foundations of the monument, said the officials of Archaeological Survey of India. “We’ve had situations where over 50,000 visitors come to Taj Mahal in a single day. The monument space is limited and we cannot extend that. We have to make do with the available area and manage visitors within that limited space. Sometimes it gets very difficult to manage the crowd. There are some visitors who come in early and do not leave till closing time and that create additional stress,” said an Archaeological Survey of India official, adding that limited-validity tickets are expected to sort it out.
In another new beginning, zero-value tickets were introduced for children below 15 years of age at Taj Mahal from Sunday. According to figures given by ASI, a total 5,197 children visited the monument on Sunday. Of these, 4920 were Indians, 256 foreigners and 21 were from SAARC countries. The total number of visitors at Taj Mahal on Sunday was 38,012.
“At present, there is no time restriction for tourists visiting the Taj Mahal but things will change from April 1. The ticket issued from the monument would mention the time and tourists would be required to stay on the Taj premises only for three hours from the time mentioned. These three hours would not overlap with the closing time and the monument would be closed at the scheduled time,” said Mr. Bhuwan Vikram Singh, Superintending Archaeologist for the Archaeological Survey of India, Agra.
Those visitors booking tickets online for the Taj Mahal would be required to specify the time slot of three hours and would be required to visit the monument only during this period. Visitors exceeding this time limit would be required to pay extra.
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.