Closed for six months due to the nation-wide pandemic, the Taj Mahal re-opened its door for the tourists today. The seven wonders of the world had to shut its door for visitors on March 17 after all heritage monuments protected under the Archeological Survey of India, after discussion with the union ministry of culture, were asked to close for the visitors following the rapid outbreak of SARS-CoV-2. Also Read - Half of Indians May Have Had Coronavirus by February 2021, Says Govt Panel
The Agra Fort, too reopened for the tourists today. Also Read - Marijuana Ingredient, CBD Helps Reduce Lung Damage From COVID-19, Here's How
While visiting the Taj Mahal and Agra fort, safety guidelines issued by the government need to be followed to the T including social distancing, sanitization, thermal screening, Vasant Kumar Swarnkar, superintending archaeologist of the Archaeological Survey of India (Agra circle), as reported by NDTV. Also Read - Durga Puja 2020 Preparations: This Bokaro Village Gets Wi-Fi For the First Time, Thanks to Goddess Durga!
“Only 5,000 tourists are allowed each day at the Taj Mahal- out of which 2,5000 before 2 pm and the rest will be allowed post 2 pm. Whereas at Agra Fort only 2,500 tourists will be allowed every day,” Vasant said.
Taj Mahal every year attracts around seven million visitors every year, majorly foreigners, whereas the Agra Fort witnesses around three million visitors every year. With the ongoing circumstances, the Agra hotels and monuments have seen a massive dent on revenues as monuments generate massive revenue for Agra and the state.
Nishant Vasisht, a visitor shared with news agency ANI, “It’s incredible and historical at the same time. This is the first time ever 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.”
Although most of the historical sites under ASI were opened, Agra Fort and Taj Mahal remained closed as it fell under the containment zone.
With Unlock 4.0, many states and cities have opened inter-state travel amid the COVID-19 scare.
(With inputs from ANI)