Taj Mahal opens: First visitor is tourist from Taiwan
New Delhi, Sep 21: Taj Mahal, the 17th century architectural marvel has been opened for public today after being shut since March 17 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The first to enter the monument was a tourist from Taiwan who has been staying in India.
Around 160 tickets were booked online, officials said.
A maximum of 5,000 visitors will be allowed in two shifts per day. Officials said that they had not neglected the monument, despite it being closed for so long. Strict protocols would be followed to check tourists. There will be no window ticket sale. Visitors c an scan the code to purchase tickets or book them online through the ASI website or mobile app.
AN Gupta, conservation assistant, ASI at Taj Mahal said that the lawns were maintained all through the six months. All would go through thermal check and they will be provided with a sanitiser, he also said.
Not more than five visitors will be allowed at a time within the main mausoleum which houses the graves of Shah Jahan and his wife Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal will remain closed on Fridays, Agra District Magistrate, Prabhu Singh said.
"The Taj Mahal will have visitors in two slots - pre-lunch and post-lunch. In each slot, there would be a maximum of 2,500 visitors. Once tickets for the first slot are sold, tickets will be issued for the second slot. In a day, a maximum of 5,000 visitors can visit Taj Mahal," said Vasanth Swarnkar, superintending archaeologist for ASI's Agra circle.