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Published on Sunday, September 20, 2020

Taj Mahal reopens






India's most iconic tourist attraction finally reopens to the public on Monday 21 September.


It is a boost for struggling hotels across the city of Agra, which have seen little business since the famed monument closed six months ago.


Agra Fort will also open the same day.


"We were waiting for the government to reopen Taj Mahal under Unlock 4 guidelines as they were reopening everything in a phased manner. Businessmen are happy with this decision as we host people from across the world who come here to see Taj Mahal," Rajkant, a hotel owner told local media.


According to Agra district magistrate Prabhu N Singh, daily capacity at Taj Mahal will be capped at 5,000 visitors.


Agra Fort will be restricted to 2,500 people a day.


"We will allow visitors at Taj Mahal in two slots: pre-lunch and post-lunch. In each of these slots, there will be 2,500 visitors at the most," said Vasant Swarnkar, superintending archaeologist of Archaeological Survey of India.


"For Agra Fort, we will allow 1,300 visitors in the morning and 1,200 in the afternoon.


Tickets must be reserved online or via the Archaeological Survey of India mobile app.


Taj Mahal will be closed on Fridays and Sundays, while Agra Fort will be closed only on Sundays.


"Visitors will be thermally checked, asked to sanitise their hands and will be required to maintain physical distancing at all times while inside the monuments. The monuments themselves will be sanitised from time to time so that there is no scope for the spread of Covid-19," Swarnkar added.


 


Written by Ray Montgomery, Asia Pacific editor

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