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Taj Mahal reopens; tight covid restrictions in place; ticket sale online

The Taj Mahal and other monuments reopened on Wednesday with a view to reviving the tourism sector badly hit by the covid pandemic.

AGRA, June 17: The Taj Mahal, a world famous tourist attraction, was reopened on Wednesday as part of the Government's efforts to revive the economy that is reeling under the impact of a ravaging covid pandemic.

The covid restrictions in place, only 650 people are allowed to enter the Taj, situated in Agra, per day now after reopening. Even if the entry restrictions are lifted, until the international travel resumes the footfalls are not likely to pick up. The monument is closed to visitors on Fridays.

Tickets are sold online. Visitors will have to stand on a sponge sanitiser for shoes. They will have to honour the guidelines on covid appropriate behaviour like wearing of mask and maintaining physical distance from others.

The Archaeological Survey of India had announced that the Taj Mahal and other ASI-protected monuments will reopen from June 16. Therefore, New Delhiā€™s Red Fort and Qutub Minar were also reopened to tourists on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, many more tourist destinations are opening, like Shimla in Himachal, for tourists.

The 17th-century royal mausoleum, visited by millions of people every year, was shut on April 4 after the second wave of covid erupted across the country. It was closed during last year's pandemic too.

The State of Uttar Pradesh where the monument stands reported 56 covid deaths in the past 24 hours. It is among the worst-hit States. India as a whole reported 67,208 cases and 2,330 deaths during the last one-day period. Now the total case tally stands at 2.97 cr in the country while the total casualties were 3,81,903, according to the Health Ministry. The new cases continued to be below 1 lakh for the 10th consecutive day. The total tests conducted so far stood at 38.5 cr and the total doses of vaccines administered at 26.5 cr. The vaccine figures for the US were 31 cr, UK 7.2 cr and Brazil 8 cr doses. The global figure of deaths was 38.5 lakh and the total cases 17.78 cr.

Built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaaz Begum, the memorial built on the banks of river Yamuna is considered an icon of Mughal architecture.

CONTACT: Archaeological Survey of India (ASI.) 22, Mall Road, Agra. Ph: +91 0562 2226431; +91 0562 2421204; +91 0562 - 2227261; +91 0562 -2227263; Fax: +91 562 - 2227262 E-mail: circleagra.asi@gov.in

MAIN MAUSOLEUM TICKET: For visiting the main mausoleum of Taj Mahal one has to buy an additional ticket costing Rs 200 apart from the regular ticket costing Rs 50, according to the official website.

TICKETS will be sold only through online at, www.asiagracircle.in because of covid restrictions.

NOTE: Due to covid, night view has been suspended, according to the ASI.

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