The Taj Mahal, one of the world’s most popular tourist attractions, has reopened after six months of coronavirus lockdown.
The Taj Mahal and Agra Fort were closed to the public on March 17 – a few days before the implementation of the national lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Credited with attracting the highest number of tourists to India, this may be the first time that the Taj Mahal has been closed for such a long period.
The site attracts seven million visitors each year, including a large number of foreign tourists.
Agra Fort welcomes nearly three million visitors a year.
The many monuments contribute massively to the income of Uttar Pradesh.
The reopening comes despite the acceleration of the pandemic in recent weeks – with India set to overtake the United States to become worst-hit country by the Covid-19.
Although the monument was closed during World War II – and also during the two wars with Pakistan in 1965 and 1971 – the closure has never been longer.
“The reopening of the Taj Mahal marks the restart of Indian tourism after being hit by Covid-19, resulting in the monument of love’s longest closure,” said Rajiv Saxena, vice president of the Tourism Guild of Agra.
The local believes that the opening of the Taj Mahal could also solve the lingering unemployment problems and provide an opportunity for all tourism professionals, entrepreneurs, artists and artisans to come out of their isolation and depression, and wait with it. looking forward to a renewed business life. Activities.
To avoid overcrowding and maintain social distancing, no more than 5,000 tourists will be allowed to enter the Taj Mahal each day.
Tourists at Agra Fort will be limited to 2,500 per day.
“We will allow visitors to the Taj Mahal at two slots: before lunch and after lunch. In each of these slots there will be a maximum of 2,500 visitors,” said Vasant Swarnkar, chief archaeologist at the Archaeological Survey of India, Agra. Circle – which runs the Taj Mahal.
Authorities allowed selfies but not group photos.
The entire campus was disinfected before the doors opened at 8 a.m. and all officials were seen wearing masks and face shields