US president Barack Obama is expected to visit the Taj Mahal when he arrives in India to attend the Republic Day celebrations on January 26.
Though the programme is to be finalised, a 48-member advance team from the US visited Agra on Tuesday to assess the arrangements at the heritage monument. The delegation, comprising representatives from the White House, the US Embassy, media, doctors and secret services officials, was accompanied by Indian officials from the tourism police, Agra administration and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
The delegation arrived in a special plane at Kheria Technical Airport and reached the Taj Mahal at around 3pm. Senior conservation assistant for ASI, Munazzar Ali, told the team about the monument.
“The queries were mainly regarding protocol associated with the visit of a Head of State at Taj Mahal,” he said. The US officials took first-hand information about vehicle movement along the route from Kheria airport, parking spaces near the eastern gate and about all three gates and surrounding areas of the monument.