Pandemic forces Taj Mahotsav cancellation for the first time since 1992
The 10-day Taj Mahotsav held annually in February to promote Indian arts, crafts, cultures, cuisine, dance, and music near one of India’s most popular tourist destinations in Agra has been cancelled this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Agra’s district magistrate, Prabhu N Singh, said the carnival will not be held near Taj Mahal because of the pandemic for the first time since it began in 1992.
Authorities last month increased the number of visitors allowed into the 17th-century monument to 15,000 daily. The monument earlier reopened in September months after it was shut in March following a lockdown imposed to curb the pandemic spread.
The cancellation of the festival has come as a fresh setback to Agra’s tourism industry that has been facing massive losses due to the pandemic.
“The concerns of the administration are understandable but the cancellation, for whatever reason, would send a negative message about tourism prospect in the city of Taj,” said Sandeep Arora, president, Agra Tourism Development Foundation.
Rakesh Chauhan, president, Hotel and Restaurant Association of Agra, echoed Arora. “While all the trades are moving in full swing now, the cancellation of Taj Mahotsav would not be a welcome move. However, we understand the reasons leading to such decision.”