At present, the gates Taj Mahal open at sunrise and close at sunset.(HT Photo)
At present, the gates Taj Mahal open at sunrise and close at sunset.(HT Photo)

Viewing Taj at sunrise and sunset may soon be a reality

The proposal to allow tourists to have a view of the Taj Mahal at sunrise and at sunset may soon be a reality as the proposal to open the gates of the monument before sunrise received positive response during a meeting held in Delhi.
By Hemendra Chaturvedi | Hindustan Times, Agra, Agra
PUBLISHED ON JAN 04, 2018 12:41 PM IST

The proposal to allow tourists to have a view of the Taj Mahal at sunrise and at sunset may soon be a reality as the proposal to open the gates of the monument before sunrise received positive response during a meeting held in Delhi on Tuesday.

At present, the gates Taj Mahal open at sunrise and close at sunset.

Tourism bodies in Agra had been demanding that tourists be allowed entry into Taj before sunrise and had made a proposal, which was placed during the meeting held by ministry of culture in Delhi, stated Bhuvan Vikram Singh, superintending archaeologist for Archaeological Survey of India who too was part of the meeting.

“The response was positive strengthening chances of tourists having a view of Taj during sunrise,” he added.

He said the agenda of the meeting was better management of visitors at Taj Mahal, especially during days when the number of visitors rises. “Proposals were placed before the minister for culture. The final decision is yet to be taken,” added Singh.

“The proposal for allowing viewing of sunrise from within Taj was also discussed and might be a reality soon. The meeting in Delhi considered issues related with crowd management within Taj but the need of hour is increasing the number of battery-operated buses, which carry tourists to the gates of Taj from parking space,” stated Rajeev Saxena, secretary of Tourism Guild of Agra.

Discussions were also held for limiting the time of stay by any tourist after purchasing ticket.

“The limitation on the number of visitors in a day is not proper as crowd pressure is not a regular phenomenon and is confined to weekends or extended weekends during holidays,” said Rajeev Tiwari, president of Federation of Travel Association.

“It is wrong to implement step ticketing and cap on number of visitors together. How can one justify increase in ticket rate without increasing facility at Taj. Further, the decision to close Southern Gate is unjustified,” said Sandeep Arora, president of Agra Tourism Development Association.

“Proposal to close Southern Gate of Taj is totally wrong and would affect business of shopkeepers of Southern Gate road of Taj. The ASI and CISF should update arrangements for ticket sale by increasing ticket windows and placing more DFMDs for less wastage of time in security check. The step ticketing is also uncalled for and ticket rate should be uniform, allowing everyone to have equal opportunity to view the graves of Emperor Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Begum,” said Munawwar Ali, a shopkeeper at Western gate and Convenor of UP Aman Committee.

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