Taj Mahal entry fee hiked, Rs 200 to see main mausoleum
Those keen to visit the iconic Taj Mahal in Agra will have to shell out more from April 1. The Centre has decided to introduce Rs 200 charge for seeing the main mausoleum and also raised the entry fee to Rs 50 from Rs 40. The new rules include a three-hour validity for tickets bought by domestic tourists.
As of now, there is no separate fee for entry to the main mausoleum that houses the spectacular marble graves of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and his wife Mumtaz Mahal. There was no time restriction on the tickets, either.
Talking to reporters on Tuesday, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said the changes have been effected to “preserve the Taj Mahal” and for a better crowd management. Sharma said a recent report by the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) recommended immediate steps to reduce the number of footfalls into the mausoleum to protect its integrity.
Claiming that everyone visiting the Taj Mahal is not interested in entering the mausoleum, Sharma said the move would not only help generate more revenue but also protect the fabric of the 17th century wonder.
The Taj Mahal attracts millions of visitors every year at an average of 22,000 every day. During peak tourist season, the number of tourists inside the complex crosses 60,000 to 70,000 every day. Presently, there is no check on number of footfalls visiting the historic monument.
Sharma also said the Ministry had taken special steps to ensure the comfort of foreign tourists who pay Rs 1,250 for an entering the Taj Mahal.
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