The three-hour limit has been implemented at everyone's favourite Indian tourist spot - the Taj Mahal. Visitors who spend more than the stipulated time will be charged an additional fee. The tokens allotted for entry at the monument will be valid only for three hours. Moreover, the UP government has also installed turnstile gates to prevent unauthorised entry at the monument.
Superintendent, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Basant Kumar told news agency, "Seven turnstile gates have been installed at both the East and West entry point. 5 gates are for the exit. For the entry of foreign tourists, there are separate gates. Entry is only through token which is valid for three hours, exceeding which, a visitor is required to recharge it at the counter at the exit gates."
This comes as a disappointing development for visitors who could earlier stay at the Taj Mahal from opening time, which is 30 minutes before sunrise till closing time, which is 30 minutes before sunset.
Moreover, in December last year the ticket prices for visitors wanting to see the main mausoleum were increased by an additional Rs 200. Following the Rs 200 uptick in prices, Indian visitors are now required to pay Rs 250 and foreign visitors Rs 1,300 to see the main mausoleum at the 17th-century monument. Visitors from SAARC countries pay Rs 740 instead of Rs 540.
Visitors who buy the Rs 50 ticket are not allowed to enter the main mausoleum, but only to move around the Taj and see the rear side, the Yamuna river front at the back.
Earlier this year, in February, the Supreme Court reprimanded the UP government for not doing enough for the upkeep of the World Heritage Site. A Supreme Court bench, led by Justice SA Bobde expressed concerns about the protection and preservation of the Taj Mahal as well as its upkeep according to the international standards.
The apex court had then asked for a vision document from the UP government for the protection and preservation of the Taj Mahal.