To visit the Taj Mahal in Agra, India, you have to purchase a ticket. And now, each ticket comes with a three-hour time limit and an assigned time to enter the complex. Overstaying your three-hour limit will get you fined, and missing your assigned time of entry means you’ve forfeited your ticket. As reported by Lonely Planet:
“Confirming the decision, superintending archaeologist, ASI (Agra circle), Vasant Swarakar told The Times of India newspaper: ‘if tourists exceed their time limit of three hours, they will be charged an extra amount equivalent to the ticket, which will have to be paid at the exit gate. Entry time will also be enforced and if tourists don’t arrive at the slotted time, they will not be allowed entry and will have to buy a new ticket.’ A ticket to the Taj Mahal, which was commissioned by long-standing Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his wife and constructed by some 20,000 artisans, currently costs 1100 rupees (£12.50) for foreign tourists plus an additional 200 rupees (£2.20) to step inside the site’s main mausoleum, while domestic tourists are charged 50 rupees with the same fee to enter the mausoleum.”
The new policies were put in place to keep visitation of the Taj Mahal in check in the interest of the site’s preservation. Up to 50,000 people visit the complex each day per Lonely Planet. As part of a similar effort to keep it in good condition, the Taj Mahal has in the past few years been undergoing a cleaning process involving “mud therapy” and scaffolding that has at times covered part of the building.
My wife and I were fortunate to visit in 2009 and it didn’t disappoint. It’s nice to see efforts to protect it. Just make sure you don’t miss your entry time!
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