Taj Mahal will not welcome visitors today; India postpones reopening

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Taj Mahal Image
The Taj Mahal

The Agra district administration where India’s most famous monument, the Taj Mahal is situated decided against opening all monuments including the 17th-century site in the region citing the rise of coronavirus infection. 

Our team had reported last week that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) protected monuments will reopen from July 6 for tourists.

Agra contains 71 live containment zones with a high concentration of COVID-19 cases which makes reopening of historical monuments detrimental as they would attract large crowds.

Other popular destinations in Agra other than the Taj Mahal monuments of Sikandra, Itimad-ud-daula, Fatehpur Sikri and Agra Fort which are also currently under buffer zones.

The local authorities issued a new advisory yesterday night ordering an extension of lockdown curbs on monuments in and around Agra.“In the interest of the public, it has been decided that opening monuments in Agra will not be advisable as of now,” the district authorities said in a notice published in the regional language, Hindi.

Status of other historical sites such as New Delhi’s Red Fort among others is still unclear.

Monuments in Agra including the Taj Mahal have remained closed since March 17, even before the nationwide lockdown was imposed. Hotels were asked to open but did not get much business with the Taj Mahal, the main tourist attraction of the city closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.