1/4/2018 11:59:30 AM
|written By : Team India Se|
India is considering allowing only 40,000 Indians to visit the Taj Mahal each day to protect the 17th century monument from wear and tear. One of the wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal is visited by up to 70,000 people on weekends and holidays.
There are no plans to curb the number of foreign visitors. Any number of Indians also can visit the monument if they pay the same admission charge as foreigners. Indians normally pay 40 rupees ($0.83) for admission and foreigners 1000 rupees (about $21).
Visitors may not be allowed to spend more than than three hours at the Taj Mahal era under proposals made by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to the Indian tourism ministry.
The ASI has long sought to impose restrictions at the monument, but reportedly renewed its efforts after a stampede at the entry gates last week left five people injured.
The Guardian reports:
Indian tourism numbers are relatively low and visits to the country make up about 1 per cent of global travel. The Taj Mahal is visited by about eight million people a year while the Forbidden City in Beijing attracts about 15 million and Disneyland nearly 18 million.
But now, nearly 400 years old, the famed tribute to Mumtaz Mahal, the deceased wife of Emperor Shah Jahan, is beginning to suffer the ravages of time and the air and water pollution that plagues north India.
Air pollution is turning the Taj Mahal’s marble facade yellow. Monkeys have been blamed for weakening the minarets.
Insects that breed on the heavily contaminated Yamuna river, on the banks of which the Taj Mahal sits, have left green splotches on its surface. Activists are also concerned the falling water table in Agra may be weakening the wooden foundations of the tomb.
According to the Indian tourism ministry, about $2.1 million was spent in the three years to 2016 on conserving the world heritage-listed monument, which generated about $15.8 million from ticket sales and tours in that period.