Tourists visiting the Taj Mahal will have to pay more from April 1 as the government has decided to introduce a Rs-200 charge for those wishing to see the main mausoleum of the heritage site, and also raise the entry fee to Rs 50 from Rs 40.
Speaking at a media briefing, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said the changes have been effected to “preserve the Taj Mahal” and for better crowd management.
As of now, there is no separate fee for entry to the main mausoleum, where the graves of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and his wife Mumtaz Mahal lie.
“We need to preserve the Taj Mahal for generations to come. New ‘barcoded’ tickets would cost Rs 50 instead of the earlier Rs 40 and it would be valid only for three hours,” said Sharma.
“A separate ticket of Rs 200 will be needed to enter into the main mausoleum at the Taj Mahal to ensure the protection of the area and better crowd management.”
The Supreme Court today directed the Uttar Pradesh government to file within four weeks a vision document for protection and preservation of the Taj Mahal.
The apex court also directed the state government to explain why there was a sudden flurry of activities in and around the Taj Mahal and the Taj Trapezium Zone (TTZ) and why leather industries and hotels were coming up there.
‘File the vision document’
TTZ is an area of about 10,400 sq km spread over the districts of Agra, Firozabad, Mathura, Hathras and Etah in Uttar Pradesh and Bharatpur in Rajasthan. “You file the vision document within four weeks,”a bench comprising Justices M B Lokur and Deepak Gupta said.
“There is sudden flurry of activities in TTZ. Is there any particular reason for that? Leather industries and hotels are coming up there. Why?,” the bench asked Additional Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta, who was appearing for the state.
Mehta told the top court that he would get instructions on this issue and get back to it.
I passed through the elaborate gate at the main entrance – a beautiful construction unto itself – and gasped as I looked through the rounded frame. There it was… the elaborate, dazzling white marble castle-like structure that inspires so many dreams.
Commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, the purpose for the Taj Mahal was to be the mausoleum for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, a Persian princess who died giving birth to their 14th child. The Taj Mahal is set on 42-acres of beautifully manicured grounds with abundant flowers and a reflecting pool leading to the ornate tomb. There’s also a mosque and a guest house.
I had to stop just after entering the gate to reflect on and admire the beauty of India’s most famous monument. The 115 ft. onion dome dominates the skyline, not only because of its size, but also the design elements. Surrounding the tomb are four slender minaret towers that lean slightly outward, so as not to damage the tomb in case of an earthquake.
Member of India’s ruling BJP party calls for destruction of the monument in Agra, saying a temple should replace it.
An Indian politician has sparked fresh controversy after saying that Taj Mahal, a popular tourist destination in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, will soon be turned into a Hindu Temple.
The stunning white marble mausoleum was built in the 17th century by Mughal King Shah Jahan in memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, in Agra, about 200km from the Indian capital, New Delhi.
Vinay Katiyar, a member of parliament for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), told local media on Monday that “there is not much difference between Taj and Tej [Mandir]”, referring to a Hindu far-right claim that a temple existed in place of Taj Mahal.
“It was our temple. Taj Mahal will be converted into Tej Mandir soon,” he said.
This is not the first time that Katiyar, who is currently facing a criminal trial for his role in the demolition of the 16th century Babri mosque in 1992, has made such a claim.
Emmanuel Macron has thrown his presidential weight behind calls for the United Nations to recognise France’s beloved baguette as a “cultural treasure.”
“I know our bakers,” the youthful president said after hosting a group of master bakers and apprentice bread and pastry makers at the Elyséé palace for the traditional sharing of “galette des rois” cakes to mark the new year.
“They saw that the Neapolitans had managed to get their pizza classed on UNESCO’s world heritage list, and they said why can’t we do this for the baguette. And they’re right,” he said.
The baguette, Mr Macron proudly declared, is envied around the world.
“We must preserve its excellence and our expertise, and it is for this reason that it should be heritage-listed,” he said.
If he gets his way, the “baguette de tradition” could be on the road to UNESCO glory.
The current charges for the ticket for Indians at the Taj Mahal are Rs 40, an ASI proposal could raise the price up to Rs 50. Foreigners are presently charged Rs 1000, the new ticket prices could be Rs 1,100.
Stakeholders in the tourism industry opposed the Archaeological Survey of India’s (ASI) proposed hike on ticket rates for both foreign and domestic tourists visiting the Taj Mahal.
They objected to the second hike in two years and stressed on the need to focus on tourist problems like crowd management instead of ‘commercialisation’ of historical monuments.
According to the ASI proposal, ticket rates will be hiked for domestic tourists, nationals from SAARC and BIMSTEC countries and foreigners from other nations.
The ticket cost at monuments in Agra will include the share of both ASI and Agra Development Authority (ADA). The current charges for the ticket for Indians are Rs 40.
Before the Taj Mahal emerges from its mud pack treatment, take a look at 22 stunning pictures of this monument of love.
The Taj Mahal in Agra has been in the news this week for all the wrong reasons. From temporarily passing an order to restrict visitor entry into the main crypt of the Taj Mahal to proposing daily limits on Indian visitors to the monument to 40,000, there has been much news ink spilled over the fate of one of the world’s most recognised and visited tourist spot.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site, cited as “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage” has now made it to Fodor’s Travel list of ‘No Visit Sites of 2018’. The reason? The facelift work commenced by the ASI to spruce up the ageing surface of the Taj Mahal.
I have this dream of visiting one wonder of the world each year. So Agra was on bucket list for a long time as I thought of starting with the symbol of love (the Taj Mahal) . And I am so glad Agra happened. Such serene is the aura there that it makes coming back damn difficult….
We reached Agra in the afternoon and my itinerary is as follows..
Inclusions: Agra fort and Taj Mahal (night view)
Agra fort – This is a beautiful Fort built by Moghul emporer Akbar. A UNESCO world heritage site, this fort is also called red fort or lal quila. It is made of sandstone and has 4 gates. On clear days, it offers spectacular panoramic view of taj mahal. The Fort has grand structures and intricate carvings like sheesh mahal, khas mahal, anguri bagh, nagina masjid, mina masjid..
Is there a sight more iconic, more beautiful, more jaw-droppingly spectacular than the Taj Mahal?
Quite honestly, we can’t think of one.
At the very least, there’s no mausoleum more grand, no declaration of love more apparent than building a marble masterpiece for one’s favorite wife… And no better reason to travel than seeing its magnificence up close.
After all, this is art. Built in Agra, India between 1631 and 1648, it’s also history. And, of course, it’s the perfect opportunity to take some otherworldly photos. So, to help visitors prepare for their Taj Mahal travels, we’ve prepared a little guide, enlisting the help of some Intrepid experts – from Destination Managers to acclaimed trip leaders – to cover all the bases.
Coming up: what to bring, where to take the best snaps, what else to see in Agra (and beyond), and so much more…
That’s the advice I was repeatedly given about visiting the Taj Mahal in Agra, India. People said Agra was a dirty, dusty, crowded city that didn’t warrant a visit of more than a few hours. Being a bit of a rebel, however, I was unconvinced. Instead, I booked three nights at the DoubleTree by Hilton and hopped aboard a local bus in Delhi, determined to discover the best things to see and do in Agra.
In a nod to conformity, I decided to visit the Taj Mahal on my first day in Agra. A huge percentage of tourists visit this wonder of the world on day tours from Delhi. By 10 a.m., caravans of tour buses are vomiting thousands of visitors onto the grounds.