After six months of being closed for the public, the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort have finally opened their doors for visitors yesterday. Here is what you need to keep in mind before planning a trip to these heritage monuments. By Amitha Ameen

 

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Both, the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort were closed for visitors since March 17, two days before the national lockdown was implemented to curb the spread of the global pandemic. “It is perhaps for the first time that the Taj Mahal, credited with attracting the largest number of tourists to India, has been closed for such a protracted period, said former president of Tourism Guild Arun Dang” (as reported on Hindustan Times).

Previously, the Taj Mahal was closed briefly during the floods of 1978 and during the second and third world wars where the white monument was covered with a black cloth to avoid being hit by air missiles. But this year, it was the first time ever that the monument was closed for such a long duration.

 

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If you, like the rest of us in the country, are planning a trip to these heritage monuments, then these are some of the protocols you need to follow while heading there.

– Number of visitors will be restricted to ensure social distancing is maintained and to avoid crowding at counters. While the Taj Mahal will cap visitors at around 5,000 per day, Agra Fort will allow 2,500 visitors daily. The visitors for both monuments will be split into pre-lunch and post-lunch groups.

– Licensed photographers who are usually available within the premises will not be allowed to enter together at the same time; instead, they will be assigned with time slots during which they can be inside and approach tourists.

 

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– Tickets will be sold online and visitors can check for them on the official website and the mobile phone app of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). And, the Taj Mahal will remain closed to the public on Fridays and Sundays.

– Visitors will also have to adhere to thermal scanning, regular sanitization, and follow social distancing guidelines while within the premises of the monuments.

Related: Taj Mahal Tops The List Of Most Googled Monuments In The World