Visitors coming to the famed Taj Mahal in Agra will now required to buy an additional ticket if they want to see the main mausoleum inside the complex. The existing Rs 50 ticket will let people only move around the white marble marvel and see the rear side of it where the Yamuna river flows.
The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) introduced the new ticketing system for Taj Mahal on Monday. With the increased pricing likely to prove a deterrent, the move is expected to help bring down footfall on the main structure, as it aims to reduce human impact on the fragile 17th century monument.
Those who want to see the main mausoleum, which houses the graves of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and his wife Mumtaz Mahal, at the Taj Mahal will have to buy an additional ticket costing Rs 200 from Monday.
Vasant Swarnakar, ASI chief archaeologist in Agra, said domestic visitors would have to pay Rs 250 while foreign visitors would be charged Rs 1,300 to see the entire Taj Mahal monument. Foreign visitors were earlier charged an entrance fee of Rs 1,100.
The ticket price for visitors from SAARC countries increases to Rs 740 from Rs 540.
It was the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute that had originally suggested two tickets, to help reduce the number of visitors to the main structure.
According to reports, the tourism industry is not happy with the increase, as they fear the move could hit arrivals.
One of the finest specimens of the Mughal architecture, the Taj Mahal was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.
(With agency inputs)