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Taj Mahal reopens on Sept 21, tickets available online

There is a daily cap of 5,000 visitors at the Taj Mahal and 2,500 at Agra Fort because of coronavirus. The Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays and Sundays. Tickets will be available online at the ASI website as well as the QR code standees at the monument.

NEW DELHI, Sept 8: The famed Taj Mahal will reopen on September 21 after being closed to the tourists for the last six months due to coronavirus pandemic. Face mask wearing and maintaining physical distancing are mandatory as the epidemic is still raging, and therefore there is a cap on the number of visitors.

Alongside, the Agra Fort will also open. The two monuments have remained closed since March 17, just before the nationwide coronavirus lockdown was clamped on March 25 to prevent the transmission of coronavirus.

The visitors will be thermally checked, asked to santise their hands and will be required to maintain physical distancing at all times while inside the monuments. The monuments also will be sanitised frequently for the safety of the visitors.

While 5,000 visitors will be allowed into Taj Mahal, Agra Fort has limited the number to 2,500 a day. At the Taj Mahal 2,500 visitors will be allowed during morning hours pre-lunch and the next 2,500 visitors can go in in the afternoon, post-lunch. The Agra Fort will allow 1,300 visitors in the morning and 1,200 in the afternoon.

Taj Mahal holidays: The Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays as usual and also on Sundays, the latter being State holiday. The Agra Fort will remain closed on Sundays only.

Tickets will be available online. Visitors can buy tickets from website and the mobile phone app of the ASI. Digital tickets can also be bought by scanning the QR code on standees placed outside the monuments.

The closure of the monuments has inflicted heavy losses on the tourim industry of Agra, tourist organisations have complained. They hope the re- opening will bring some relief to the industry although there will not be any foreign tourists coming as the international flights are yet to resume operations.

This is the first time that the Taj Mahal, which receives the maximum of tourist footfalls in India, has remained closed and that too for such a long time.

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