Tourists might not be able to admire the magnificent Taj Mahal for too long now, as the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is considering limiting the visiting hours at the monument to a maximum of three-four hours in an attempt to manage crowds.
ASI counsel ADN Rao informed the Supreme Court about the proposed norms on Monday and also stated that a proposal to manage crowds inside the 17th century-old world heritage site was also ready, according to local media reports.
"We intend to issue specific colour tickets for every quarter. Once a visitor leaves the premises, the ticket becomes invalid. We don't want the monument to get crowded," Rao said in the Supreme Court on Monday. He added that the process of streamlining crowds will become easier with every visitor holding a ticket of a particular shade.
Visitors generally buy tickets in the morning and tend to stay at the monument till the evening. Rao said that the number of tourists visiting the monument needs to be brought down. Almost 400,000 tourists visit the Taj Mahal every weekend. He claimed that people sit at the garden or on the love benches inside the monument to "kill time and not view the Mughal-era memorial."
However, the ASI is also considering increasing the time limit for viewing the monument on full moon nights from 30 minutes to 45 minutes. Currently, eight groups of 50 people each are allowed to view the monument for half an hour.