History & Culture

1.5 lakh people swamp Taj on Diwali weekend

AGRA

India’s best loved, much visited and most famous — by far — monument is in some real and present danger.

On Diwali weekend, there were a staggering and unbelievable 1.5 lakh people inside the Taj Mahal, and doing pretty much what they pleased. While many were merrily clicking pictures in the mausoleum (a strict no), others were running their sweaty palms down Shah Jahan’s labour of love (another big no), reports Times of India.

And as shoe covers had run out of stock (as usual), innumerable tourists were seen stomping around in their shoes, turning the lone policeman’s duty there into a nightmare. Experts now believe that if this kind of unregulated and undisciplined traffic goes on, the damage to India’s biggest tourist attraction will be irreversible.

The extended Diwali weekend starting Thursday was said to be the reason for this record sale of tickets at the Taj. This chaotic situation was, however, not really unprecedented. It’s quite often of late that thousands of visitors, many of them unruly, have converged at the 360-year-old tomb and Unesco world heritage site.

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