India to limit domestic Taj Mahal visitors to 40,000 per day

Another world famous monument fights overtourism. Domestic tourists with a lower priced ticket will be limited to a three-hour tour

India is planning to impose a new rule to protect one of its world-recognised monuments. The 17th-century UNESCO world heritage site Taj Mahal will cap the number of its visitors holding the cheapest tickets and will shorten their visit to three hours maximum.

Taj Mahal will fight against over tourism by capping on the domestic visitors to 40,000 — Supamon R / Shutterstock India
Taj Mahal will fight against overtourism by capping on the domestic visitors to 40,000 — Supamon R / Shutterstock

The Archaeological Survey of India proposed the rule with the aim of preserving the monument, which is currently facing “uncontrollably high” volumes of tourists on weekends and holidays.

Mahesh Sharma, a senior ASI official, confirmed for the Indian Express on Tuesday that the proposals had been sent to the tourism minister who is currently examining it.

“We have no option but to go by these measures,” he told the paper.

The organisation has renewed its efforts to limit the number of people after a stampede at the entry gates injured five people last week.

The cap of 40,000 visitors per day will apply to holders of the $0.63 (40 rupees) tickets, and the three-hour restriction will take place within the Mughal-era complex.

The limitations won't apply to foreign tourists — Hung Chung Chih / Shutterstock Taj Mahal, India, visitors
The limitations won’t apply to foreign tourists — Hung Chung Chih / Shutterstock

The proposal is causing reactions from the domestic visitors who worry about possible disruptions of their itineraries.  

“40 rupees for the ticket is a reasonable price. If the price is hiked it will add to the burden. With a cap of only 40,000 tourists coming, they will have to bear additional expenses of hotel stays creating a lot of problems for tourists. So at least the capping [on the number of visitors] should not be done,” domestic tourist Shyam Singht told Reuters.

Another visitor, Sangeeta Tripathi, said: “I belong to Chandigarh and like me there will be many tourists who will be coming from faraway places. They might have their itinerary so if it becomes a time constraint then this will create a lot of trouble for them.”

No limit of such measures will be imposed on foreign travellers who pay around $16 per visit.