New Taj Mahal rules enforce time limit, toffee ban
THE TAJ MAHAL is India’s biggest tourist attraction, enticing over eight million visitors a year who come to admire the 17th-century monument.
Originally constructed by an emperor to commemorate a great love, it has now become an iconic symbol of India.
Four centuries after its completion, the palace still stands, gleaming in all of its white marble glory. The palace attracts up to 50,000 visitors a day during peak seasons.
The influx of admirers wanting to soak up the culturally significant landmark and attempting to get that classic picture by the pond has led authorities to rethink how long tourists can spend at the site.
Officials from the Archaeological Survey India (ASI), which run the Taj Mahal, have agreed that as of Sunday, a three-hour maximum time allowance will be enforced to better manage crowd control.
Officials with the ASI told The Times of India that tickets will be manually time-stamped and checked by staff.
Anyone who exceeds their time slot could risk paying a hefty fine, on top of the US$15 price tag already set for foreign visitors.
The new regulations come as overcrowding at the site has become unmanageable for staff and unbearable for fellow tourists.
However, this certainly isn’t the only rule to abide by at the monument.
Here are a few other words of advice to keep in mind when at the Taj Mahal.
By entering the site, you agree to cooperate in keeping it neat and clean. If you’re seen littering, you’ll have a bunch of angry tourists and staff telling you off.
It is also forbidden to eat or smoke on the Taj Mahal’s grounds. The website specifically lists toffees as an “eatable” which should not be consumed.
Perhaps there has been a few sticky situations in the past involving toffees.
Also, while it is okay to take in a camera and mobile device, make sure it is on silent and don’t attempt to take in extra batteries or a power bank as you’ll be turned away.
Lastly, don’t extend your selfie stick at the Taj Mahal as they are strictly banned. Try asking other people to take a picture for you, you know, the old-fashioned way.
This is how to say, “Please could you take a picture for me?” in five useful languages.
Hindi: kya aap mere lie ek photo le sakate hain?
Malay: Boleh tolong ambilkan gambar untuk saya?
Chinese: Qǐng nǐ néng wéi wǒ pāizhào mā
French: Excuse-moi, monsieur/madame, pouvez-vous nous prendre en photo, s’il vous plait?
German: Könnten Sie bitte ein Foto für mich machen?