The Indian government has announced that it will fine tourists with the obligation to buy a new ticket to the Taj Mahal if they spend more than three hours enjoying the lavish mausoleum of Agra recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, according to the local Indian press.
The measure was taken by the Superintendency of Archaeology of Agra, responsible for the maintenance of the monument, built in the seventeenth century by the Mongol Emperor Shah Jahan as a tribute to his wife Mumatz Mahal.
The entrance to the Taj Mahal complex has a price for foreign tourists of approximately fifteen dollars, and two dollars more to see the mausoleum inside. The maximum time for this visit is three hours, after which the visitor has to buy a new ticket.
There are a series of machines (seven at the entrance and ten at the exit) that control the visitors and mark the time they have been in the enclosure. If the device detects that the visitor exceeded the limit of three hours, will be obliged to buy a new ticket.
The monument attracts an average of 22,000 visitors a day, rising to 60,000 during peak periods. The system’s litmus test was last weekend, reports Times of India, when they received 50,000 people on Saturday, and the system worked properly.
Each year the monument receives eight million visits, 10% of which are international. But this measure, more than for foreigners, seems to target residents, because Indians (who pay less than a dollar) have a habit of arriving early and spending the rest of the day resting in the gardens, where they even have family picnics.