Taj Mahal: Where is the Love?
COVID-19 killing the iconic monument
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The city has not seen a footfall since the lockdown was clamped down over 3 months ago and just when there was hope of a slight improvement, once again the weekend lockdown was imposed in the whole of Uttar Pradesh, the State where Taj is located.
The biggest sufferers are the hotels, who had seen a slight 10 percent occupancy increase during the brief time when things were improving, but again it is back to square one.
A lack of coordination between the State and Ministry of Tourism in Delhi has added to the sad situation.
Sunil Gupta of the Travel Bureau agency says he sees no link between the closure of the Taj Mahal and COVID-19 cases.
Even when monuments in Delhi were opened, the Taj and other Agra attractions remained closed. Gupta would like to know why. He has spent decades promoting and servicing Agra and the tourism industry there, and jobs have been hard hit.
Agra’s economy is based on cultural tourism, and with the Taj Mahal and other city monuments still closed, it faces dire economic effects because of the coronavirus. In Agra, 350,000 people are dependent on tourism and are sitting idle without work. The city must be recognized and put into the same league as Delhi so that their tourism services can resume and an economic surge be thrust back into the livelihood of the city.
The Taj Mahal is an enormous mausoleum complex that was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the remains of his beloved wife. It was constructed over a 20-year period on the southern bank of the Yamuna River and is one of the most outstanding examples of Mughal architecture, which combined Indian, Persian, and Islamic influences. At its center is the Taj Mahal itself, built of shimmering white marble that seems to change color depending on the daylight. The Taj is a UNESCO World Heritage and remains one of the world’s most celebrated structures and a stunning symbol of India’s rich history.