This photograph taken on January 3, 2018 shows residential buildings next to the Taj Mahal in Agra. India is to restrict the number of daily visitors to the Taj Mahal in an effort to preserve the iconic 17th-century monument to love, its biggest tourist draw. Millions of mostly Indian tourists visit the Taj Mahal every year and their numbers are increasing steadily as domestic travel becomes more accessible. / AFP PHOTO / Dominique Faget (Photo credit should read DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images)

Those hoping to visit the Taj Mahal and enjoy its beauty will have to shell out more money, as the tourism department has increased ticket prices from Rs 40 to Rs 50.

New tickets will be valid for only three hours, Minister of State for Culture and Tourism Mahesh Sharma said.

“We need to preserve Taj Mahal for the generations to come; new ‘barcoded’ tickets would cost Rs 50 from the earlier Rs 40 and it would be valid only for three hours,” said Sharma. “All our monuments and the area around them would be polythene-free,” he added.

“Separate ticket of Rs. 200 will be needed to enter into the main mausoleum at Taj Mahal to ensure the protection of the built fabric and better crowd management,” the minister said.
The Taj Mahal, which is one of the seven wonders of the world, is currently undergoing major renovation works. The restoration is expected to finish later this year.

The structure is currently covered in scaffolding and the monument is expected to get a mud-pack treatment to brighten the marble exterior. The mud-pack treatment is a first for Taj Mahal

“In all likelihood, the entire dome will be obscured by iron scaffolding and during the actual cleaning process, portions of the white marble facade will be covered in mud and sheets for two to three days at a time. This process will be carried out in sections and the work on the dome is expected to last a year,” Grand Rapids, Mich.-based A&S Signature Journeys said.

The Taj Mahal was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The structure was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 for being “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage.”