Your wait for a glimpse of the world’s most famous monument to love is about to get much shorter.
Come December 25 and the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) will introduce online ticketing for visiting the Taj Mahal in Agra, ASI director general Rakesh Tiwari said.
The e-ticketing facility will be introduced on a trial basis but is likely to be regularised soon, he added.
The trial sale of e-tickets would be conducted by the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), the government undertaking which also handles online train ticket reservation.
Every year, around 30 lakh tourists visit the 17th century domed monument built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz Mahal.
The monument built with white marble — and described by Rabindranath Tagore as a “teardrop on the cheek of time” — houses their graves and a mosque, as well as several other graves of Mughal royalty.
During a visit to the Taj Mahal in March last year, former Union minister of culture Chandresh Kumari Katoch too had stressed on ending the long queues by introducing online tickets.
Rakesh Tiwari, who visited the monument on Thursday, met officials of ASI and IRCTC to discuss the issue.
Tiwari said that after starting online ticket booking, officials would able to make an estimation of the exact number of tourists visiting the monument on a day and decide on the number of tickets to be sold each day.
As a precautionary measure to stop re-selling of the tickets, the ASI has also decided on “bar-coding” the passes which will be checked by a computerised scanner.
He added that the automated gates would not open if someone tries to gain entry with a previously used ticket.