As befitting one the seven new wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal attracts millions of people every year but now authorities are considering visitor limits to protect the monument.

Travel News - taj mahal visitor limits
Visitors will find it hard to get this unobstructed view. Olena Tur/Shutterstock

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) which oversees the protection of India's most iconic sight has advised that visitor numbers should be capped at 40,000 a day and visits should last no longer than three hours.

At the weekends or on public holidays, visitor numbers can reach up to 70,000 people a day, made up largely of Indian people who are embracing domestic tourism in greater numbers. Last week, five people were injured as crowds tried to push through the gate as closing time, prompting the ASI to take renewed action at limiting numbers.

Although no official announcement has been made yet, Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma told the Indian Express that “we have no option but to go by these measures” in order to “ensure a smooth experience at the Taj Mahal and avert any tragedy.”

Travel News - tourists taj mahal
Tourists at the Taj Mahal. Photo by powerofforever

The visitor restrictions will only affect domestic tourists, who make up about 7.2 million out of the 8 million annual visitors. Currently Indian visitors pay just 40 rupees to visit the Taj Mahal while international visitors must pay 1,000. Domestic tourists who want to escape the cap can do so by purchasing the higher-priced ticket.

As well as helping manage crowd control, some experts have been advocating capping visitor numbers since 1993 in order to protect the monument itself, as too much footfall can damage the stunning marble foundations. Overtourism is not the only danger facing the structure however; it’s beginning to turn yellow from air pollution and is two years into a nine-year plan to brighten the walls with mudpacks.

Explore related stories

specie Elephas maximus family of Elephantidae
545594278
Terai, Cub, Young Animal, Three Animals, Ranthambore National Park, Scenics, Wildlife, Nature, Horizontal, Mother, Family, Nepal, India, Indian Subcontinent, Asia, Animal Family, Animals In The Wild, Indian Elephant, Elephant, Mammal, Animal, National Park, River, corbett, bardia, Asiatic Elephant, Riverside, Chitwan, Bardia National Park

Destination Practicalities

A first-time guide to the Terai

Jun 26, 2024 • 9 min read