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India throws open world-famous Taj Mahal to tourists again as Covid wave recedes

Taj Mahal

India’s world-famous Taj Mahal was thrown open to tourists again on Wednesday as the country limps back to normalcy with the receding of the  second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 17th century monument, built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal in Agra was closed in April due to the surge in Covid-19 infections.

However, some restrictions will still be in place as only 650 tourists will be allowed inside the premises of the Taj Mahal at any point, Prabhu Singh, the District Magistrate of Agra said. The white marble medieval monument normally attracts 7 million to 8 million visitors every year which works out to an average of over 20,000 people per day.

Uttar Pradesh, where Agra is located, reported 270 new infections in the last 24 hours and 56 deaths. It is India's most populous state.

Other national monuments, including New Delhi's Red Fort and Qutub Minar, were also re-opened to tourists on Wednesday.

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