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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Shut for 10 months, monuments, archaeological sites in Pune to open for visitors today

Visitors will also be able to book their tickets online. This can be done by visiting asipayumoney.com and selecting Mumbai city.

Written by Anjali Marar | Pune | Updated: January 5, 2021 11:52:05 pm
Aga Khan Palace in Pune will be thrown open to tourists from Wednesday (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

After being closed for nearly 10 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Pune district administration on Tuesday allowed historical monuments, memorials and archaeological sites to open for visitors from Wednesday. The administration has asked visitors to strictly follow safety precautions, failing which penalties will be imposed on them.

Shaniwarwada, Aga Khan Palace, Karla caves and forts, including Shivneri, Visapur, Vishrambaug Wada and Rajmachi, are among the many sites operating under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), which are located in Pune circle. With the reopening of ASI sites, visitors will also be able to book their tickets online. This can be done by visiting asipayumoney.com and selecting Mumbai city.

In November last year, the district administration had allowed reopening of forts located on the outskirts of the city. The district has nearly 60 forts spread across Bhor, Velhe, Maval, Mulshi, Khed, Ambegaon and Junnar tehsils. Trekkers from across the state visit these forts every year in large numbers.

Pune District Collector Rajesh Deshmukh said all the historical monuments and museums in the district were closed since March last year.

“There are scores of historic monuments, forts and museums in the district. A large number of local residents depend on tourism activity that goes on at these places… The Union government had already issued directives about reopening of museums and monuments under ASI in June 2020. We have issued detailed directives… all the precautionary measures should be followed by visitors and if they are seen flouting rules, they will be penalised,” said Deshmukh.

About allowing visitors to pre-book tickets, an ASI official from Pune said, “We are encouraging visitors to pre-book tickets so that there is a control on crowds at the ticket counters at the site. We are also offering discounted rates on such online tickets. This is the first time that tickets for the Pune sites are available for online booking.”

Since March last year, all these monuments were closed due to the lockdown and rising cases of Covid-19 in Pune. However, after the Maharashtra government announced easing of restrictions under ‘Mission Begin Again’, the ASI sites located in Sindhudurg, Raigad and Aurangabad circles were opened for visitors during the final months of 2020.

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