Updated: July 29, 2019 6:37:41 pm
The Culture Ministry has decided to keep 10 heritage sites open for public from sunrise to 9 pm, Union Culture and Tourism Minister Prahlad Patel said on Monday. At present, gates of most monuments are closed for visitors by 6 pm.
Apart from the Humayun’s Tomb and Safdarjung Tomb in Delhi, the extended timings will apply to Rajarani Temple in Bhubaneswar, Dulhadev Temple in Khajuraho, Shekh Chilli Tomb in Kurukshetra, Group of Monuments at Pattadakal in Karnataka, Gol Gumbaj in Karnataka, Group of Temples in Maharashtra (Markanda), Man Mahal in Uttar Pradesh (Varanasi) and Rani ki Baav in Paatan Gujarat. The change in timings will be effective for a period of three years, the minister said.
“Some places in this list are temples that are popular both among tourists and locals. People also visit temples at night. Hence, a decision was taken to extend their visiting time beyond 6 pm,” the minister said.
A committee which was formed by the two ministries earlier to discuss the proposals coming in from the states had discussed 35 such monuments which were proposed to be kept open till 10 pm for the public. However, a decision was taken by the committee to introduce the new timings in 10 of the sites in the first phase and restrict the time till 9 pm.
At present, no popular monument is kept open beyond sunset – Taj Mahal timings is from sunrise (6 am) to sunset (6.30 pm) – but it has not found a place on this list. The mausoleum was the most revenue-generating historical monument in the year 2017-18 according to the ASI.
The proposal to keep some tourist sites open till 9 pm was first proposed by then Culture and Tourism Minister Alphons Kannanthanam who had said that tourists should be given the maximum opportunity to visit heritage sites.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.