Come the next full moon in October, many more Taj Mahal lovers will be able to view the iconic 17th century monument to eternal love from a spot across the Yamuna river that has been newly developed by the authorities.
The new spot in the city’s Mehtab Bagh for viewing the Taj after sunset was formally inaugurated by the Agra Additional Director General (ADG) Ajay Anand on Wednesday evening.
The Agra Development Authority (ADA), in cooperation with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), has developed a couple of vantage points across the river at the rear of the Taj Mahal from where tourists can witness the beauty of the majestic monument under moonlight.
The movement of the visitors will be without hassles as these spots are beyond the restricted 500-metre security perimeter around the Taj Mahal.
Infrastructure facilities are being developed under the Pro-Poor Tourism Policy in the area that includes six villages, Humayun’s mosque and the Gyarah Seedhi monuments. A new bridge built over Yamuna – Ambedkar Setu – has made transport easy and convenient.
ADA Vice Chairperson Shubhra Saxena said: “A special bench, replica of Diana Bench in the Taj Mahal, has been specially provided for people to take photographs.”
A committee will soon take a decision on the ticket rates to be charged from visitors.
The tourism industry hopes the facility would be opened before the World Tourism Day on September 27, when a fresh tourist season begins in Agra.
Divisional Commissioner Anil Kumar has said more such vantage points would be developed along the river to attract tourists.
However, River Connect Campaign member Devashish Bhattacharya said: “Before tourists are attracted to these new spots, it would be necessary to clean up the Yamuna and fill it with water.”