SC Seeks Response From ASI On Night Viewing Of Taj Mahal

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday sought response from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on a plea filed by an advocate seeking permission for visitors at Taj Mahal to view the marble mausoleum at night upto the central tank.

A bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur issued notice to ASI and other concerned authorities while seeking their reply in two weeks.

The order came on an application filed by advocate Ajay Agrawal, a BJP leader, said that visitors often complain that the view of the 17th century monument was not clear by the naked eyes because of such large distance.

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He said that visitors should be allowed to go upto the Central Tank, about 150 metres away from the main monument.

In support of his argument, Agrawal referred the report dated January 4, 2000 of Krishan Mahajan, the then Court Commissioner in this case, who recommended night viewing of Taj from Central Tank after going through security and all other aspects.

At present, night viewing of Taj Mahal is allowed for five days during bright moon nights. These are two days before full moon night and two days after full moon night.

Only 400 tourists in groups of 50 are allowed to view the Taj Mahal at night, for these five nights and that too, from red sand stone platform which a distance of over 300 metres, making clear moonlight views of the Taj very rare, especially in the winters.