Taj Mahal to Shut Down Each Monday

If you’re planning to visit India’s Taj Mahal on a Monday, think again.

In a move that has left some tour groups in the lurch, the government plans to shut the white-marbled monument in Agra every Monday, starting this week. In the past, it has been open every day.

The purpose of the closure, ordered by the Archeological Survey of India, is to free up the building for regular maintenance, according to T. Balakrishnan, the regional director for the Americas of the Government of India Tourist Office in New York.

“Our goal is preserve it for eternity,” he said last week.


In the meantime, however, tour groups that had already scheduled Monday stops were upset by the short notice. “The official word came only last month,” Balakrishnan said. The Tourist Office is trying to get the Archeological Survey to make an exception for such tour groups, he added.

Earlier, India ordered the closure or relocation of scores of polluting factories near the structure. The 17th-century mausoleum was built by Emperor Shah Jehan to honor his wife, who died giving birth.