October 11, 2021 at 12:00:00 AM
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Taj Mahal's grandeur impresses Danish PM Mette Frederiksen
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, who is on a three-day visit to India, visited the iconic Taj Mahal in Agra on Sunday. She was overwhelmed to see its beauty and expressed her happiness after finding out about the architecture and history of the Mughal-era monument. The Danish PM reached Agra where she was welcomed by Agra Commissioner Amit Gupta and ADG Rajiv Krishna at the Agra Airport. At the airport, the Danish PM and her team enjoyed a peacock dance performed by local artists. At 8:30 am, she reached the Taj Mahal by golf cart. After the Taj Mahal, Fredricksen visited the Agra Fort, another Mughal-era monument. Tourists were barred from entering the Taj Mahal for two hours during Frederiksen's visit. The 17th century monument was closed to tourists from 8:30 am to 10:30 am. The Agra Fort was shut from 9:50 am to 11:50 am. During the Danish PM's visit, security was provided by the Centre and Uttar Pradesh government. A security contingent of Denmark was also present with the visiting dignitaries. Agra Tourist Welfare Chamber Secretary Vishal Sharma welcomed the Danish PM, but also raised the issue of inconvenience caused to tourists due to the closure of the monuments during the visit of high-profile dignitaries. Sharma said the issue has been raised by tourism organisations many times in the past and before the Covid-19 pandemic. It was agreed in the talks with the administration and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) that under normal circumstances, the entire Taj Mahal will not be closed for tourists during VIP visits, and tourists will be able to see the Taj Mahal by staying on one side of the central tank, while the VIPs can visit the monument by staying on the other side of the tank. Every year, Sharma said, dozens of highly distinguished guests come to Agra to visit the Taj Mahal and if the monument is closed for tourists at the time of arrival of every VVIP guest, it will have a bad impact on tourism. He said that the tourism organisations of Agra will have to unite and raise their voices on this issue in the interests of the tourism industry. He indicated that a meeting may soon be held with the administration and tourism officials.