Monuments, museums reopen in Rajasthan; officials says footfall 'quite low'

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Jaipur, Jun 16 (PTI) Thin crowds were witnessed at forts, monuments and museums in Rajasthan as they reopened on Wednesday after being shut for almost two months due to the second wave of COVID-19, according to officials.

The number of tourists was quite low, but it is expected that footfall will increase in the coming days, Director, Rajasthan Department of Archeology and Museums, Prakash Chandra Sharma, told PTI.

There are 342 monuments under the state department of archaeology and museums and at 31 of them, entry is ticketed.

'All monuments were reopened from 9 am to 3 pm on Wednesday as per guidelines of the state government. Covid-related guidelines were followed at all the monuments,' he said.

Monuments and museums were closed on April 17 as restrictions were imposed in wake of the second wave.

A total of 772 tourists visited 31 monuments and museums. The highest number of tourists, 518, was recorded at monuments and museums in state capital Jaipur, according to official data.

The highest footfall was at the iconic Amber palace and fort in Jaipur where 130 tourists visited.

'The number of tourists is quite low today, but we are hopeful that the situation will improve and footfall will increase,” Pankaj Dharendra, Superintendent of the Amber palace, said.

In the summer season, normally, 1,500-2,000 tourists visit the palace every day, while the footfall of tourists increases to 12,000-14,000 a day during peak seasons from October to March, according to data.

On Wednesday, 117 tourists visited the Nahargarh fort, 110 the Albert Hall (museum), 96 the Hawamahal, 63 the Jantar-Mantar and two visited the Sisodiya Bagh. All these places are in Jaipur.

Outside Jaipur, Chittorgarh received 103 tourists.

There were no tourists at museums and monuments under the department in Bikaner, Baran, Dungarpur, Jaisalmer, Kota, Bhilwara, according to official data.

Monuments under the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) have also reopened in Rajasthan.

'There were negligible tourists at the monuments today,” an official of the ASI’s Jaipur Circle said.

There are 90 monuments under the ASI Jaipur circle and three of them- Ranthambore fort (Sawaimadhopur), Kumbhalgarh fort (Rajsamand) and Deeg palace (Bharatpur)- are ticketed. PTI SDA ANB ANB

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