Breaking news! It’s gonna cost you w-a-y more to visit the Taj Mahal

Breaking news! It’s gonna cost you w-a-y more to visit the Taj Mahal

Sadly, this isn’t an April Fool’s prank by the Indian government.

The rates really are going up & quite steeply, too.

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I was intrigued by the mention in the final sentence of the catchy sounding “Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation” – or, as they might well be known, BBIMSTEC.

Since, to my shame, I’d never heard of this august body, I did what any self respecting person does.  I googled ’em.

And I was wrong, by the way – their acronym is way sleeker than the clunky BBIMSTEC.

It’s the far catchier-sounding BIMSTEC.

Amazing what one B can do.

And here they are, these BIMSTEC countries who will get domestic rates to the Taj.

Anyway, today’s morning paper brought clarification and confirmation that it wasn’t a prank.  It also brought news of the better experience that will await tourists, as they shell out even money over & above the increased rates.  At least that’s what I understood.

A World heritage monument tickets used to cost Rs 250.  Now it’s Rs 500.  But if you opt to pay Rs 750, you get – quick drumroll :

– free bottled water

– wifi connectivity

– mementoes (I’m quoting literally here, folks, so don’t give me any grief)

– CDs with pictures and films of the monuments

If I’ve understood it correctly – the report wasn’t exactly clear – there will also be separate queues “to ensure hassle-free entry into the monument area”.

So, for Rs 750 + Rs 500 (that sneaky Rs 500 toll tax that they keep forgetting to tell you about) foreigners can get hassle-free entry and mementoes.  What I can’t fathom is whether Indians can opt for the mementoes as well…

But just remember, you heard it here first, folks.

All part of the Breaking News service.

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