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Last Updated : Jun 01, 2020 05:11 PM IST | Source: PTI

Rajasthan tourist places unlock with song and dance, but visitors keep distance

Folk artistes performed at the historic Hawa Mahal, the Jantar Mantar and the Albert Hall in Jaipur and in other districts, Sharma said.

PTI

After over two months of closure due to the coronavirus lockdown, monuments and tourists places in Rajasthan reopened on Monday with cultural events and performances by folk artistes, but there was no footfall. Tourism stakeholders have welcomed the government decision to allow reopening of these places but are also concerned as the coronavirus outbreak is still raging.

"On the first day of reopening, we organised cultural performance by folk artistes at 32 monuments in the state including in capital city. It was to mark the reopening of the monuments," Prakash Chandra Sharma, Director, Department of Archaeology and Museum, told PTI.

He said that domestic tourists mostly visit these places during the summer season and they can be expected in the next few days.

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Folk artistes performed at the historic Hawa Mahal, the Jantar Mantar and the Albert Hall in Jaipur and in other districts, he said.

There are a total of 342 monuments, including 18 museums, under the department and 32 of them are ticketed.

Starting June 1, from when the Centre's Unlock 1 guidelines come into force, monuments, except those falling in the containment or curfew areas, will open four days a week (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday) for the first two weeks and social-distancing protocols will be followed properly.

Tourist travel timing is kept between 9 am to 2 pm in the first week and from 9 am to 1 pm and then 3 pm to 5 pm in second week. They will open daily from the third week.

Entry to the 32 ticketed monuments is free in the first and the second week, and 50 per cent ticket amount will be charged from third week, the official said.

In Bundi, key tourist attractions Garh Palace, which is a private property, will remain closed due to renovation works.

“Looking at the safety measures of the tourists and renovation work in Garh Palace, we are not ready to open it now. We may do so most probably by the end of June or in the first week of July,” J P Sharma, the Manager of the Palace said.

“The Sukh Mahal, Dhabhaiyo Ka Kund, Raniji Ki Bawadi are going to be opened in Bundi,” Tourist Officer in Bundi Vivek Joshi said.

Kota's Tourist Officer Sandeep Srivastava said that a cultural programme was organised Monday at the government museum to promote tourism.

He said that all the tourist places will be opened for the public and tourists as per state government guidelines.

Tour operator Sanjay Kaushik of Rajputana Holiday makers said that reopening will build confidence among the stakeholders but normalcy in the trade will take some time to restore.

“Tourism is the lifeline of Rajasthan and a key industry. Reopening of monuments will help the trade and those earning their livelihood from the tourism sector,” he said.

“I went the tourist places in Jaipur today and apprised my clients about the development,” he said.

Bundi-based traditional painting trader Manish Soni said that the footfall of tourists is expected to be low in the initial phases. “Activities will accelerate once the tourists start arriving.”

Performances by folk artistes was held at the government 'Rangmanch' at Bikaner.

Vinod Bhojak, a businessman in Bikaner, said the reopening of monuments will attract locals also and help restart market activities.

“People were under lockdown for over two months and they too are expected to go to the tourists places,” he said.

Follow our full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic here.
First Published on Jun 1, 2020 05:08 pm
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