Every year, thousands of tourists arrive in Agra to visit the Taj Mahal. Several hundred of these tourists also visit for the moonlight view of the Taj -- a sight to behold.
The tickets for the night view of the Taj Mahal are sold a day in advance, at the Archeological Survey of India office in Agra.
However, tourists won't be able to visit the Taj Mahal at night this month due to Ramzan, as Muslims go to the mosque inside the Taj Mahal to offer Namaz, which continues till late at night.
Agra Tourist Welfare Chamber Secretary Vishal Sharma said that the night view of the Taj Mahal is special, as the moonlight hitting the semi-precious stones creates an unparalleled sight. "But since in the month of Ramzan, the Taj Mahal's gates only open for the Namaz at night, the tourists are not allowed to view the Taj at night. Muslims coming to offer Namaz at the Taj mosque are given ID cards for this purpose," he said.
Agra ASI superintendent R K Patel told India Today that this is not a new practice. "The Taj Mahal is always closed for night view in the month of Ramzan. The tourists will be able to view the Taj at night in May," he said.
He said that this month the full moon is on April 16, and as per Supreme Court orders, the night view of the Taj should begin from April 14. But due to the month of Ramzan, there will be no night view.
The facility of night view of the Taj Mahal began in 2004 in pursuance of a Supreme Court order under which 30-minute slots are given to groups of 50 tourists each from 8:30 pm to midnight on two nights preceding and two nights after the full moon night.
Till the night view is closed, tourists can view the Taj Mahal from Mehtab Bagh across the Yamuna river.