NEW DELHI: Tourists flocking to the national capital may now experience the architectural exquisiteness of two Mughal era mausoleums of emperor Humayun and Safdarjung, an influential minister in Mughal court, after sunset. The Union ministry of culture on Monday decided to keep the mausoleums open to visitors till late in the evening.
Both tombs will remain open till 9 pm. The announcement was made by Union culture minister Prahlad Singh Patel. “The decision has been made for the benefit of general public or tourists, who can visit and appreciate the beauty of historical sites for long hours,” the minister said. Old facade lights at Safdarjung tomb were recently replaced with state-of-the-art architectural lights. Special energy-efficient lamps were installed at Humayun’s tomb to illuminate its grand white marble dome, in September 2018. These buildings are illuminated for four hours — from 7 pm to 11 pm.
The demand for allowing night viewing of these edifices has been growing ever since they were adorned with new lights. Presently, only two monuments Red Fort and Qutb Minar are open for visitors after sunset till 10 pm. Only visitors to Purana Quila are permitted to experience the sound and light show in the evening. However, its lake complex along Mathura Road is open till 8 pm.
All other sites under the custodianship of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and state archaeology department of the Delhi government follow the ‘sunrise to sunset’ rule.“The decision will help us draw more tourists. They will have an opportunity to appreciate their aesthetics and decorative features, which are illuminated in the evening. The move is particularly useful for those visitors, who come to the city for a brief period or on a business trip. They can finish their work during the day and come to the site in the evening,” an ASI official said.
On Monday, the ministry also took a decision to extend visiting hours at eight other historic sites in Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, and Gujarat, after sunset. The list includes Rajarani Temple Complex (Bhubaneswar), Duladeo Temple (Khajuraho), Sheikh Chilli Tomb (Thanesar), group of monuments (Pattadakal), Gol Gumbaz (Vijayapura), group of temples (Markanda), Man Mahal (Varanasi), and Rani ki Vav (Patan).