Had it not been for the Jayreens (pilgrims) returning from the Ajmer urs, the number of visitors at the Taj Mahal would have dropped to a trickle from the thousands that daily make a beeline to enter the 17th century monument of love, said tourist guide Ved Gautam.
“It’s a rare sight to see Taj entrance gates without a queue these days,” said hotelier Sandeep. “The heat took its toll. A tourist, Jai Ram from Chennai, collapsed at the Taj Mahal due to heat stroke. Another foreign visitor had to be given emergency medical treatment,” an ASI official said.
Agra’s hotels are deserted. The occupancy rate has come down steeply, said Rakesh Chauhan, president of the Agra Hotels and Restaurants Association.
The other historical monuments too are deserted. The weather office in Lucknow said on Monday: “No early respite in sight. The temperature could go up further.”