The Taj Mahal will be closed for the general public on Monday from afternoon following the visit of US President Donald Trump in the historic city later in the day, which is all set to welcome them, officials said.
An ASI official here told IANS, “The Taj Mahal will remain closed for the general public from 12.30 p.m. onwards as Trump will visit the historical monument in the evening.”
He said even the ticket windows for the Taj Mahal will close after 11.30 a.m.
Trump is scheduled to visit India on February 24 and 25 along with wife Melania Trump, daughter Ivanka Trump, and son-in-law Jared Kushner and top US officials.
The couple will spend the first day of the visit in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad and then they would fly to Agra before moving to Delhi for the official reception and bilateral talks.
Trump will arrive at the Kheria airport here, where he will be received by Governor Anandiben Patel and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
The two leaders, however, will not accompany Trump to Taj Mahal and will wait at the airport to send them back to Delhi.
This is Donald Trump’s first State Visit to India and also the first standalone visit by a US President to India.
Before Trump, US President Bill Clinton visited Agra in March 2000 and Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1959.
Following the visit of the US First family here, the city has got a massive facelift.
The administration has put huge billboards, placards, cutouts and several posters welcoming the US President and his wife Melania.
The 13 km-long route from airport to Taj Mahal has been spruced up aesthetically and the US and Indian flags have been put up at roundabouts to give the area a festive look.
At many places on the route, the administration has made several statues of animals with flowers.
The walls have been adorned with paintings reflecting the Brij culture and architectural heritage of Agra, Victorian-style lamp posts have been installed and the lawns of the iconic Taj Mahal bedecked with colourful blooms as the historic city gears up to welcome the US President.
According to the administration, over 3,000 artists at 21 different locations will perform for the US President to welcome him in the city of love and at the airport over 250 artists will give special performance highlighting the culture of Uttar Pradesh like Brij, Awadh, special performance on Lord Krishna, dance-themed on Radha and many others.
The US President will arrive in Agra at 4.45 p.m. and reach the Taj Mahal by 5.15 p.m. Trump will then spend an hour at the Taj Mahal and then emplane for Delhi for his final leg of journey.