Agra missing in UP tourism publication

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Agra, Oct 4 (IANS) Tourism industry leaders are upset after realizing that Agra — home to the Taj Mahal — does not find a mention in a publication brought out now by the Uttar Pradesh Tourism Department.

The industry leaders and heritage conservationists here allege that injustice was being done to Agra and its famous monuments.

The 17th-century Taj Mahal, a world heritage monument, is no longer a star attraction as far as the Uttar Pradesh government is concerned, say critics here.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has said the Taj, built by Mughal emperor Shahjahan, does not represent Indian culture and heritage.

His government’s focus has shifted to Mathura-Vrindavan, Varanasi, Ayodhya and other Hindu religious centres.

“Agra is India’s pride, the number one tourist attraction in the country,” a leading hotel owner said.

Braj Mandal Heritage Conservation Society President Surendra Sharma said: “If Taj Mahal does not represent India, what else does? The Mughal monuments are our pride and a valuable legacy of history.”

Mughal period historian R. Nath has already urged the Chief Minister and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to go for a balanced and fair appraisal of history.

Meanwhile, the state government has announced Rs 370 crore worth of schemes for tourism development in Agra and Mathura under the pro-poor tourism plan.

–IANS

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