Agra: A large number of tourists will be deprived of the thrill of seeing the Taj Mahal glisten under the full moon of Sharad Purnima Friday. Due to a weekly off, the 17th century white marble mausoleum will be closed to visitors.
Some did try to catch up with the monument a day earlier. Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) sources said more than 75 tourists saw the Taj late Thursday evening when the moon shone bright.
"After the rains, Sharad Purnima is the first full moon night. The Taj dazzles and sparkles while the cool and soft rays of the moon dance on its surface. It is an unforgettable experience," says photographer Vishal.
Many tourists Friday night will have a glimpse of the Taj either from Mehtab Bagh across the river or from Dussehra Ghat, adjacent to the monument. Others will watch it from the hotel Taj Khema mound.
"Before 1985, there were no restrictions and almost the whole city - youngsters particularly - used to turn up at the Taj on Sharad Purnima night for the `Chamki Mela`. Each marble piece sparkled when the moon rays struck its surface at a certain angle - and people would burst into joyous ecstasy and shout `chamki`," old timer Surendra Sharma, a hotelier, recalled.
But the Taj was closed for night viewing following former prime minister Indira Gandhi`s assassination and a spurt in terrorist activities.