LUDOVIC MARIN / AFP / Getty Images
They say that love is eternal, but the visitors of the Taj Mahal, who want to enjoy the architectural splendor of a beloved deceased wife of an emperor, must keep an eye on the clock.
Visits are limited to three hours beginning on Sunday, according to the Archaeological Survey of India, which oversees the site.
The Taj Mahal, touted as the "jewel of Muslim art in India" by the Ministry of Culture, remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, attracting millions of visitors each year.
"Sometimes people spend a whole day at the Taj," Archaeological Survey spokesman DN Dimri told CNN. "This creates a situation where there are too many people."
Dimri added that with more visitors per day, the new rule would help "regulate the visitor movement."
The UNESCO World Heritage Site is located in the northern city of Agra, along the banks of the Yamuna River. 17th Century Mogul emperor Shah Jahan ordered the construction of the white marble mausoleum to commemorate his deceased wife
Legend has it that Mumtaz Mahal died in 1631 at birth, and while she lay on her deathbed, she swore to her husband, she to make the world
Shah Jahan wanted to deliver and began construction a year later. He is said to have commissioned 20,000 workers, including masons and marble workers, from all over India and far into Turkey and Iraq to complete the towering Taj Mahal and its gigantic gardens, reports National Geographic
Years, according to UNESCO. A few years later, a mosque, a guesthouse and a courtyard were added.
And almost 400 years later, officials try to balance the accessibility of the site and preserve its integrity.
UNESCO has announced that measures should be taken to "maintain ownership of existing conditions," especially under the burdens of heavy visits.
Dimri told CNN officials are working to limit the "carrying capacity" of the Taj Mahal, there are no current plans to limit the total number of visitors. It would be wrong to deny someone a ticket, Dimri said, as some visitors from all over the world travel to see the page.