History and culture enthusiasts were happy to hear that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) would open up over 3,400 monuments in the country which had been shut down in March this year due to the pandemic.
However, this week ASI announced that Charminar and Golconda Fort will be shut down again. This decision was taken after the Telangana government expressed their concerns about the surge in COVID-19 cases. Local authorities and police informed ASI that social distancing norms would be difficult to follow at the Charminar as the heritage has a narrow staircase. The entry to Golconda Fort was was restricted as devotees have been barred from participating in the Bonalu festival, so officials said allowing others in would not do justice to them.
The Ministry of Home Affairs had given the thumbs up to opening all ASI-protected monuments from July 6, but left the decision to the state governments. According to the order, museums and monuments in containment zones will be allowed to reopen, but with a strict check on the number of visitors to avoid overcrowding.
Even though Charminar and Golconda Fort are shut, temples and malls in Telangana have reopened.