The Archaeological Survey of India on Thursday issued an order allowing photography within the premises of protected monuments and sites, except the Ajanta caves in Maharashtra, Leh Palace in Jammu and Kashmir, and Taj Mahal in Agra.
The order was issued just hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi questioned ASI’s rules prohibiting visitors from taking photographs at certain monuments. “Today, using space technology, a photograph can be taken of a scooter parked in a small lane of Delhi from thousands of miles away, but our monuments still display hoardings: ‘photography prohibited’,” he said, while inaugurating ASI’s new headquarters in Delhi’s Tilak Marg area on Thursday.
“Inspired by the vision of PM [prime minister] and his guidance this morning it has been decided to allow photography within the premises of all centrally protected monuments, except Ajanta Caves, Leh Palace and mausoleum of Taj Mahal,” tweeted Union Minister of State for Culture Mahesh Sharma.
According to a 2017 order, only for photographers issued licenses by the agency were allowed to operate commercially within the premises of protected monuments. The Archaeological Survey of India administers and manages 3,686 ancient monuments and archaeological sites.