Hyderabad: As the total number of positive cases of Coronavirus in India crossed 150, including three deaths, monuments all over the country have been asked to shut down in order to avoid public gatherings as a preventive measure.
After the ministry of tourism and culture declared a nation-wide shutdown, Telangana's Charminar, Golconda Fort, ASI sites in the Hyderabad circle, and four other monuments were closed to the public.
Charminar, where the streets are always bustling with people taking photos of the monument, having a cup of hot chai, shopping on the streets, and trying out some wonderful Hyderabadi street food, was not the usual. Although, there were small groups taking photos, the street-vendors had no customers. As per the orders, traffic police asked shop owners to shut down their shops and street-vendors were seen moving out their wares as Charminar turned desolate.
ASI official Milan Kumar Chauley said, "The Hyderabad circle has six monuments, two sites, and a museum. The ministry of tourism and culture has declared that all museums and ASI sites will be closed from 15 to 31 March. We have received the order and put out banners at entrances of monuments, both living and non-living (where there are no rituals and pooja).”
The official said there are three “living monuments” in Telangana, one in Anantapur and two, the thousand pillar temple and Ramappa Temple, in Warangal. “Tourists are not allowed here. Staff members are posted at the entrance and devotees are allowed to perform the rituals. The pooja will also continue. We have left it up to the district administration, state government, priests, endowments department, and the management to decide whether they want to shut down the monuments.” Other monuments will remain closed throughout the country, including in Telangana, he said.