Sunday, August 08, 2004
Taj Mahal and Gambling
If you are like me, you are probably saying, "hey, I thought that the Taj Mahal was all about gambling." Well it turns out, that in addition to the Trump Taj in Atlantic City, there's some other Taj Mahal in Agra, India. No one goes there, it seems, primarily because there is no casino nearby. But that looks like it will change, if the tourism ministry in Uttar Pradesh has its way:
The Mulayam Singh Yadav Government [Yadav is the chief minister in Uttar Pradesh] has offered several five-star hotels to open casinos, on the lines of those in Goa so that there is enough leisure activity for visitors to the Taj.Maybe they could combine the two and have nighttime gambling at the Taj?
"One of the reasons people keep away from the Taj is that there is nothing to do apart from visiting the monument in Agra," says a senior minister in the Yadav government. "To make it exciting for visitors, we had two proposals -- one was to get permission to open the Taj in the night, under full moon, and to open casinos for fun and excitement."
I visited Agra in January and was extremely disappointed when I found out that there was no casino. Had I known about that Taj building, I might have dropped by, however, since I was in town anyway. (OK, I am kidding -- I did visit the Taj; it greatly exceeded my expectations. I anticipated that it would be a very nice building, worth taking a look at, but I was not prepared for what I did experience: being overawed by its grandeur. Given the testimonies of countless non-gambling visitors, I guess I should have had higher expectations to begin with.)