A 37-second video showing the three Thai tourists – a man and two women – in ceremonial dress entering the Taj Mahal’s security check gate shed light on the incident. In the video, the tourists can be seen claiming it was their traditional costume and a matter of pride for them, but were refused entry. Later, on the suggestion of local traders, the group did a photo shoot behind the World Heritage monument, Dursherra Ghat.
However, officials from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) denied that the tourists were arrested because of their attire. “They were asked to keep their masks, crowns and other metal objects in the monument’s dressing room but they refused to do so,” said UPS curatorial assistant Prince Vajpai.
He added, “The tourists also wanted to do photo shoots as well as video shoots, but they didn’t have the required permission.”
Chief archaeologist Rajkumar Patel also claimed there was no objection to tourists’ attire, but they were reportedly arrested for wearing masks and metal crowns indoors.
Some local traders told TOI that six of the Thai tourists arrived at the east gate of the monument around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. Three of them wore masks, crowns and other decorative metal objects, they added.
Speaking on the subject, a tour guide said: “There is a lack of clarity about what things are prohibited in monuments. ASI needs to put more details on the website. This will help tourists, especially those from foreign countries.
Notably, the do’s and don’ts section of the official Taj Mahal website does not specify anything regarding dress code.