Taj Mahal

State-run telecom operator BSNL has tied up with the Archaeological Survey of India  (ASI) and will provide WiFi hotspots for tourists at the Taj Mahal from June 16, reports Times of India. Visitors to the Taj Mahal will be able to get the first 30 minutes free and will be later charged Rs 30 for every additional hour, the report added.

Fatehpur Sikri fort is next in line for getting public WiFi and the publication added that there are more monuments in the pipeline to become public WiFi hotspots.  A report by BSNLtariff.com points out the following tourist spots which will get public WiFi:

  • Taj Mahal – UP West circle
  • Fatehpur Sikri- UP West circle
  • Sarnath Temple- UP East circle
  • Konark Temple- Odisha circle
  • Jagannath Temple- Odisha circle
  • Bodh Gaya- Bihar circle
  • Shore Temple- Tamil Nadu circle
  • Hampi- Karnataka circle
  • Khajurao- MP circle
  • Thanjaur- Tamil Nadu circle

Earlier in April, BSNL partnered with US-based QuadGen Wireless Solutions Inc. to provide the public WiFi internet service in Hyderabad and Union minister for communications and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad also mentioned that Sarnath and Hampi will soon be equipped with public WiFi, as indicated my this report by Livemint.

Other initiatives by the ASI

– As part of the Digital India initiative, the ASI has been ramping up its efforts to make tourism easier. In December 2014, the ASI introduced online entry ticket booking for the Taj Mahal. The ASI also said that it would extending it to other monuments in the country. The Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) and the National Institute of Smart Governance will be the service provider of the e-ticketing facility.

– In March, Google added panoramic views of 31 monuments and Indian archaeological sites on Google Maps and the Google Cultural Institute, the company said in its blog. The technology giant said that it had been working with the ASI since last year and had added 76 monuments with 360-degree views.

– The ASI  has also launched a national portal for museums. Collections in all museums under its control and those under the ASI will be digitized and presented on this portal.Currently, over 11,000 digitized artifacts from 10 museums are on display on the portal.