Hyderabad: Though 20 days have passed since lockdown has been fully lifted, footfalls at tourist destinations in Hyderabad remain low.
Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), which is the custodian of Hyderabad’s two key monuments – Charminar and Golconda, started allowing visitors from June 20 after a gap of 66 days. Owing to second wave of Covid-19, the ASI had shut down the two monuments on April 15. The monuments remained shut to tourists for five months last year too when the pandemic started.
Authorities are allowing tourists and visitors at Golconda only after thermal scanning and ensuring that they are wearing masks. At Charminar, however, visitors could be seen without masks and gathering in groups for taking selfies.
According to ASI, Golconda Fort draws more than 5,000 visitors daily. But currently, visitors are barely 2,500 every day. The number of visitors on Friday, Saturday and Sunday is slightly more.
Charminar, which is must-see for most tourists visiting Hyderabad, is recording barely 1,200 to 1,500 visitors every day and 1,500 to 2,000 on weekends. Before the lockdown visitors had been between 4,000–5,000 on weekdays and over 5,000 on weekends.
Salarjung Museum, another tourist attraction of the city, has seen no surge in visitors. Their number is still below 1,000 per day. Most tourists are domestic. Foreign tourists are almost negligible.
Syed Siraj, a guide at Golconda Fort, said visitors from northern and eastern states are very few. Most visitors are from Telangana or neighbouring states.
Biswas Shankar, who hails from Assam, said his family has taken advantage of decrease in number of Coronavirus cases in the country to visit Hyderabad. “We will see Golconda Fort today and later visit Charminar, Salarjung Museum and other places,” he told Deccan Chronicle.