FROM WAH TAJ TO WOE TAJ: PORTALS ASK VISITORS TO GIVE MONUMENT OF LOVE A MISS

Although the Union government is gearing up for damage control the die may already have been cast.

Media reports of mismanagement of crowds - especially during the Christmas-New Year holidays - and the rude behaviour of security agencies towards visitors is likely to have an adverse effect on tourist flows.

Although there has been no official advisory issued by the US government, numerous American travel portals have issued their own advisories for tourists, advising them against visiting the Taj Mahal in 2018.

The travel websites have based their recommendation on media reports of year-long maintenance work at the monument, as well as extreme mismanagement and ill-behaviour with tourists.

These travel portals have advised tourists to visit any other monument in India, but skip the Taj as its main dome will remain under cover because of a year-long mud-pack cleansing progject.

Popular American travel portal Fodor's said that in 2018, the Taj Mahal's dome will get its first thorough cleaning since the monument was built 369 years ago.

"Unless your dream Taj Mahal visit involves being photographed standing in front of a mud-caked and to-be-scaffolded dome, maybe give it until 2019 at the earliest," says Fodor's.