Tourists hassled as ASI allows only e-tickets at Tipu’s palace

COVID-19 Lifestyle Pandemic Top Story

Measure was introduced after Covid outbreak

Only people with smartphones who have access to mobile or netbanking are allowed to enter Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace in Chamarajpet. 

A ticket costs Rs. 20. People have to scan a QR code, at the entrance of the palace. Scanning, takes one to the website of the Archeological Survey of India (ASI). After that, one has to enter one’s name and ID proof and then pay through netbanking or UPI. Cash or card payment is not allowed. After payment, one gets an e-ticket that must be shown to the guard before entering the premises.

Neelam Kunju, a security guard at the palace, informed The Observer that the QR code system was introduced after the Covid-19 outbreak. “We don’t accept cash anymore. These are orders given by ASI.” 

Sudha Rajendra, a Bengalurean visiting the palace with her husband, said: “My husband scanned the QR code and they asked for ID proofs. The whole process lasted 10-12 minutes. If I had come alone, then maybe it would have been difficult because I am a little slow with mobile Internet.”

Grishma Nair, a student from Christ University, shared: “The whole process was a bit long for me. Just to get to the security scan and waiting for my turn took 10-15 minutes.” Then getting tickets took another 5-6 minutes. There was chaos because people weren’t able to figure out how the process was.

Leela Bhopatkar, 89, couldn’t visit the palace when she first went there as she faced issues accessing the Internet. “I do have a smartphone but don’t know how to use Internet very well. It is difficult for a senior citizen like me to come here alone. I later visited with my daughter and son-in-law. They should accept cash.”

The QR code works only if you have a stable Internet connection. Unfortunately for Ashtha Tiwari, a college student, this was the reason she couldn’t enter the palace. The Jio network was down all over the country on October 6, 2021. “Since my Internet was down, I couldn’t scan the QR code and they weren’t accepting cash. So I couldn’t visit the palace. I couldn’t even book an Ola cab that day,” she said. 

However, the whole process was quite easy for Madhur T, a tourist from Tamil Nadu. “Everything was smooth. I scanned, entered details and got tickets for me and my family. My internet was fast,” he said.

Shaji John, Assistant Information Officer at ASI, said: “We were given orders by the headquarters in Delhi about these guidelines. These are enforced because of Covid. This is not only in Bengaluru, but all over India in monuments that come under ASI.”
Asked how it was before the pandemic, he said: “We accepted everything before Covid — cash, card, netbanking…. Now cash and card aren’t allowed. But these restrictions will be lifted very soon now, in one or two weeks.”

Construction of the palace was started in 1781 by Hyder Ali and completed by his son, Tipu Sultan, in 1791. Situated on Tipu Sultan Palace Road in Chamarajpet, it is open between 8.30 am to 5.30 pm every day. It is an example of Indo-Islamic architecture and it has paintings by James Hunter, a British painter who painted different landscapes of South India.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *