Did You Know These 5 Indian Monuments Are Disabled-Friendly

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India boasts of a rich history and culture – the historical monuments and attractions in the country serve as evidence of this fact. The question is whether the Indian monuments are accessible by people with disabilities? The good news is that slowly but surely, public spaces and Indian monuments are being made disabled-friendly. Here’s a list of some historic Indian monuments that are most disabled-friendly:

1. The Taj Mahal – One Of The Most Popular Indian Monuments

Taj Mahal is often referred to as one of the most iconic symbols of love in the world. This is because Shah Jahan, a well-known Mughal Emperor, built the marble monument in memory of Mumtaz Mahal, who was his favourite wife. This magnificent structure is one of the New Seven Wonders of the world, and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Steps have been taken to ensure that the Taj Mahal is accessible by everyone – irrespective of their age and disability. The nine ramps located in different parts of this structure make it very convenient for people with physical disabilities to enter the complex.

One of the most revered Indian monuments

The view from inside the grounds of the Taj Mahal

Fact File
Location: In Uttar Pradesh, on the banks of the River Yamuna, approximately 9 km away from Agra city
How to Reach: Kheria Airport in Agra – around 14 km. You can also board buses from cities like Delhi, Jaipur, Kanpur, and Lucknow.
Official Language: Braj Bhasha, Hindi
Currency: INR
Time Zone: IST (UTC+5.30)
Climate: Semi-arid, humid subtropical
Food & Drink: Chaats or savoury snacks and Mughlai food are very popular in Agra

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Here’s a Delhi Travel guide for wheelchair users

2. Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace

Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace is an important historic landmark in Bengaluru, which stands as a reminder of the bravery of Tipu Sultan, the ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore. This Indian monument was used by Tipu Sultan  as a summer retreat and affectionately called it his ‘Abode of Happiness’. In recent years, the Karnataka government has done their best to make this palace accessible, and it has now become a disabled-friendly monument. For vision-impaired visitors, this Indian monument offers braille signboards as well as a braille brochure. In fact, there is even a tactile pathway that leads you to the gate of this summer palace.

Indian monuments: Entrance to Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace in Bengaluru

Entrance to Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace in Bengaluru

Fact File
Location: Near the City Market in Bengaluru
How To Reach: From Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru – approximately 40 km. Bengaluru is well-connected to all the important cities in India via rail, bus, and flight.
Official Language: Kannada
Currency: INR
Time Zone: IST (UTC+5.30)
Climate: Tropical
Food & Drink: South Indian food and Kannada dishes

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                                            Our blind guest-writer Preeti explores Delhi all by herself

3. Lakshmana Temple

Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the Lakshmana Temple in Chhattisgarh has many beautiful carvings and boasts spectacular symmetry. This temple is decorated with different incarnations of Lord Vishnu, which tell the story of Hindu mythology. The caretakers of this gorgeous temple have taken great care to ensure that it can be accessed by all. There is a straight pathway that leads to this monument, so people with physical disabilities will not have any difficulties whatsoever. The braille signboards and the tactile pathway sees to it that visually-impaired guests can take in the glory of this temple’s splendid architecture.

Indian monuments: The side view of Lakshmana Temple, a 7th-century temple in Chhattisgarh

The side view of Lakshmana Temple, a 7th century temple in Chhattisgarh

Fact File
Location: Sirpur Village in the Mahasmand District of Chhattisgarh, around 90 km away from Raipur, the capital city of Chhattisgarh
How To Reach: Swami Vivekananda Airport in Raipur – 74.5 km, Bilaspur Airport – 125 km, Raigarh Airport – 200 km
Official Language: Chhattisgarhi
Currency: INR
Time Zone: IST (UTC+5.30)
Climate: Tropical
Food & Drink: Chhattisgarh is regarded as the rice bowl of India, so most of the dishes here are made with rice and rice flour

4. Fatehpur Sikri

Fatehpur Sikri was built by the Mughal Emperor Akbar, and is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Agra. This city served as the capital of the Mughal Empire for more than a decade. All the monuments inside Fatehpur Sikri are disabled-friendly and highly accessible, which is why it won the disabled-friendly Indian monument award in 2013. The group of monuments here are equipped with special toilets, dedicated parking spaces, ramps, special ticket counters, a well-defined route, and braille signboards.

Indian monuments: Buland Darwaza or the Gate of Magnificence – the entrance to Fatehpur Sikri

Buland Darwaza or the Gate of Magnificence – the entrance to Fatehpur Sikri

Fact File
Location: Small city in the Agra District of Uttar Pradesh
How to Reach: Around 32 km from the Kheria Airport in Agra, and approximately 35 km from the city of Agra. There are numerous buses and trains that connect Agra to cities like Delhi, Lucknow, and Jaipur.
Official Language: Braj Bhasha
Currency: INR
Time Zone: IST (UTC+5.30)
Climate: Humid subtropical, semiarid
Food & Drink: Agra is famous for its Mughlai food, both non-vegetarian as well as vegetarian

5. Sanchi Stupa

Sanchi Stupa is another Indian Monument that has earned the UNESCO World Heritage Site status. By building the Great Stupa in the 3rd century BCE, the main aim of Emperor Ashoka was to honour the teachings of Buddha. This Indian monument has been made barrier-free, and can be accessed entirely by wheelchairs. The braille plaques and tactile walkways here have been designed especially for the visually-impaired. Vision-impaired are given a braille map and beepers at the start of the tour to ascertain their safety.

Indian monuments: Sanchi Stupa is one of the oldest stone monuments in India built to honour Buddha

Sanchi Stupa is one of the oldest stone monuments in India built to honour Buddha

Fact File
Location: Sanchi town in Raisen District of Madhya Pradesh. It is situated 46 km north-east of the capital city of Bhopal.
How to Reach: Raja Bhoj Airport in Bhopal – approximately 56 km. You can reach Sanchi by rail and the nearest stations are Bhopal and Vidhisha.
Official Language: Hindi
Currency: INR
Time Zone: IST (UTC+5.30)
Climate: Humid subtropical
Food & Drink: Achar Gosht, Keema Pulav, and Bhopali Paan are must-haves.

India may not be a completely barrier-free country yet, but many states and cities are trying to change all that. The Indian government is trying its best to make more and more Indian monuments, buildings, and railway stations around the country disabled-friendly and accessible under the Accessible India campaign!

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Leave a response comment3 Responses
  1. Peter
    March 25, 02:49 Peter

    I have visited the Taj Mahal 3 times. The last time was with my wife who is a wheelchair user. We were not allowed up onto the main platform where the tomb is. This is the main part of the monument. The inside of the structure is very beautiful. If you don’t have help it is impossible as the platform is very high (more than 3m). The steps are steep. To get up there you will need to get help. The police tried to stop us from going up there. They said we were not allowed there. I was furious and went to the site office and found the site director. He also refused us. I reminded him he was breaking the law by discriminating against disabled people. He forced us to sign a paper saying they were not responsible for any accident and then we were able to go up. My brother helped me get her up to the platform. This experience was really annoying.

    reply Reply this comment
    • Sarah Merchant
      March 29, 06:12 Sarah Merchant

      Hello Peter,

      We are very sorry to hear about your experience. India is not very disabled-friendly but Enable Travel is doing all it can to make it more accessible.

      reply Reply this comment
  2. Aisha Gupta
    October 17, 10:35 Aisha Gupta

    Well, it’s really good to know that we already have 5 monuments in the list of “Disabled Friendly Monuments”. ASI has been trying to make rich heritage sites disabled friendly. They have now made it extremely easy for people to book these monuments online, avoiding all the hassle of standing in long queues and waiting for your turn. This really is a great step for Indian Tourism.

    reply Reply this comment
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