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Footfalls at Taj Mahal fall due to cold wave
Monday December 22, 2014 11:44 AM, IANS

Footfalls at Agra's Taj Mahal have fallen considerably due to the cold wave that has engulfed north India, guides said.

The day temperatures in Agra fell to around 14 degrees Celsius, as the city was enveloped in a thick blanket of fog.

Visibility was reduced to zero on the Yamuna Expressway and the national highway to Delhi early in the morning, and vehicles only inched ahead in the dense fog.

Weathermen warned that the minimum temperature could touch the freezing point in the coming days. Due to severe weather conditions, markets closed early Sunday evening.

The Taj Express was cancelled and dozens of trains arrived several hours behind their schedule at the Agra Cantonment station.

At the monument site, a few tourists were seen huddled together, shivering and wrapped up in shawls.

District magistrate Pankaj Kumar has ordered all schools to conduct classes after 10 a.m. The Christian missionary schools are already closed for Christmas celebrations.

The district agriculture department said that for the wheat crop the fall in temperature was beneficial but there were apprehensions about the potato crop, which cannot stand such a steep decline in temperature.

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