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Do you want to visit the magnificent ‘Taj Mahal’ in India?
The architectural beauty of India Taj Mahal is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is undoubtedly one of the best historical places in India that showcase the Mughal architecture.
Visiting the Taj Mahal is not only a dream of any Indian but also of foreign travelers. Thousands of travelers from across the world come to India to visit ‘Taj mahal,’ and I am sure many others, too, want to visit and learn more about ‘Taj Mahal’ – the epitome of love.
If you read the blog post till the end, you will find all the necessary details, guides, and travel tips to the Taj Mahal in Agra. Eventually, I hope it will help you in planning your travel further.
Facts about the Taj Mahal
Before planning a trip to Agra, I think you will be interested in knowing some facts about this beautiful Taj Mahal.
- Taj Mahal was built by the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan in memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
- Taj Mahal is a structure of ivory-white marble and other precious stone.
- The Taj Mahal was built and designed by the architect Ustad Ahmad Lahori, who was one of the greatest architects of the seventeenth century.
- It is located in the city of Agra, on the banks of the Yamuna river.
What is the best time to visit the Taj Mahal?
If you want to skip the heat waves and rain, then I would say the months of winter would be the best time of the year to plan a trip to the Taj Mahal. By saying this, I mean between October to February.
But let me remind you that this time of the year will also remain the busiest and crowded. As nobody would want to travel during the summer and monsoon.
Now, early morning is the best time of the day. You can reach before the sunrise and can still see the heaps of tourists in a queue. But comparatively, it will be less of a crowd.
If not before the sunrise, you can also wait till dusk to beat the enormous crowd. Both sunrise and sunset look splendid in a photo frame with the Taj Mahal as a subject.
Vehicles aren’t allowed within 1 km of the Taj mahal. So, be prepared to walk a bit.
Visiting the majestic wonder of the world is a bit expensive for travelers around the globe. The entry fee to the Taj Mahal has recently risen for both the foreign travelers and for the Indian visitors.
The Indian tourists will now have to pay INR 250, and the international tourists will have to pay $19 to enjoy the perks of visiting the Taj Mahal.
Tickets are available from one hour before sunrise. So try to reach as early as possible.
As per the Guardian report, nearly 10,000 – 15,000 visitors come daily to the Taj Mahal.
Experts say that they are reducing the huge flow of tourists daily, as this is impacting the marble floors and walls of the Taj Mahal. Certain restrictions and the ticket hikes will generate revenue in restoration work and eventually make the Taj Mahal look better.
What to wear on your visit to the Taj Mahal?
Well, there isn’t any specific dress code, but dressing respectfully and decently will ease your travel.
If you are coming during the summer, then wear light clothes, sunglasses to protect your eyes, wear a scarf or a hat to cover your head and apply sunscreen to your body.
If you are traveling during the monsoon, which I hope you don’t because traveling during the monsoon will be a dull trip for you. Still, if you want, then surely carry an umbrella and raincoat.
And if you are visiting during the winter, do carry layers with you as northern India is pretty much colder than the rest of the country.
It is my humble advice to you that you don’t wear shorts or revealing dress on your trip to Agra. You can wear a jean with a top or shirt or a Kurti and leggings or skirt.
Travel Tips to the Taj Mahal
- Choose your entrance carefully
There are three entrance gates to the Taj Mahal: The East Gate, The West Gate, and The South Gate. You can choose to enter any one of them.
The West Gate is the main entrance to the Taj Mahal and is the most crowded one too. The South Gate is located near a local market, so it usually remains more crowded, especially with the vendors.
- You will be appropriately searched so don’t freak out.
- Reach at the destination before 6 am in the morning. If you are lucky, then you might find yourself standing in the queue, not for long.
- You must try a sip of tea (chai) from the local chai tea seller. Believe me, a glass of chai early in the morning before sunrise feels excellent.
- Do not carry any sharp or metal object as it will get detected in the security screening. Keep your bag light and small.
- Take plenty of photos of the Taj Mahal from every angle for your Instagram account.
- If you are traveling with kids, be well-prepared. Feed them before you enter as foods aren’t allowed inside.
- Like I already mention, dress appropriately and look smart.
- Very important to note that do not get a guide that you see available at the gate. If you need a guide, you can ask in your hotel or look for a government registered license guide.
- Do not leave your shoes outside. You will get disposable shoe covers at the entrance.
- Explore the entire premises and the Mughal garden.
- If you are a photography enthusiast, make sure to know the time and from which gate you will get the best shot.
- Camera tripod and drones aren’t allowed, so you should leave it either in your car or at the hotel.
What are the things you cannot carry inside?
Well, people say not to take this and that inside the Taj. Even if you do bring the items that aren’t allowed to take inside, then you will be provided a locker to keep your belongings.
Don’t worry, you can bring a water bottle with you as water is the basic necessity.
It is advisable to carry a small bag where you can only keep the wallet, phone, camera, medicines, umbrella, and water.
Although emergency first-aid and filtered water facility is available inside the Taj Mahal.
What you cannot take?
There are plenty of things that are prohibited inside the Taj. These are followings:
- Heavy bags aren’t allowed to carry inside
- Items like tobacco products, metal objects, charger, headphones, electronic item, drones, camera tripod, and food aren’t allowed to carry inside the Taj Mahal
You can take as many photos as you want of the Taj Mahal and the garden area. But inside it is not allowed.
Note: Take the full-moon tour at the Taj Mahal, it will cost an additional 750 INR. But the tour is worth every penny. People who have taken the tour say it is spectacular and beyond once’s imagination.
Also read: 2 Days Itinerary Travel Guide to Hyderabad
How to reach the Taj Mahal from Agra?
The Taj Mahal is located in the city of Agra, and Agra is very well-connected to Delhi. So, if you are coming from Delhi, you can either hire a car and drive from Delhi to Agra via Yamuna-Expressway, and it will take around 3 hours to reach.
As this is a toll expressway, a one-way trip will cost you 415 INR.
You can also take the bus from Delhi-Agra. There are plenty of bus services available from Delhi.
Or you can also travel by train from the New Delhi station to Agra; it merely takes 3 and a half hours to 4 hours.
I think the train would be the best choice for a flexible journey. And if you are someone who enjoys the road, then you can hire a self-rental car from Zoom or Revv.
Actually, there are many self-driven rental car services in India. So, it is now easy to enjoy a road drive.
Where to stay?
I would recommend you to stay in a hotel which is situated near to all the tourist spots like the Taj Mahal, Red Fort, Qutub Minar and etc. It will be easier for you to cut short the Delhi traffic, and you can save more time in traveling.
There are several OYO hotels available at a fair price. You can check them out if you want to save money and if you’re going to stay in luxury hotels then you might find them in Booking.com
Scams that you can avoid
- There is one common scam in all the cities of India, and that is the taxi/auto driver will charge a hefty and refuse to go by meter.
- You will see unofficial tour guides available at every tourist spot and offer you their services. But if you need one, do check first if he/she is a government licensed guide or not.
- Beware of the pickpockets that happen every time and at every crowded place. The pickpocketers can pick your wallet or any other valuable belongings of yours. So, the best way to handle this is to stay alert, and if you are carrying a bag, hold it close to you tightly.
This is pretty much a detail that I have tried to tell elaborately in this blog post to help you plan your Taj Mahal trip.
I hope you have an enjoyable trip to the Taj Mahal. You can also mail me directly to ask anything related to your India trip.