The Taj Mahal overlooks fairytale-like views from the Yamuna River banks. It’s the country’s most famous monument and is also among the Seven Wonders of the Earth.
The mausoleum traces back to 1632 and is a tomb that possesses the body of Mumtaz Mahal, the spouse of emperor Shah Jahan. He had made it in regards to his love for her.
It’s constructed out of marble and took 22 years and around 20,000 employees to complete. Words can’t make justice to the Taj Mahal, and its excellent detail has to be witnessed to be appreciated.
In Uttar Pradesh, Agra is about 215km (133 miles) from Delhi, and it’s part of the famous India Golden Triangle Tours Circuit.
When To Go?
The most excellent time for the Taj Mahal tour is from November to February; otherwise, it can be intolerable hot or rainy. You will be able to gain some fantastic off-period deals, though.
The Taj seems to slowly change its color in the changing light of the day. It’s great to wake up early and witness sunrise here, as it wonderfully shows itself. Touring around dawn will also help you hit the vast crowds that begin reaching later in the morning.
You can see the Taj Mahal on your India golden triangle tours. Getting a taj mahal tour by train is the most popular travel method preferred by maximum tourists.
The city is well-linked by railroad, and the central railway station is Agra Cantt. The fast-moving Yamuna Expressway and Shatabdi Express services run from various cities of India.
The bus is also a great choice if booking a train isn’t possible. Luxury AC Volvo buses run from Anand Vihar terminal in New Delhiregularly and the price is around ₹700 per head. The buses run via the Yamuna Expressway.
Otherwise, you can fly from prominent Indian cities or get a Taj Mahal tour from Delhi.
The Taj Mahal unlocks its door 30-min before sunrise and shuts 30-min before sunset, likely around 6 am to 7 pm daily, excluding Friday (when it’s closed).
The Taj Mahal is also available for night watching every full moon from 8:30 pm to 12:30 am, also two days after and before the full moon (total 5-days). Night watch is closed during the period of Ramadan annually.
Security at the Taj Mahal
Strict security is in position at the monument, and there are checkpoints at the entries. Your bag will be searched and scanned.
Large bags and day packs aren’t permitted to be brought inside, and only small bags having necessary items are allowed. It includes a camera, cell phone, and a water bottle per individual.
You can’t bring tobacco products or lighters, edibles, electrical items (including headphones, torches, phone chargers, etc.), camera tripods, or knives inside. Cell phones are also prohibited during night watching sessions, although cameras are still permitted.
Entry Fees and Information
For foreign nationals, the ticket cost is ₹1,100, and for locals, the rate is ₹50. Kids below 15 years can enter free.
You can buy tickets at ticket offices close to the entrance gates or online. Do note that tickets for the monument can no longer be purchased at Agra Fort or other places and only provide a minimal deal if you desire to tour other sites on the exact day.
Night watching tickets cost ₹750 for foreign nationals and ₹510 for locals, for 30 min’s entry. Kids aged 3 to 15 years must pay ₹500. You must buy these tickets within 10 am to 6 pm, one day before, from the office of the Archeological Survey of India on Mall Road.
Vehicles are not permitted within 500m of the monument due to pollution. There are 3 entrance gates—South gate, East gate, and West gate.
- The West Gate is the leading gate that most local tourists enter via, and it usually has the most extended lines all over the day.
- The East gate is usually utilized by foreign visitors, as it’s nearer to several famous hotels.
- The South Gate is the least-utilized gate. It’s near a crowded market area where multiple affordable hotels are located.
There are exclusive ticket counters for foreign nationals at both the West and East gates.
Guides And Audio Guides
If you desire to admire the monument without the distraction of hiring a travel guide with you, government-licensed AudioCompass offers an affordable authorized Taj Mahal audio guide on its cell phone app.
It’s available in many Indian and foreign languages, including English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, and Japanese.
Witness the Taj Mahal Without Going Inside
If you don’t like to spend the pricey entry fee or battle the traffic, you can get a splendid vista of the Taj from over the riverbank, and it is perfect for the evening.
One such site there is Mehtab Bagh, a 25-acre park complex directly opposite the mausoleum. The entry fee is ₹250 for foreign nationals and ₹20 for locals, and it’s open until sunset.
There is also a lesser-known abandoned watchtower over a sandy area on the monument’s eastern side. It’s a perfect place for a magnificent sunset vista of the Taj. Pay the official ₹50 to enter.
Uttar Pradesh Tourism’s Taj Khema hotel provides impressive views of the monuments from its gardens. A marble bench was set on a mound, particularly for tourists. Sip tea and eye the sunset! It’s a government-run establishment, so don’t expect excellent service, though.
Another choice is the Saniya Palace hotel’s rooftop, on the southern side of the monument.