So, fellow travelers around the globe, how many wonders of
the world you have been to? 1, 2 or more?
Seeing the wonders of the world along with your loved one is the wishlist of every single person, its one of those checklists that you make over a romantic date, or a proposal moment. Nevertheless, it is a must do thing if Travel is your passion !
I got to see the most iconic wonder of the World, the symbol of Love, an architectural marvel, the gem of India – Taj Mahal recently and I am still in awe with the sheer beauty of this monument.
As the Noble Laureate Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore said about Taj “A teardrop in the face of eternity.”, it definitely stands as one of the most amazing wonders of the world.
In this blog I will guide you the best time of the year to visit Taj, the best time of the day to visit Taj, and the best way to visit Taj. Also I will share the best things to do in Agra in a day or two.
Lets get started !
Best time in the year to Visit Taj
Agra is in Uttar Pradesh, one of the prominent states in the
North India. The weather here are extremes, that means you’ll get scorching
heat in summers and freezing winters. So avoid coming in the month of April to
the month of July, and if you are coming, make sure you see Taj earliest in the
morning as it opens at 6:30, and leave by 10 AM before the sun takes over.
If you plan to see Taj in night in moonlight, do not plan your trip in winters, as it might get really foggy.
So I reiterate, the best time to visit Taj in the year is from August to March.
Best time in the month to visit Taj
Yes, it is also important to know when in the month you should plan to see this beauty. This is because Taj is open for night tourism for only 5 days a month. These 5 days per month per year is already decided in the beginning of every year basis on the full moon. So the five days are – the day of the full moon, 2 days before and 2 days after. These 5 days are the only days available if you want to see Taj in the light of full moon, a moment to behold.
Here is the list of full moon days of 2019 – 2020 ->
Timings of night tourism are 8:30 PM to 12:30 AM. Tickets are available 24 hours before the night viewing. The viewing is divided in 8 batches, of max 50 people each batch. The duration allowed is 30 minutes.
The tickets cost for night viewing is 510 Rs for Indians, and 750 for Foreign guests.
Best time in the week to visit Taj
The reason you should know this is because TajMahal is closed on Fridays for prayers. So better plan your itinery well rather than getting disappointed. I’ll also say skip Saturday because a lot more crowd comes due to Friday being off. However, every day is crowded. Read next to see when you should actually see Taj.
Best time in the day to Visit Taj
Well, Taj is beautiful anytime, and everytime. But what makes the difference is the crowd. Take anyday and the Taj is full of tourists coming from across the globe. To get the best uninterrupted view of the Taj, with less crowd, so you can take those magical pictures, you need to visit Taj either earliest in the morning, or stay till late in the evening, preferably the last.
Tajmahal opens 30 minutes before sunrise and closes 30 minutes before sunset. It is usually 6 to 6:30 AM early morning, so its best that you reach the ticket counters by 5:45 AM and the moment the door opens you just rush to get the first clear view of the iconic Taj. That moment when the door of the Taj is opened is breathtakingly beautiful.
There are three entry gates, but at present only two gates are operational – Western Gate and Eastern Gate. There are enough shops, restaurants, cafes and souvenir stores near both gates so you can get yourself things that you need. However, food is not allowed inside the Taj, not even the packed food like biscuits. Bagpacks are not allowed, but handbags are allowed for ladies. Camera is allowed, but tripods are not.
For Indian Citizens, the entry fees is 50 Rs to see Taj from outside. To get inside the main mausoleum (optional), the price is 200 more. So, the price is 250 Rs for Indian national.
For Foreign visitors, the entry fees is 1100 Rs + 200 Rs to see inside the mausoleum.
Tickets are available online too and you get discounted price.
How to Reach Taj
Tajmahal is the most iconic building of India, hence reaching there should not be a worry. There are a plenty of buses, taxis, cabs, autos that can drop you till a particular point, and post that you can either walk 10 minutes, or take man rickshaws (10 Rs per person), or battery carts (10 Rs per person) to reach the ticket counter.
After taking the ticket, just follow the signs, get past the security, and here you are, in the Taj premises !
To carry / To not carry inside Taj
Be mindful of the things that you can carry inside Taj.
Mobile Camera is allowed, DSLRs are allowed, Go Pro is also allowed, so do not worry and carry your best camera gears ! Check out this great Camera that I found totally worth it : https://amzn.to/2NYUjm9
But remember, during the night viewing of Taj Mahal, mobile phones are banned. Tripods are anytime not allowed in any monument in Agra.
No Food, Drinks, Liquor and tobacco items can be carried. No huge bags, only small bags are permitted.
In case you brought any of these by mistake, there is a locker room to keep your stuff, but usually it takes a little longer.
Also, good to know things before you enter Taj
-People with disability are also welcome inside Taj and wheelchairs can be taken from the entrance.
-Clean drinking water is available inside.
-First Aid facilities are available inside.
-Umbrellas are allowed inside Taj, in case you are visiting on hot afternoons.
Inside the Taj? What next?
Well I am sure you’ll be stunned by this amazing piece of art the moment you enter the gate and get the first view of Taj. Take 5 minutes and just adore the beauty. Its grand. Its magnificent. Its adorable. Its unbelievable. That’s Taj Mahal for you, built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz.
Remember, per current rules, the ticket you have purchased is only valid for 3 hours, though that’s enough time to see the Taj but I bet you would like to just sit and adore and do nothing, and that can go beyond 3 hours, easily, such beautiful is this building.
Walk down the ramp, reach closer to Taj. There is a platform in the middle where you can stand and take better view and pictures of Taj. Walk further and reach the main Tajmahal. The closer you are the more beautiful taj looks, isn’t it ?
After adoring it from the outside, time to go inside. Walk towards your right and you can find a spot to keep your shoes. In case you don’t want to open shoes, there is a small cover you can purchase of 10rs each pair, that you can wrap over your shoes and are good to go. These covers are available outside Taj too just before you enter.
Follow the signs to reach inside the Taj. Inside, is housed the burial chambers of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz, what you see is just the cenotaphs and the intricate marble screen but the actual graves are beneath them. Its equally beautiful inside too.
Take a walk around the central part and you’ll come out the other side behind the Taj. You can see the Yamuna river flowing by in a vast open area and offers you a lovely view.
Next, go either towards the right or the left of Taj. You’ll find a good place to sit and adore this icon of love. The best part is that this place is wide open and you’ll see less distraction in your view. This place also gives you a plenty of photo opportunities, for trying trick photos, and photos to cherish forever.
Nevertheless, there are softwares now a days to remove unwanted people from the pictures, so chill.
Once done with thousands of pictures, selfies and love captures, walk back to the platform in the middle of the way to Taj, and adore it just a little more. Honestly, you can never get enough of it, never.
The security personals will ask you to leave by 7 when it gets a little dark if you are viewing Taj in evening. While going back, walk backwards adoring Taj just a bit more, and surprisingly, you’ll find that Taj gets bigger as you move farther. That’s a secret unknown to all why does this happen.
That is it. You have just witnessed a historical monument that stands tall as a symbol of love in the world. You have just seen The Taj Mahal !
Things to do in Agra beyond The Taj Mahal.
Go to Oberoi Amarvilas for a tea/coffee.
If you have quite decent money in your pocket, or you don’t care about money as you are on holidays, take a walk for 10 minutes and reach Oberoi Amarvilas, it is one of the most amazing and expensive hotels in India, and it surely makes a must visit. A cup of tea or a bowl of soup would cost you nothing less than 700 INR but you can spend a good time sitting near the pool, in the gardens, or in the lavish lobby.
Visit Baby Taj
If you have arrived Agra on a Friday or you have enough time left in the day, visit Baby Taj. Its similar to Taj, just smaller in structure, or to be frank, very small !
But its cute, less crowded, gives a good view, and you can spend a relaxed time without have to worry about nagging photographers, noisy crowd, and time boundation.
Sadar Bazar, Kinari Bazar
Street food – yes, some mouth watering street food awaits you at Sadar Bazar, where you can get likes of Aloo tikki, Pani Puri, Momos, Soya chaps, chicken tandoori, Tea, Soda, Cold drinks and more.
For a good distant view and some cool photo opportunities, visit this garden. Its calm, relaxing, peaceful and is a good Taj Mahal viewpoint.
Right opposite to Tajmahal is Agra Fort, its huge and also a must visit. Its built using red sandstone and white marble. Inside are some amazing things to see like Shish Mahal, Khas Mahal, Jahangir Mahal, Diwan E Aam, Diwan E Khas
Another iconic monument in Agra. It is one of the largest mosques in the country, it can accommodate over 25 thousand devotees at a time ! It looks beautiful with intricate carvings, red sandstone work, and a lot of chhatris.
Agra is a beautiful city. There are a lot of things to see and do, and eat and experience. The festival celebrations, the locals, the dialects, the atmosphere- it all makes this city a vibrant one and with the presence of Taj, it just gets bigger.
Make note of the above points, plan your trip to Taj, have a great time. Take some amazing pictures and make those memories. See the wonder. Live the life. Happy Traveling!