Tips for Visiting the Taj Mahal
Tourists prefer to see Taj Mahal closely and for a long duration as its beauty keep them mesmerized. It’s a leisure activity to behold enchanting beauty of Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal seems to gradually change its color in the changing light of the day. In order to thoroughly explore various aspects of this marble tomb, a visitor needs ample time, minimal crowd and pleasant weather. Especially for a foreign tourist, here are few tips to ensure his / her visit a fulfilling experience……
- Avoid visiting the Taj Mahal on holidays. Overwhelmingly large number domestic (Indian) tourists take the opportunity to travel to and visit the Taj Mahal on following dates / occasions: Republic Day (26 January), Independence Day (August 15), Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi (October 2), Holi (falls in February-March), Durga Puja / Navratri / Dussehra (September-October), Dipawali (October-November).
- Avoid weekends. Many Indians move for the day and tend to take over the place during the weekend. It is therefore better and more comfortable to come on weekdays.
- Come on Thursday. This is usually the quietest day, followed by Wednesday and Monday.
- Avoid rush hours. Since majority of visitors arrive in the afternoon, it is post-lunch time (3 PM to sunset) when the Taj Mahal is the most crowded. The sunrise is a moment coveted by photographers with much less crowd.
- Choose the gate/ door in advance. There are three gates / doors to access the Taj Mahal. It is at the western gate that the queues are the longest. The southern entrance, closer to Taj Ganj (low-priced hotel area) has shorter tails, but the doors open at 8 AM. You will have to choose another entrance if you plan to arrive at sunrise. It’s at the east gate that the queues are the shortest, but the ticket office is far away from the door. So opt for this entry if you already have a ticket.
- Since Taj view during sunset is a popular moment for photography aficionados, but at that time, the Taj Mahal complex remains highly crowded, therefore, Optima Travels recommends taking pictures of the Taj Mahal from Mehtab Bagh, a park on the other side of the Yamuna River. The view is just as incredible, but the park has the advantage of not being filled with tourists.
- Book your ticket online or buy it in advance. Tickets for the Taj Mahal can be purchased at any other Agra monument, but make sure that the date on your ticket matches the date of your visit or check that it is a ticket without validity date. Otherwise, you will not be able to access the Taj Mahal!
- You can visit the Taj Mahal at night also. This visit is possible for five nights a month: during the full moon, two days before and two days later, except on Friday and during Ramadan. The Taj Mahal may seem empty at this time, since the visit is limited to 50 people. The disadvantage is that night tour of Taj Mahal lasts only 30 minutes and one can only buy the tickets at the Indian Archeology Service counter in Agra a day before.
- Taj Mahal is heavily guarded and strict security measures have been employed. There are checkpoints at the entrances. When you come to visit the Taj Mahal, your bag will be scanned and searched. Avoid coming with accessories of camera, writing materials or books. You will have to leave them outside or deposit in a locker. Only small bags containing essential items are allowed. This includes a phone, a camera or a camera and a bottle of water per person. You cannot bring edibles, tobacco, lighters, electrical items (phone chargers, headphones, iPads, lamps), knives or camera tripods inside. Mobile phones are also prohibited during night-time viewing sessions, although cameras are still allowed. Luggage storage is available at the front doors. The lockers are located about 750 meters from the entrance to the Taj Mahal. It results in loss of time that you could have utilized in exploring the monument.
- Normally it takes from two hours to four hours to visit Taj Mahal complex. On a normal exploration, one goes through the front gates, to visit the mausoleums in the inner courtyard, to discover the South gate, then the gardens. Along the gardens, there are interesting arches and, then, a small museum where one can see site plans, portraits of Mumtaj Mahal and Shah Jahan, etc.
- Once the garden crossed, the visitor arrives on the marble terrace where he / she will have to remove the shoes. The visit of the main mausoleum, the mosque and, finally, the guest house will take a good time if one is interested in the inlaid stones, the patterns in low relief, cenotaphs, in short to all that is the beauty of the site. The museum remains open from 10 AM to 5 PM every day except Friday when Taj Mahal remains closed for the visitors.
- Adopt a proper outfit, not too revealing or sexy one. Do keep in mind that in the Taj Mahal complex, you will be visiting a tomb and a mosque.
- Some hotels have amazing views of the Taj Mahal, especially from a roof terrace of the building or room window. Though Taj-view rooms are a bit costlier but it’s a worthwhile proposition to enjoy. It’s really romantic to view Taj Mahal from one’s own room.
- There are several places from where best photographs of Taj Mahal can be taken. One of the most preferred places is located just after the main gate, at the top of the steps. It’s at a reasonable height and the mausoleum is revealed at a distance of 300 meters and also at nice height. Taking the same picture before the door is even better since the mausoleum unveils in the frame. Another classic spot to capture Taj Mahal in camera is the central fountain. It is from here that you can take classic photos with open hands, palms to the sky, with the impression of the Taj Mahal amidst it.
Suggested Tour :
1 Day : Agra Day Tour from Delhi by Car