Do you think sightseeing is more beautiful, iconic, and jaw-droppingly magnificent than the Taj Mahal? Our answer is none. If you make it in your new year resolutions, travelling Taj Mahal is your best choice.
At least, you will find no mausoleum more spectacular, no expression of love more stunning than creating a breath-taking marble masterpiece for one’s beloved wife. And no better goal to visit than seeing in person one of the world’s wonders up close.
Apart from exploring the world’s wonder, you will know about art, history, and better than these, a great love. And, it’s sure a chance for you to take some unforgettable photos. To help you enjoy the travel maximum, we’ve written an essential guide about what to have, where to get the good snaps, what else to view, and more.
Before you arrive at the Taj Mahal
About the Taj Mahal
You may know that the Taj Mahal is one of the most famous monuments in India. But do you know about its origin? Not much, right? Thus, we would suggest you read the history of the Taj. It would give you much pleasure in travelling to the Taj Mahal
To provide you with a little bit of its background, we give brief information about the Taj Mahal. Shah Jahan constructed it as he wanted to express his great love for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It took at least 22 years, and its material is white marble.
Over 20,000 employees worked day and night to build the Taj. According to history, soldiers cut their thumbs after completing the Taj Mahal so that no monument would be similar.
Best time to visit
The early summer or March to June in India is an excellent option to travel to the Taj Mahal. The winter from November to February isn’t a good time to visit as you can’t view the Taj Mahal at its most beautiful moment. The fog covers your sight, and you can’t get any nice pictures to keep as your souvenir.
The best days in a week to visit are from Monday to Thursday. The Taj Mahal is closed on Friday for prayers. Avoid going on public holidays and weekends as the monument is too crowded. Our tip for a visit is to travel early in the morning because it’s less crowded and you won’t suffer from the scorching heat.
Open hours: For a day visit, 6:00 am to 7:00 pm, and for a night visit, 8:30 pm to 12:30 pm, days before and after every full moon.
When you’re at the Taj Mahal
Come early and wait for space to take photographs, explore, and avoid crowds if possible. When approaching the east entrance, you go along the right side of the Taj Mahal. It’s a place to have appealing photos from the riverbank in the back of the Taj. You should go in a group to take a rickshaw to go back and forth cheaply.
The admission fee for a day visit costs 1000 Rupees (15-16 Dollars), including a pair of shoe covers (to avoid the marble from deterioration. You mustn’t walk with shoes around the Taj Mahal), a golf cart or bus service to the entrance, and a water bottle. Children under 15 years old get free entry.
For a night-time trip to the Taj on the full moon, the fee costs 750 Rupees per foreigner. You can buy a ticket in advance at the Archaeological Survey of India, from 10 am to 6 pm, on Mall Road.
Prohibited things to carry
You mustn’t bring certain things into the Taj Mahal monument according to security issues. There is a checkpoint at a gate. They don’t allow you to get large bags or packs and permit small bags to hold essential things. You mustn’t bring tobacco, food, drinks, mobile phone chargers, and tripods into the Taj Mahal.
You can have your phone, water bottle, and camera. However, you can put all the above things in locker rooms at the gate, just in case you have these things by mistake. The regulation doesn’t allow vehicles to travel within 500 meters of the Taj. A scientific study indicates that air pollution causes the deterioration of the monument.
Thus, if you take a car, you’ll leave it and walk 500 km away from the entrance.
A travelling Taj Mahal guide recommends you take a tour guide as they have a sea of knowledge about the monument. Hence, they get you to have great pictures to capture a magnificent shot. They can take you to carpet showrooms and handicrafts to purchase something as souvenirs.
How to get a tour guide
If you want to have a tour guide, hotels are contact points as they know many knowledgeable guides who holds an exciting tour for you. If you wish to one by yourself, you can check out ToursByLocals.
You can have a government-approved professional guides Up Tourism for 20 pounds per day. If you want something inexpensive, you download AudioCompass to have an audio guide of the monument. The app provides you with different languages such as German, English, Spanish, Italian, French and Japanese.
What to bring to the Taj Mahal
A tip for you is not to bring your valuables to the Taj Mahal. Although you have lockers available there, it’s an excellent way to have on you a few belongings. You don’t waste lots of check-in time
You need a small bag to contain the following:
- Cell phone
What to wear to the Taj Mahal
There is no requirement for a dress code, but you should show respect. For example, if you enter the holy mosque, you have to cover your knees, shoulders and head. The climate is hot in Agra, and there is little shade. So you should wear sunscreen and light clothing. One more thing is that Agra gets cold from Nov to Feb (winter).
A tip for you:
- Wearing shoes is easy to take off to go inside, slip on and off. Shoes with laces are complex.
- Watch out for rude shopkeepers, touts, and thieves. Have your wit in high-pressure places.
Tips for taking photos
You certainly want to keep iconic shots of the Taj Mahal. There are many ways to make your photos much wonderful as you can. For instance, sitting on the bench, you will have a backdrop of the marble mausoleum. However, some following tips help mix things up for amazing photos:
- Shotting from the arch of the main entrance
- Capturing the reflection of the fountains.
- Taking pictures of the Taj from the riverside will show the review on the river
- Getting a general view of the Taj from the other side of the river Mehtab Bagh
- Shotting The Taj Mahal some places of the Red Fort
Another solution is that you can have lovely photos from restaurants next to The Taj Mahal. Unlucky, Agra gets somewhat smoggy; thus, you get poor visibility at dawn and sunset. That said, you still have very atmospheric shots.
Exterior of Taj Mahal
The main entrance of the monument stands on the southern side of the complex. There are some scripts in the Quran to decorate the gate. Through the gate are there 22 white domes that represent 22 years to complete the structure. Walking past it, you will see a Persian garden. According to Islamic mythology, each paradise gets a flourishing garden.
The building of the guesthouse in the complex maintains asymmetry to the whole design. The garden includes four parts that represent the sea of water, wine, milk, and honey. Every structure has a spiritual mosque inside, which faces towards the land of Mecca. Every so often, pilgrims take place in the guesthouses.
The main complex is the Taj Mahal, a large dome structure with four spectacular minarets on every side. Built-in a slanting angle, the minarets won’t fall on the Taj in an earthquake. The external walls of the Taj give you an optical illusion.
Interior of Taj Mahal
The cenotaphs of the king and his wife sit in a burial underground. The decoy ones are on the top, which deceives invaders. In an invasion of Agra, the enemy took away the bones from Akbar’s tomb; Shah Jahan’s grandfather then burnt them. It’s a concern of the existing emperor.
It created a disgrace in culture. Due to this dishonour, the original cenotaphs are placed in secret chambers to stay away from the invaders’ reach and are not open to you as well.
According to a report, handicraftmen used gold and silver to ornate a bronze lamp under the dome’s roof. When Lord Curzon came to see the Taj Mahal, the light was dim, and he couldn’t admire the decoration on the wall. He ordered artisans to make the lamp. And it took two years to complete the task.
Travelling the Taj Mahal reveals to you the story of true love that woos the most unmoved hearts. The report describes the deepest affection of an emperor towards his wife by spending time, money and labour force building the monument. A building is nothing short of a stunning masterpiece.
You will see the Taj Mahal is like no other. There won’t be anything similar for the rest of the time. During your visit, you will find the sights worth admiring, the sights that are out of your imagination, and the sights you have to capture for your beloved ones and buddies.
A trip to the Taj Mahal creates fabulous moments which remain in your mind for a lifetime. It’s sure that you hardly remember what you eat for breakfast, but you remember the white marble facade of the imposing mausoleum across the gorgeous grounds.