You must visit the Taj Mahal at least once in your lifetime. Behind the walls of this marble mausoleum lies a tale of love. Discover the hushed whispers of lovers Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal, the namesake of this landmark.
Photo: Taj Mahal / CC0
Behold The Taj Mahal
You have arrived in Agra and you are full of excitement and anticipation. Now, behold The Taj Mahal.
Photo: Romantic Sunset at The Taj Mahal / CC0
The Taj Mahal is a monument to love and beauty. The flower gardens and reflecting pools create an atmosphere of peace and tranquility that adds to the charm of the monument.
Photo: The Taj Mahal across the River Yamuna / CC0
Plus, in the Mehtab Bagh garden, you can stroll amongst the flowers under the moonlit sky as you gaze upon the glowing Taj Mahal. A mausoleum has never been so romantic.
Photo: Yet another distant view of The Taj Mahal across the Yamuna River / CC0
Note: The Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays. The rest of the week it is open from 6 am t0 6 pm. After you have had your fill, you can visit Agra Fort, which is another Mughal masterpiece.
Photo: Mosque inside the Taj Mahal complex / CC0
Photo: Green garden / The Taj Mahal / CC0
Photo: Intricate details, The Taj Mahal / The Art of Travel Partners
Photo: The Art of Travel Partners
Rules and Regulations at the Taj Mahal
Security is tight and rules and regulations are very important and must be followed at the Taj Mahal. Majority of the rules are to maintain the holiness of the monument and for the maintenance and protection of the monument and as well as tourist safety.
- Government-issued photo ID, such as passport, is sometimes, but not always, requested to be shown to the security guards at the entrance.
- Every tourist has to pay an entrance fee. Try to avoid bringing a bag because the security process can get cumbersome. It is best just to sling your camera over your shoulder and slip your phone into the pocket.
- Mobile phones are allowed but must to be kept switched off. Mobile phones are banned for the night viewing of the Taj Mahal.
- Eating and smoking are prohibited inside the Taj Mahal complex.
- Lockers are available at the gates to keep your belongings (of course, at your own risk).
- Avoid carrying big bags and books inside the monument as this may increase your security check time. Depending on the size of your bag and the guard, you may be asked to check even medium-sized backpacks.
- Video cameras are allowed up to the red sandstone platform at the main entrance gate of the Taj Mahal complex. There is an additional charge for bringing a video camera.
- Photography is prohibited inside the main mausoleum, and visitors are requested not to make noise inside the mausoleum.
- Tourists are allowed to carry a water bottle inside the monument.
- Video cameras are permitted after the security check during night viewing of the Taj Mahal, though extra (external) batteries are prohibited.
- The Taj Mahal is a religious site. It is best to dress conservatively when visiting the Taj Mahal complex, not only because the Taj Mahal itself is a mausoleum, but also because there are mosques inside the Taj Mahal complex.
Photo: The Taj Mahal, the jewel of India / CC0
Photo: Crowds – Expectations vs. Reality / The Art of Travel Partners
How To Get Here
After arriving at the Delhi International Airport, you can take a train to Agra. There are around 20 trains every day connecting the two cities. Besides the train, there are also buses that will transport you between the cities.
Do not trust travel agencies or luxury buses because many of them are frauds. If you do not like public transportation, then you can hire a taxi to take you from Delhi to Agra.
Photo: An artsy shot of Taj Mahal / CC0
Best Time To Visit
Photo: The ivory white marble wonder / The Art of Travel Partners
India is in the tropics, which means it witnesses scorching summers and freezing winters. For those who prefer to avoid extreme temperatures, the best time to visit will be between November-March.
During these months there is little to no rainfall, and the temperatures are pleasant. December and January can be cold, but if you are from a cold country, the temperature will still seem mild to you.
The below safety tips will work everywhere in India. Practice common sense and you’ll be fine.
- Don’t leave cash or any valuables in the hotel room. Cross check all hotel, restaurant and lounge bills for errors.
- Never pay anyone for anything upfront, including taxi drivers.
- Beware of pickpockets.
- If you are purchase anything on that street side that says branded or pure leather, beware that most likely these items are cheap replicas of the original and not likely to last long.
- During the winter season, the weather of Agra is unpredictable and temperature may go as low as freezing; be well prepared.
- Some unscrupulous dealers of carpets use the classic ‘bait and switch’. If you buy something, insist on carrying it yourself else what arrives in the post might not be what you bargained for.
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December 27, 2017 9:02 am