Visiting the Taj Mahal is a dream come true for so many backpackers and travelers across the world.
Seldom, you would find any traveler who doesn’t wish to give an iconic pose in front of this century-old yet majestic monument.
But trust me, being an Indian and staying just 185 km away from the Taj, It took me more than 7 years to finally convince myself to witness this backpackers must-visit paradise in India.
Was it worth it?
I still curse those people who labeled it as a boring place whenever I decided to visit this place and that eventually led me to change my mind.
But one day I finally kept aside all my presumptions and caught a bus to Agra, India to visit one of the most sought-after places in the world, the Taj Mahal.
How to reach the Taj Mahal?
No matter from which corner of the world you belong to, you can always reach New Delhi (the Capital of India) quite easily.
New Delhi is well connected from all the corners of the world through the flight. And Agra (The Taj City) is 200 km away from it. It will take around 3 hours to reach this place.
Several buses and trains run to and from Agra. For trains, you have to do advance booking but you can catch the buses whenever it’s convenient for you.
Train ticket fare starts from 170 INR and available up to 1200 NR depending on the class(SL, 3A, 2A or 1A) you want to travel in.
The bus fare starts from 250 INR and available up to 1500 INR depending on the luxury you want to avail.
About the Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, who built this monument in the loving memory of his wife Mumtaj Mahal who died while giving birth to their 14th child.
The construction of the Taj Mahal was started in the year 1631 and it took 22 years to complete this monument.
22000 laborers and 1000 elephants were used in the whole construction. And it was built entirely out of white marble.
Taj Mahal Timings
The visiting hours at the Taj Mahal starts from 6 am in the morning and open till 6:30 pm in the evening except for Friday. Every Friday, which is the taj mahal closing day is only accessible to Muslims in the afternoon to attend prayers.
You can also visit the Taj Mahal from 8:30 pm to 12:30 am in the night but again except Friday.
People gather in huge numbers on the full moon night to witness this glowing monument.
What is the entry fee for the Taj Mahal?
For Indian residents, it is 50 INR and an additional 200 INR for visiting main mausoleum (Optional).
For Citizens of SAARC and BIMSTEC countries, it is 540 INR and an additional 200 INR for visiting main mausoleum (Optional).
For the foreign tourists, visiting the taj mahal will cost around 1100 INR and an additional 200 INR for visiting the main mausoleum (Optional).
What is special about the Taj Mahal?
Nothing, except the fact that it is extremely beautiful. You can’t take off your eye from this place.
It is also the UNESCO world heritage site and one of the seven wonders of the world which makes this place extremely famous for the people who travel to India and wants to witness the pristine beauty this country offers.
Since it is built in white marble it reflects the color of the sun on its white base. In the morning it gives a shade of orange. In the afternoon, it is a bit on the yellow side and by the time the sun sets, the bluish tone surrounds the Taj Mahal.
What time is perfect to visit the Taj?
Since it opens at 6 am in the morning, the best way to have some leisure time at Taj is to enter as early as possible.
When I visited this place, I reached the ticket counter at sharp 6 am and by 6:15 am, I was standing right in front of the Taj.
There were only a few people there and the crowd started flooding only after 8 am.
There is one more benefit of visiting the Taj Mahal in the early morning, you can have the sunrise view of this place.
Are shoes allowed in the Taj Mahal?
Yes, shoes are allowed inside the Taj. You don’t need to submit at the entrance.
Is Mobile allowed in the Taj Mahal?
Yes, mobiles are allowed inside the Taj. And you don’t have to pay anything to carry it.
If you want to carry a DSLR camera then you need to pay some additional charge for it.
What is inside the Taj Mahal?
Inside the mausoleum resides the cenotaphs of Mumtaz Mahal & Shah Jahan, which you can visit at an additional cost of 200 INR.
What else you can visit in Agra?
Agra is famous for the Taj Mahal only. There is a red fort in Agra too which you can visit but I found it boring and a waste of time.
There are far more amazing forts in India, especially in Rajasthan which you can explore.
Apart from the monuments, you can try an Indian sweet caller Petha which is quite famous in Agra.
People living in India might find visiting the Taj Mahal trivial but trust me people living in other countries save for years for the trip to Taj.
And trust me I am not bragging, when I visited, I did behold the Taj for a good amount of time as It is such beautiful 🙂