Visiting Taj Mahal for the first time? Here I’m sharing my best ten Taj Mahal tips to make your trip unforgettable.
No matter whether you consider the Taj Mahal one of the wonders of the world or not, the monument is definitely worth visiting. However, there are certain things you need to know in order to make your visit more enjoyable. I’ve been to Agra several years ago and I still have mixed feelings about that trip. I have never been particularly fixated on the idea of seeing the Taj, nor I believed in the love story behind it. For me visiting this place was one of the ways of getting to know the country I was going to call my home. Here I’m going to share my true and honest opinion about the monument, without any preconceived notions. Also, I hope you’ll find these Taj Mahal tips useful.
In one word, the Taj Mahal is impressive. It has to be, considering it took 22 years to be constructed by 20,000 workers , who were obviously guided by someone with great vision. I’ve been fortunate to see quite a few brilliant examples of Maughal architecture, but none of them had the enchanting power of the Taj – light and massive at the same time, simple and glorious.
Table of Contents
- 1 10 Useful Taj Mahal tips
- 1.1 Get to Agra on your own
- 1.2 One or two days in Agra are sufficient
- 1.3 Get to the Taj early in the morning
- 1.4 Avoid “helpers”
- 1.5 Learn what you can’t take inside
- 1.6 Watch out for monkeys when standing in the queue
- 1.7 Know the price of Taj Mahal entrance
- 1.8 Be patient when taking pictures
- 1.9 Be ready to get photographed a lot
- 1.10 Make sure to enjoy your visit in spite of all the hassle
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10 Useful Taj Mahal tips
Get to Agra on your own
There is a number of ways to get to Agra from Delhi: by bus, by train or by air. You can also hire a driver to take you to your destination by car. Whatever you choose, try to get there on your own and don’t go for tours, otherwise you may end up being taken to all sorts of shops where you’re expected to buy marble tables, statues, carpets, miniature (and not so miniature) replicas of the Taj and other souvenirs. Oh, you wanted to see the real Taj? No problem, we still have something like 40 minutes left! 🙂
One or two days in Agra are sufficient
Agra is not a very inspiring place – the city is noisy, dusty and full of touts and “helpers”. Stay there as little as possible. I apologize if this statement is too harsh, but these are my honest impressions. I’ll be glad to admit my mistakes if someone can prove me wrong. The ideal option would be to stay there for one day, just to see the Taj and Agra Fort.
Get to the Taj early in the morning
If you arrive in the afternoon, it’s better to visit Agra Fort first and go to the Taj next morning. This way you’ll be able to avoid the crowds and see the monuments lit by the first rays of sunlight. It opens at 6 a. m., and you should be there a bit earlier – people will start gathering in no time.
There are lots of them in the city, and if you feel someone is trying to act smart, don’t associate with this person. For example, one can try to sell you the tickets to the Taj without having to stand in the queue (the tickets will be either overpriced or simply fake). Or they might try to show you “another secret entrance to avoid the crowds”. Don’t give them a chance.
Learn what you can’t take inside
They search you when you enter so don’t take any snacks, metal objects, or anything sharp or flammable.
Watch out for monkeys when standing in the queue
When standing in the queue, you can amuse yourself observing the monkeys – there were quite a lot of them. Keep in mind though that these lovely creatures can be quite annoying and even aggressive if they notice you eating something or searching for things in your purse.
Know the price of Taj Mahal entrance
The tickets cost 1050 Rs for foreigners and 45 Rs for Indian visitors – at least these were the prices a few years back. It’s preferable to buy tickets with exact change – this way it will go faster. They also give you a free bottle of water (by all means take it!) and shoe covers.
Be patient when taking pictures
There are always a lot of people near the Taj so it might be challenging to take a perfect photo. But be patient, it’s still possible – you just have to wait for a suitable moment.
Be ready to get photographed a lot
If you’re a foreign female traveler, the chances are you’ll be asked to take a photo with. I’d suggest, take photos only if you feel comfortable about it – with families, women, and kids. But if you feel that taking photos with 10-20 guys one by one is not something you would enjoy to do, don’t hesitate to refuse.
Make sure to enjoy your visit in spite of all the hassle
Even if you find it difficult to concentrate at first, try to take the most of your visit. Imagine, there is only the Taj and you, and nothing else. Explore the structure slowly and listen to the stones – they have stories to tell you.
You may also like: Visiting the Taj Mahal with young kids
I hope you’ll find these simple Taj Mahal tips helpful. Also hope, you’ll enjoy every moment of your experience. As for me… If you ask me whether I would like to visit again, I would say no. But if you ask me whether I cherish the memories of “my” Taj, I would say yes, definitely!
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