If you’re planning a trip to India and want to see the Taj Mahal, there are a few things you should know before you go. We’ve compiled a list of 24 top recommendations we wish we’d known, such as the optimal time of day to visit and innovative Taj Mahal photography suggestions. We’ve also put up a comprehensive Agra travel guide and answered all of your Taj Mahal queries.
Top Tips to know Before You Visit the Taj Mahal
There is so much we wish we had known before going to the Taj Mahal. These recommendations will provide you with all of the information you need to know before your visit. We hope this contributes to making your experience as memorable as possible.
1. Arrive early to the ticket booth
Our recommendation is to go see the Taj Mahal first thing in the morning. There will be less people, better lighting, and you will miss the noon heat (which begins about 9 a.m.).
Arrive as early as possible at the ticket desk. When we arrived at 5:45 a.m. (15 minutes before the ticket desk opened), there was already a pretty lengthy line. If we did it again, we’d attempt to arrive at 5:15 a.m.Shilp Gram U.P. Tourism is the name of the structure. The line was looping outside the door when we left just after 6:15 a.m.
2. Choose your gate wisely
The Taj Mahal has three entry gates. Make sure to educate yourself on each so you can choose which is the best choice for you.
- The East Gate was the nearest to our accommodation, and although it was packed, we didn’t have to wait long before we could in. This was quite handy for us.
- The West Gate is farther away from the majority of the hotels, and it is the busiest gate throughout the day. However, it has been said that it is less congested at dawn than the East Gate. Depending on where you’re living, this might be a viable alternative.
- Avoid the South Gate if at all possible (except mainly for persons watching). It’s near a shady market, and the touts peddling trinkets are aggressive. Plus, this gate doesn’t open until 8 a.m., so if you want to see dawn, you may skip this one.
3. Buy your ticket with exact change
Despite the fact that we came first thing in the morning, the guys at the ticket office were harassing individuals for not having precise change. The Taj Mahal admission fee is 1,000 rupees per person (up from 750 rupees).A foreigner ticket should include a bottle of water, shoe coverings, and an Agra tourist map.
4. Wear bug spray
Mosquitoes are still active at sunrise (when we came in March), and we were swamped while standing in line to access the Taj Mahal.
5. Be prepared to separate from your travel partner
There is a separate queue for males and women at the east gate entry. The women’s line takes longer, as is typical with restroom lineups. If you’re traveling with the opposite sex, be prepared to split up and arrange a meeting spot on the other side of the checkpoint since it might become busy quickly.
If you’re visiting the Taj Mahal with children, this entry may become quite busy, so keep your children near so they don’t get lost in the frenzy.
6. Dress appropriately
The Taj Mahal does not have a dress code. Some of the ladies we saw were dressed in strappy dresses and tank tops.
Even though there is no dress code, we encourage wearing modestly. In India, the usual norm for females is to cover their shoulders and anything below their knees. Wear light, loose clothes since it may become quite hot, particularly when there is little cover and the sun reflects off the marble and concrete buildings surrounding you.
7. Know what you can’t bring inside
Bags must be scanned, therefore if you have a backpack or handbag, you must enter another line after being frisked.
Food, headphones, and tripods are among the goods that are not permitted within the Taj Mahal. On the official website, you may learn more about prohibited products. A deck of cards, a lantern, and the tripod piece of our GoPro extended arm were all stolen. We also saw the confiscation of a girl’s pack of gum. Pack your suitcase with extreme caution!
We were guided to a little neighboring business that had “lockers” and forced to walk back out the gate. This establishment will store your stuff but will urge you to purchase anything when you return to pick them up.
We didn’t desire anything from these businesses since they were pricey knockoffs. To cut to the chase, tell them you’re not interested and offer them 100 rupees to keep your belongings.
8. Don’t get a guide
Normally, we would recommend hiring a guide since it generates an employment for a local. The Taj Mahal, on the other hand, is known for persons masquerading as guides. We’ve heard that there are only 50-60 certified guides at the Taj Mahal, but more than 3,000 touts pose as guides and photographers and sell their services to visitors.
Are there guided tours of the Taj Mahal?
If you’re traveling alone and want some company, or if you don’t want to organize this trip on your own, we suggest scheduling a tour with our partner firm Get Your Guide. This top-rated Taj Mahal Tour includes transportation from and back to Delhi.
Many travel operators provide a “Golden Triangle” itinerary that includes visits in New Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur. These cities are all in northern India and are around the same distance apart – 200-500 kilometers (125-155 miles).
What’s the best way to get to Agra and the Taj Mahal?
The Taj Mahal is situated in the city of Agra, which is a short day journey from Delhi. The railroad system from Delhi to Agra is excellent, with around 117 trips each week. Depending on the train, the travel from New Delhi Station (NDLS) to Agra Cantt (AGC) takes roughly 3 to 4 hours.
You may ride a tuk tuk from the railway station to the Taj Mahal for around 150 rupees ($2.30 USD).
If you wish to travel from Delhi to Agra, the Yamuna Expressway connects the two cities and takes around 3 hours. However, there are tolls on the expressway. A one-way ticket costs 415 rupees, while a round-trip ticket costs 655 rupees.
Again, there are moderately priced excursions that depart from Delhi and take you around to the key attractions in Agra for an all-day trip where everything is pre-arranged.
What is the nearest international airport to the Taj Mahal?
The Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi (DEL) is the nearest airport to the Taj Mahal. Delhi International Airport is a key regional hub with reasonably priced airline tickets.
How to get around Agra?
Many people hire a rickshaw driver for the day, which is a terrific way to explore all of the above-mentioned attractions. We drove ourselves to the Taj Mahal since we intended to spend a few hours there and didn’t want to wait for a driver.
At 10 a.m., our driver met us at our hotel and drove us to Agra Fort, the Baby Taj, and the Mehtab Bagh Gardens. We spent 900 rupees ($13.90 USD) on transportation for the whole day.