Tips For An Amazing Taj Mahal Tour
It’s always a pleasure to receive Guest Articles from experienced travelers or tour companies on specific destinations and attractions around the world. I was delighted to receive this article on one of the Seven Wonders of the World, The Magnificent Taj Mahal!
India has always been on the top of my Travel Bucket List for years and especially to this region in India. I do hope to visit very soon and make one of my stops at this beautiful monument. For those of you planning a visit soon, I hope some of these tips will assist when visiting this major attraction in India!
Taj Mahal Travel Tips For First Time Visitors
Taj Mahal doesn’t require any introduction as it is well-known throughout the world as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. This wonderful monument made of white marble is famous as a symbol of love. It is so called because it was built by one of the Mughal Emperors named Shah Jahan in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.
This beautiful mausoleum is the Major Attractions of Agra, India which draws numerous tourists from across the world every year. It is located on the southern bank of River Yamuna.
Around 20,000 artisans were employed to get the construction of Taj Mahal completed and 32 million Indian Rupees were spent. The beautiful floral design on the walls of Taj Mahal represent rich Mughal architecture.
This amazing monument changes color due to the different density of light throughout the day.
The Taj Mahal Location
Taj Mahal was well planned monument at the time of construction, selecting a very good location. Shah Jahan had chosen the location very wisely. Firstly, it is a peaceful site where the Taj Mahal has been located and secondly, it is located on the southern bank of the River Yamuna which is about 1.5 miles away from Agra.
With the strategy to have a view of the marvelous mausoleum of his favorite Queen from Agra Fort- his Palace, the emperor chose this location for the Taj Mahal. As well, with the location been near the River Yamuna, it offers a calm and scenic surrounding. Not only this, it also catered to the need of water required during its construction and served the purpose for laying out the lush green gardens.
Taj Mahal from Agra Fort
How to Get There
Getting to and from the Taj Mahal is not a difficult task because it is located in Agra, which is considered as the 19th most populous city of India. Taj Mahal is easily accessible by hiring a rickshaw, a cab or an auto as it is only 6 km away from Agra city center.
The city is also very well connected through national highways making it accessible from all major cities of India by road. It also has a good network of railways with three major railway stations like Agra Fort Railway station (it is located at a walking distance of 10 to 15 minutes from the Taj Mahal), Agra Cantt and Raja ki Mandi. These stations have access to the trains coming from every part of the country.
Getting to the Taj Mahal is easy through airways. At a distance of 6 km from the city center is located the Agra airport. The nearest international airport to Agra is the Indira Gandhi International Airport Delhi, operating several international flights from all over the world and directing them to Agra.
Some Essential Tips
It is always useful to get some essential tips before visiting a place. Tips help you to act accordingly and enjoy the attraction or destination to the fullest.
Here are a few helpful tips when visiting the Taj Mahal:
1) In order to avoid crowds and to enjoy your visit the most, try to get there as early as possible. It opens at 6 am therefore, try to make it out by then so that you can have some quality pictures without any interruption.
2) Though Taj Mahal remains over crowded throughout the year, it is recommended to visit the monument during the off season, that is during summer.
3) Do not carry snacks, lighters or any flammable or sharp thing with you as you will have to undergo a security check at the entrance. Men and women need to make separate queues as you will be searched.
4) You can hire a guide from there who will tell you about the history associated with Taj Mahal and will guide you through.
5) Do visit Agra Fort after Taj Mahal before heading back towards the town.
6) During the winter months, try to arrive a little later as the mornings can be foggy, which may create an obstacle at the time of your photo session. Often, the Taj Mahal may be completely covered because of thick fog.
7) Though not compulsory, it is recommended to cover up as much as you can out of respect for the country. You can wear long dresses, maxi skirts or loose fitting trousers which can be found easily in Indian markets. In addition, you can also carry a scarf.
8) Also visit the Mahtab Bagh. From there you can have an amazing view of the Taj Mahal. Go to the end, up to the river so that you can capture some amazing pictures of the Marvelous Wonder during sunset.
Taj Mahal from the Mahtab Bagh
So if you are Planning Tours to Agra and to visit the Beautiful Taj Mahal, do keep in mind the above mentioned points to have hassle free and memorable moment at this historic site. This site is truly one of the Seven Wonders of the World!
Having just returned from 7 weeks travel throughout India and having visited the Taj Mahal, I thought I would throw in a few more tips that we discovered while visiting this beautiful attraction.
Taj Mahal Travel Tips
- We arrived early in the morning and the site was absolutely packed with visitors. Unfortunately the Diwali Festival was happening at this time of year, making for an increased number of visitors. The plus side is that Foreigners have Special Lines at the Ticket Booth and Security. As well, at the entrance to the Taj Mahal, foreigners also have priority access. Bonus! 🙂
- Beware of Scammers!
As soon as you arrive, you will be hounded by touts and scammers. Be firm and ignore them. Don’t take anything from these people! They will offer you bottled water and lead you to the Ticket Counter. They will say it’s free, but only want to be your tour guide and take you for anything else they can. I finally had to put the foot down to one persistent fellow saying to him … “You are wasting your time, leave me alone!” Be direct, look them in the eye and they will go away.
- Beware of Your Belongings!
It is very crowded and busy outside the gates. Everyone will approach you with things to sell, be a guide and so forth. My advice is to get out of the crowd as quickly as you can and make your way to the ticket counter.
Once inside the entrance to the Taj Mahal, there are plenty of places to sit and relax away from the crowds and to view this magnificent mausoleum. It is beautiful and definitely worth the visit. These tips are for when you are traveling on your own and not on a fully guided tour.
Below, I have listed a link to the Official Government Tourism Website to the Taj Mahal where you can access much more detailed information. Enjoy your visit!
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