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Taj Mahal

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India

About Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is the most iconic landmark in India and labeled as the “Symbol of Love”. This treasure of India was honored as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and is one of the Seven Wonders of the World due to its impressive architecture and most importantly, what it stands for.

The Taj Mahal was built in 1632 by the Mugal Emperor Shah Jhah for his beloved 7th wife, Mumtaz Mahal. This monument of love is not only one of the greatest structures ever built but is also regarded as one of the finest illustrations of Mughal Architecture.

7 to 8 million visitors per year visit this famous landmark, drawn in by the beauty of the rare white marble masterpiece.

Like your first love, you’ll never forget your first visit to the iconic Taj Mahal and is a must-visit on anybody’s bucket list. This monument of mesmerizing beauty makes your trip to Agra worth every penny.

If you’re planning on visiting, here are some things you should know before visiting.

Interesting Facts

Here are some interesting facts about the Taj Mahal that makes it interesting and worth exploring:

  • You can see a tiny hole in the ceiling of the main hall perpendicular to the tombstone of Mumtaz. It is said that artisans made a hole in the ceiling to sabotage the emperor’s wish of having a flawless monument for his beloved wife Mumtaz. You can even see drops of water falling from the hole onto the tombstone of the queen.
  • There are 4 minarets leaning outwards that are built to protect the building from natural calamities like earthquakes.
  • Marvel at the wonderful wooden groundwork of Taj Mahal. The Yamuna River keeps this woodwork strong and moist, preventing it from being worn out.
  • Fall in love with the illustrious interior of this monument — it is made up of extremely rare and precious stones sourced from different parts of the world.
  • The Taj Mahal appears to change colors depending on available lighting and the time of day — for instance, the monument can appear pink in the morning light, sheer white at noon and a soft golden color after sunset.

Keep in mind, photography is prohibited in the main hall of the Taj Mahal and around the tombstones of Shah Jhah and Mumtaz.

How Much Does It Cost

The entry fee to the Taj Mahal varies between tourists and native residents. Entry ticket for foreigners cost around Rs.1100 (free for children below the age of 15) and includes a water bottle, golf cart to the entry gate, tourist map of Agra city and a pair of shoe covers to protect the marble floors.

Entry ticket for local residents is Rs.50 and is also free for children under the age of 15.

If you want to experience the beauty of this palace at night time during a full moon, the entry fee is Rs.750 for foreigners and Rs. 510 for locals.

To avoid standing in line at the ticket counters, entrance tickets to the Taj Mahal can be purchased online in advance.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the Taj Mahal is between October to March as the weather is comfortable and not too hot.

It’s best to go in the morning — you’ll experience fewer crowds compared to noon and evenings. If you arrive early enough for the sunrise, its the perfect time to snap some stunning photos as the lighting is soft with a pinkish-hue.

The Taj Mahal is generally open from 6 AM to 7 PM every day of the week, except for Fridays. The hours may change depending on the season so it’s best to check on the official website.

The Taj Mahal is open for night visits two days before and after every full moon.

Things to Know Before You Visit

Here are some important tips that may make your trip more enjoyable and comfortable:

  • The Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays.
  • Bring your photo ID along with printed tickets for entry.
  • Visitors are not permitted to wear shoes inside the main mausoleum unless you have protective shoe coverings. You can opt to visit barefoot by removing your shoes and leaving them at the shoe rack outside of the mausoleum.
  • There are no washrooms beyond the main entrance. Just outside the main gates of Machu Picchu, you’ll find a small snack bar, restaurant and washrooms.
  • The toilet facilities is paid for locals but free for foreigners.

What to Bring & What to Wear

There’s no dress code enforced to visit the Taj Mahal but it’s recommended that you dress modestly. It’s a good idea to wear comfortable and bright color clothes to contrast against the white marble of the Taj Mahal for photos.

In the Taj Mahal’s main complex, you can bring your cell phone and small handbags but in the main hall, you won’t be able to enter with your bags and you’ll need to leave them in the available lockers.

To keep the complex clean and safe, the following items are prohibited at the Taj Mahal:

  • Tripods
  • Edibles except water bottles received at the entry gate
  • Tobacco products
  • Electronics (other than cell phones and cameras)
  • Flags
  • Books

How to Get to Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal is the most visited place in Agra, so getting here is quite easy since it is located in the heart of the city.

Agra is well connected by rail, air and roads so you can choose any mode of transportation according to your budget and comfort.

Being located in the middle of the city, it is easy to go there by hiring local rickshaws, buses, and even personal taxis.

Entrance Gates

There are three main gates to access the Taj Mahal:

The East Gate – This gate is close to some hotels and most foreigners enter from this gate. This gate can be convenient for you if you are staying in a hotel and want to avoid the long lineup.

The West Gate – This is the most crowded gate throughout the day as 60% to 70% of visitors choose to enter through this gate, especially local residents. So if you choose this gate, be prepared to wait a long time to gain entry to the Taj Mahal.

The South Gate – This gate is located in the market and receives the fewest number of visitors throughout the day. It opens after 8 AM so avoid this gate of you want to enjoy the beauty of Taj Mahal during sunrise.

Map to the Taj Mahal

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