How to visit The Taj Mahal?
When Rudyard Kipling described the Taj Mahal as ‘the embodiment of all things pure’, he echoed the romance, the sweetness and therefore the glory of this masterpiece that shone brilliant on full moon nights, and threw up an evocative reflection within the still waters of Yamuna when the sun was high.
One view at the Taj and you know you are experiencing something surreal, other-worldly. Even after over 400 years since it had been built, this breathtaking poetry in white marble remains one among the foremost fascinating pieces of architecture ever known to mankind.
Twenty thousand artisans, 1000 elephants labored for decades at an estimated expense of almost one billion dollars in today’s money to create what is considered by many to be the most beautiful building in the world. Built as a tomb in the memory for the most beloved wife of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, construction was completed in 1653. UNESCO put its stamp of approval on the building, declaring it a World Heritage Site in 1983.
For Rabindranath Tagore, Taj was ‘a teardrop on the cheek of eternity’, and like Tagore millions of tourists even today find a reason to visit the Taj Mahal each year, and stand in awe before its eternal beauty.
Visiting the Taj Mahal is like seeing the Eiffel Tower , the Hagia Sofia, the Sydney opera , and Barcelona Cathedral all rolled into one. Words and pictures can’t do it justice. It is something you merely need to do for yourself. The Taj Mahal is found in, Uttar Pradesh , a state in northern India, within the city of Agra – a busy, crowded, tourist town a touch over 200 kilometers from New Delhi and Jaipur respectively. Together these three cities structure the so-called “Golden Triangle”, a standard introduction to India’s highlights. Here we’ll traverse the overwhelm and show you exactly the way to get to the Taj Mahal and make the foremost of your visit.
History of Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal was built by Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan, in the memory of his most beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal who died in 1631 while giving birth to their 14th child. Mumtaz, Shah Jahan’s third wife, was known for her uncommon beauty, and the emperor was known to be excited about her. It is believed that depressed by the sudden demise of his most beloved queen, the emperor Shah Jahan hair turned grey in one night. The process of building Taj began in 1632, and came into its existing magnetic enthrall look as we today in 1653. So, it took 22 years to finish Taj Mahal . But, sadly the emperor’s fate decided something else for him.
The last years of the emperor’s life stood in stark contrast to his earlier days. As a great master had once said “ Days do not remain same” Shah Jahan fate too took a turn for the worse. Once the mightiest man alive , Shah Jahan was besieged in Agra fort by none other than his own son, Aurangzeb.
Shah Jahan spent the rest of his years yearning for the Taj. Shah Jahan after his death in 1666 was buried beside his beloved Mumtaz within the Taj Mahal .
How to Visit the Taj Mahal? Where is the Taj Mahal Located?
The Taj Mahal is found within the town of Agra which forms a part of the “Golden Triangle” with Delhi and Jaipur, each leg of Triangulum being a touch over 200 kilometers.
You can reach agra by air, train and by road
Agra has its own airport which is directly connected with Delhi, Varanasi, and Khajuraho. Nearby places connected by national and international airports are Delhi, Jaipur, Lucknow, and Gwalior. Many national and international flights arrive to and depart from these airports. The Agra Airport may be a military base and also is a public airport. You have flights between Delhi and Agra, which you would like to book a minimum of a few of weeks ahead for better rates. There are two flights daily between Delhi and Agra, and therefore the popular airlines serving the route include Air India, SpiceJet, and IndiGo.
Agra Cantt is that the prominent railway head in Agra, and at a distance of roughly six kilometres from the Taj Mahal . It is well-connected by taxis and other local modes of transport like state buses. To get to Agra Cantt from India’s capital, take the country’s fastest train, the Gatimaan Express departing from Hazrat Nizamuddin at 08:10 am and arriving into Agra Cantt in a cool 100 minutes by doing a mean speed of 112 km/hr. Alternately, you’ll also take the runner-up option, the Shatabdi Express that departs from New Delhi at 06:00 am and brings you to Agra Cantt by 08:00 am. There is the Taj Express too which makes the journey in an average of 2.5 hours between the cities. This train too like the Gatimaan and Shatabdi Express now goes all the way to Gwalior and then Jhansi. Agra has three main railway stations which are Agra Cantt, Agra Fort, and Raja Ki Mandi which are connected to all or any the main cities of India. Many premium, superfast, mail and express trains undergo these railway stations. Premium trains like Rajdhani, Shatabdi, and Double-Decker express connects nearby also as foreign places to Agra.
Agra is connected to Delhi, Jaipur, Lucknow and other nearby cities by road. Tourists can either book taxis or take a bus to succeed in Agra.
The major bus stands of Agra are −
• Idgah Bus Stand
• Taj Depot
• Ford Depot
• Inter State Bus Terminal
The Idgah bus station is Agra’s biggest and most prominent bus terminal. It is in close proximity to the Idgah railway station and also the Agra Cantt, Agra’s main railway station. The UPSRTC (Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation) operates regular deluxe, semi-deluxe buses from here to different parts of the city. Alternately, you can hire a taxi and reach the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is approximately six kilometres from the Idgah bus stand.
After reaching Agra, the tourist can get local transport such as auto-rickshaw, cyclerickshaw, tempo, or taxi to reach Taj Mahal or other nearby monuments. Bicycles can also be hired in order to visit the Taj as petrol and diesel vehicles are not allowed nearby the monument. To provide convenience to the tourists, tongas, buses operated by battery, and cycle-rickshaws are used to reach the Taj Mahal.
Taj Mahal Ticket Booking
Entry Fee (Indian)
INR 45 ( Additional INR 200 to see the main mausoleum)
Entry Fee (SAARC and BIMSTEC)
INR 535 ( Additional INR 200 to see the main mausoleum)
Entry Fee (Foreigner )
INR 1050 (Additional NR 200 to see the main mausoleum)
Entry Below (Children Below Age 15)
The Taj Mahal entry ticket for Indian tourists is INR 45. For citizens of SAARC and BIMSTEC countries, the Taj Mahal entry ticket price is INR 535. And if you are a foreign national, the Taj Mahal entry ticket price is INR 1050. For both domestic and foreign tourists, no entry fee is charged for children below the age of 15.
Taj Mahal Mausoleum Tickets Online
Aside from gaining entry to the Taj complex where you can marvel at its unique Charbagh garden setup and the breathtaking central dome, you need to shell out an additional INR 200 to view the Taj Mahal main mausoleum. Placed right under the white marble central dome are the replicas of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan’s graves rich in their jaali and inlay detailing.
A ticket for the Taj Mahal mausoleum can be purchased at the time of booking the Taj entry tickets and you can save yourself the hassle of queuing up separately for this. The Taj Mahal main ticket with mausoleum entry for foreigners is INR 1250. But if you are a visitor from a BIMSTEC or SAARC nation, then the Taj Mahal entry ticket with mausoleum fee is INR 735. Although, the main mausoleum or the graves of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal are in the basement of the structure barred from public viewing save for the three days of the annual Urs fair.
Taj Mahal Night Viewing Tickets
The entry tickets for night viewing can be bought 24 hours in advance. You can buy the tickets from the Archaeological Survey of India office on Agra Mall Road between 10:00 am and 06:00 pm. The price for an adult Indian tourist is INR 510, and for an international tourist is INR 750. Children between 3 and 15 years need to pay INR 500 to gain entry.
However, at a time a total of 400 tourists are allowed inside the Taj complex. These 400 are further categorised in eight batches with 50 members each. Nighttime viewing of the Taj is available only five days a month on a full moon night and two days ahead and two days post the full moon, with the exception of Fridays. The night visit duration is 30 minutes between 08:30 pm and 12:30 am.
Taj Mahal tickets online
You can book your Taj Mahal online ticket from the Archaeological Survey of India website or at official website of Taj Mahal which gives you a list of monuments under ASI whose tickets you can book. Select the monument, enter your name, age, gender, the type of ID proof you are offering, from passport, Aadhaar card, driving license to voter’s card, including the unique ID number. A maximum of 20 adults and 10 children are allowed per booking. Head to the payment gateway, enter card details and confirm your booking. The e-ticket will be sent to your email id. You then need to take a print out of the Taj Mahal ticket and keep the same for producing at the entry gate. You can get a discount of INR 5 per Indian ticket, and INR 50 per international tourist ticket if you book online.
There are ample accommodation options available in Agra with some really exclusive properties around the Taj such as the Amar Vilas on the Eastern Gate, Mughal Sheraton on Fatehabad Road, Trident Hilton, among a string of conveniently located budget hotels and guest houses. Little wonder, Taj Mahal is a great excursion for a cross-section of travellers from within the country and even outside.
Taj Mahal Timings & Entry Gates
Taj Mahal Entry Gates
Taj Mahal Opening Hours
Western Gate (Main Gate)
An hour before sunrise and about 45 minutes prior to sunset
An hour before sunrise, and 45 minutes before sunset
Taj Mahal Western Gate:
To enter through this gate, you can buy the tickets near Saheli Burj. Taj Mahal opening hours for this gate are an hour before sunrise and about 45 minutes prior to sunset. This is actually the main entrance to the mausoleum and looks out to the Agra Cantt and the city at large. Outside this gate, don’t miss the beautiful red sandstone structure ‘Fatehpur Begum’, dedicated to another of Shah Jahan’s wives. Sprawled out across an open terrace, the courtyard of the building is fit to accommodate about 200 people at a time who wish to offer Namaz.
Taj Mahal Eastern Gate:
The tickets are available at this gate itself. Again, the Taj Mahal visiting hours remain the same; an hour before sunrise, and 45 minutes before sunset. Facing Fatehbad, there is a domed tomb here nestled on an elevated plinth, also known as ‘Sirhi Darwaza’. This too is a tomb to another of Shah Jahan’s wives, Sirhindi begum. The main structure is an architectural marvel what with its 24 arches, a giant hall and courtyard, and built in a unique eight-sided style.
Taj Mahal Southern Gate:
You can only exit from this gate; no entry is allowed. Meant for pedestrians alone, this gate faces the old town, Mumtazabad. There is a tomb here too of red sandstone complete with a rambling courtyard and a dome. The grave is believed to be of a maid of Mumtaz Mahal’s who always kept her company and looked after her.
Be apprised of the fact that there are separate queues for domestic and foreign tourists
Taj Mahal Opening Days
The Taj Mahal is open for viewing to the overall public on all days of the week except Fridays
Best Time to go to Taj Mahal.
Best time to vist Taj Mahal is from November to March. During spring season you’ll witness the irresistible magic and wonder of Taj Mahal . The golden rays of sun falls on the white marble walls of the Taj Mahal turning it into the foremost romantic peoms of all the time.
Taj Mahal Architecture
The Taj Complex
The ornamental gardens designed on the lines of the standard Mughal Charbagh, may be a square garden dissected by water bodies with a decorative marble plinth running through its center. To the northern end of the complex is that the elevated marble platform on which the most mausoleum stands. The raised podium is to lift it above the opposite structures on the complex, as if reaching bent the very skies. A 40-metre-high white minaret adorns each corner of the marble platform, and call it an engineering masterstroke, the towers each slightly lean outwards. This was in order that they fall away just in case of an earthquake and let the superstructure remain unperturbed.
Buildings on the Taj Mahal Complex
The main entrance to Taj is an ornate Mughal structure predominantly made from white marble with tomb-like archways. The arches are rich in calligraphy and have vaulted ceilings and walls with geometric designs. On the opposite end of the structure there are two identical red sandstone buildings, the western building is really a mosque, and its prototype, a jawab (answer).
Taj Mahal Central Structure
Built in semi-translucent white marble with intricate carvings and inlay work of precious and semi-precious gems, the four identical sides of the mausoleum is majestic in its detailing. There are four small domes topping the central structure with one large bulbous dome within the centre. Right below the most dome lies the cenotaph of Mumtaz Mahal with gorgeous jaali and inlay add marble, and beside it the cenotaph of her husband. the development is such sunlight streams in directly through the jaali and falls on the cenotaphs. But the particular tombs of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz are during a chamber during a basement room that’s not open for public viewing.
Other Monuments in Agra
Some of the opposite monuments in Agra are Agra Fort, Mehtab Bagh, Mariam’s Tomb, Itimad-ud-Daulah Tomb, Ram Bagh and Akbar’s Tomb.
Hotels Near Taj Mahal
Some hotels near Taj Mahal are Four Points by Sheraton Agra, Orient Taj Hotel and Resorts, Crystal Sarovar Premiere – A Sarovar Hotel, Jaypee Palace Hotel & Convention Centre Agra and Hotel Parador Agra.
And if you are looking for a low budget stay there are many hotels near Taj Mahal the tajganj area and fatehabad area.
Things to try to to in Agra
Some of the main things to try to to in Agra are shopping at the Shilpigram market area, taking the Mughal heritage walk, and watching the sunshine and sound show at Kalakriti Cultural And Convention Center.
FAQ About Taj Mahal
Q. Who built the Taj Mahal and Why?
A: A UNESCO World Heritage Site – Taj Mahal was built by the good Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan. it had been inbuilt the memory of his third wife Mumtaz Mahal who died parturition to their 14th child. the development of the monument commenced in 1632, and therefore the principal monument was completed in 1648. However, the outlying building and gardens were finished later in 1653. Later after his death, Shah Jahan was buried right beside his beloved Mumtaz inside Taj Mahal .
Q. What’s Taj Mahal famous for?
A: Taj Mahal is legendary for being a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one among Seven Wonders within the World thanks to its immense beauty. aside from its architectural brilliance, it’s the story behind its construction that creates Taj Mahal an epitome of affection thereby luring thousands of tourists per annum .
Q. what’s the ticket of Taj Mahal?
A: Entry fee to Taj Mahal for Indians is INR 45, for Foreigners or NRI is INR 1050, and SAARC/BIMSTEC visitors is INR 535. Taj Mahal ticket with Mausoleum access costs INR 200 more.
Q. what’s the timing of Taj Mahal?
A: Taj Mahal is open for sightseeing from sunrise to sunset (6 AM to six .30 PM). The monument is open for the general public a day except Fridays. On Friday, it’s only accessible to Muslims for afternoon prayers.
Q. The way to Reach Taj Mahal?
A: Nearest Airport to Taj Mahal : the closest airport to Taj Mahal is Agra Airport at a distance of 13 km and can take 35 minutes to succeed in the monument by a taxi from the airport.
Nearest railroad station to Taj Mahal: The closest railroad station is Agra Cantt at a distance of 6 km. it’s about 13 minutes drive via an auto or cab from the railroad station .
Nearest Bus Stand to Taj Mahal : The Idgah bus depot is that the biggest and most prominent bus terminal in Agra and is 6 km from the Taj Mahal. you’ll hire a taxi or hail an auto to succeed in the monument from there. It takes approx quarter-hour . you’ll also hire a rickshaw puller to succeed in Taj Mahal from the bus terminal .
By Road: If you’re coming from Delhi NCR by road, you’ll take the Yamuna Expressway connecting Greater Noida with Agra; it’s a 165 km drive.