Planning your Taj Mahal visit is probably high priority on your India itinerary. So here’s a complete guide to one of the 7 Wonders of the World.
How To Get To The Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is located in the town of Agra, just a 2 hour train ride South of Delhi.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy mode of transport from Delhi to Agra, we recommend booking a One-Way City Transfer to and from Delhi & Agra.
A driver will collect you from your hotel lobby, or the airport, and you’ll travel in a private, air-conditioned car completely hassle-free.
Most people however, choose to book onto a Private Taj Mahal & Agra Tour. This includes trains to and from Delhi, with a private guided tour of The Taj Mahal, Agra Fort & Baby Taj including all tickets.
Some also choose to stay in the town of Agra on their Taj Mahal visit. Spending a night or two in the town, and giving themselves the chance to rise early to witness the Taj Mahal at sunrise.
Taj Mahal Entrance Fee
There are two options for planning your Taj Mahal visit. You can book a tour, or visit alone.
You can purchase your Taj Mahal ticket at the gate, and it will cost:
Foreigners – 1000 Rupees
Locals – 40 Rupees
However the best option is to book tickets in advance here: Agra: Skip-the-Line Taj Mahal Admission.
We highly recommend this option to avoid waiting in long lines, and leaving you with more time to enjoy a hassle-free visit to one of the magical 7 Wonders of the World.
All Taj Mahal entrance fees includes a bottle of water and transfer by buggy to the entrance gates.
If you plan on visiting as part of a tour, the most highly rated tour online is this one: From Delhi: Private Taj Mahal & Agra Tour by Express Train.
It includes the 90-minute Gatimaan Express Train to Agra, plus a private guided tour of The Taj Mahal, Agra Fort & Baby Taj including all tickets.
You will then return to Delhi by train at 7:30PM, and get dropped off to your hotel or the airport.
Taj Mahal Opening Times
Saturday – Thursday: The Taj Mahal opens 30 minutes before sunrise and closes 30 minutes before sunset.
The Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays for general viewing.
The History Of The Taj Mahal
In 1632 the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan had the building constructed by over 20,000 artisans.
It was built to house the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
Nearly 20 years later it was complete and the whole 42 acre complex now includes a mosque, a guesthouse and precisely arranged, formal gardens.
So what most people don’t realise, is the Taj Mahal is basically one massive tombstone!
Our Experience At The Taj Mahal
The morning we headed down on our Taj Mahal visit, we set our alarms for 4:30am.
Our plan was to beat the crowds and hopefully witness a beautiful sunrise over one of the 7 Wonders of the World.
The latter didn’t happen, but we WERE the first ones through the gates, and although we were still half asleep we were ready. Cameras in hand, water topped up, hopeful to snap some awesome photos of the Taj.
After paying our 1000 Rupees, we entered into the grounds of the Taj Mahal. There it was in front of us, in all its glory, the incredible marble sculpture!
We took a few touristy photos before heading down the famous walkway into the Taj itself.
This is where the tombs lay. Enclosed by barriers, but visible to the public, it was the most peaceful place of the grounds.
Well we say visible to the public, the electricity had blown and left the inside pitch black. Even tour guides were struggling to show their groups around, and some had to revert to using the lights on their phones.
Although it was a little disappointing, it was nobody’s fault. Just bad timing. So we moved on…
The Big Disappointment
One thing that could have been avoided though was the LITTER!!
The grounds that were once so precious to the Mughal emperor, were absolutely covered in rubbish.
We’re talking endless empty bottles, shoe covers everywhere, and we even spotted 2 dead birds on the walkway.
The grass and trees were beautifully maintained, but the lawn mowers and hedge trimmers were just left in the middle of the grounds.
We were completely taken aback by the lack of upkeep. The amount of money the Taj Mahal must turn over in a day, and the least they could do is send someone around in the morning to pick up the rubbish before tourists enter.
We tried to make excuses for them, but it’s not as if they didn’t have enough staff.
There were plenty of people manning the gates and holding down security. We were literally the first people through the gates that morning, so all mess had been left from the previous day!
Overall, we spent a few hours walking around on our Taj Mahal visit and managed to get some awesome photos. However we left feeling our experience was a little overshadowed.
It’s obviously a wonder of the world for a reason, and the Taj itself is breath taking. But come on India, take some pride in your most popular tourist attraction!
Where To Stay In Agra
Luxury – Radisson Blue Agra Taj East Gate
Situated on 4.5 acres of land just 0.6 miles from the Taj Mahal, Taj Hotel & Convention Centre Agra features a health club with infinity pool and spa, as well as 5 dining options.
Featuring wooden flooring and earth tones, rooms atHotel & Convention Centre Agra are equipped with a minibar, tea/coffee-making facilities and en suite bathroom.
Air-conditioned rooms come with free WiFi and a flat-screen TV. 24-hour room service is available.
Mid-Budget – Hotel Taj Resorts
HotelResorts is situated 550 yards from UNESCO Heritage Site, Taj Mahal. Offering its guests massage services and a sauna, this hotel also provides complimentary pick up from Agra Cantonment Railway Station.
Rooms come with a flat-screen TV and tea and coffee-making facilities. A safety deposit box and radio are also provided.
Private bathrooms come with toiletries provided. Guests can enjoy relaxing at its rooftop pool.
Budget – Moustache Agra
Boasting a terrace, Moustache Agra is located in Agra in the Uttar Pradesh region, 4.3 miles from Agra Fort and 4.3 miles from Jama Masjid.
Among the facilities at this property are a 24-hour front desk and a shared lounge, along with free WiFi throughout the property.
The property is non-smoking and located 1.1 miles from Taj Mahal.
At the hostel rooms come with a private bathroom with a bidet.
For more places to stay in Agra, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.
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Tuesday 11th of July 2017
Sometimes expectations are so high that reality can never match I guess! But yes, one of the saddest part of India is the litter. Hopefully the future might be where we do not take our culture for granted and is litter-free! Enjoy the diverse culture otherwise:)
Tuesday 11th of July 2017
Such a true comment. I love India and it's diverse culture but hopefully one day it's more looked after! Thank you :)