Taj Mahal is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular monuments on Earth. Listed among the Seven Wonders of the World, this white marble mausoleum stands tall in the Indian city, Agra. It was built by the emperor, Shah Jahan, in the loving memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. It took almost 20 years to build this magnificent structure. Thousands of labourers and several architects and designers were employed to construct this unique monument. The construction was completed in the year 1648.
Tourists from different parts of the world visit our country just to take a glimpse of Taj Mahal. Taj Mahal Tour from Delhi is particularly popular as these places lie in close proximity to each other. It makes for a good weekend excursion or even a short one day trip.
Anyone planning to visit Taj Mahal must have complete information about its timings, dress code, days on which it is closed, best season to visit the place, interesting facts about Taj mahal and much more in order to ensure an enjoyable experience. If you are planning a sunrise tour to Taj Mahal then you should know the below mentioned information before you go:
Best Time to Visit
Agra experiences extreme heat during the summer months. Thus, taking a round of Taj Mahal in the scorching sun on a summer day can be a really bad decision. Visiting the monument on a bright winter morning is a great idea. You can roam around the premise at leisure, click pictures and spend time admiring the monument on such a day as the weather is pleasant. So, if you are planning a Sunrise tour to Taj Mahal, it is best to visit anytime between the months of October and March.
Taj Mahal is closed for tourists on Fridays.
Taj Mahal has three entry gates. It is important to know as to what each of these has in store for you to choose the right one.
The West Gate: This gate is at a good distance from the hotels in Agra. It remains crowded all through the day. It should thus be avoided during the day time. However, if you are planning a sunrise Taj Mahal tour then this is a good option. This is because this gate is less crowded during early morning hours.
The East Gate: This gate is located closer to the hotels in the city. This can be reached easily. However, it remains crowded from dawn to dusk.
The South Gate: Do not make the mistake of heading to the South Gate on your sunrise tour to Taj Mahal. This gate opens after 8 am.
Taj Mahal Timings
The west and east gates of Taj Mahal open for visitors around the sunrise that is at 6 in the morning. The monument closes at 6:30 in the evening. Taj Mahal is also open during late evening hours on full moon night and two nights before and after the same every month. The timings for special moon light viewing are 8:30 pm to 12:30 am.
The monument looks splendid in the morning light. A sunrise tour of this monument is thus considered best. Since, it is highly recommended it is no surprise that many people flock around to take a view of Taj Mahal at this time. If you are planning sunrise tour then be prepared to be at the spot much before the sunrise. Why, you ask? Well, this is because you require purchasing an entry ticket to enter the mausoleum. If you do not reach early you will have to wait in the queue for long before you get the tickets.
It is suggested to reach Taj Mahal at around 5:30 and stand in the queue to get the tickets timely and view the monument in the cool and pleasant morning hours. If you are planning a Sunrise Taj Mahal Tour then it is best to leave your place at midnight or reach Agra a day before.
Taj Mahal entry ticket for Indian nationals is Rs. 50. Ticket for citizens of SAARC and BIMSTEC countries is Rs. 540 and for other foreign tourists it is Rs. 11, 000/- . All three categories of tourists need to pay Rs. 200 extra for visit to the main mausoleum. However, this is optional. Purchasing entry tickets online may fetch you some discount offer.
There is not entry ticket for children below 15 years. This applies to both domestic and foreign visitors.
There is no particular dress code for visiting Taj Mahal. You can wear anything you are comfortable in. If you are visiting during the summer months, it is suggested to wear light, cotton clothes. Also, it is a good idea to avoid heels. Wear flat footwear to roam around comfortably.
There is a strict security check on each of the gates. So, you should be well aware about what all you can take along and what all you should leave behind. Here is a quick look:
Eatables are not allowed inside the premises.
Large bags/ travel bags are not allowed inside.
Cigarettes and other tobacco products are not allowed inside. Lighter are also confiscated at the entry gate.
Knives and other sharp objects, however small they are, cannot be taken inside.
If you are planning to take along tripods and lighting equipments then it is imperative to seek prior permission from the authorities.
You can take along your water bottles and medicines.
Mobile phones and cameras are also allowed.
It would be a mistake to think that you can get away with any of the things that are not allowed in the Taj Mahal premise. The security system at Taj Mahal is quite stringent. The bags carried inside are searched and scanned thoroughly.
Luggage storage facility is available at the entry gates.
Beware of Pickpockets and Fake Guides
Many pickpockets are seen loitering around Taj Mahal. Several tourists complain about losing their valuables in the monument premise every day. It is best to leave valuable items the hotel. You must also avoid carrying much cash. If you do decide to carry valuables along then stay alert at all times.
Many fake guides are also seen around this place. Don’t get fooled by them. View their I-card to ensure you hire an official guide. Also, be prepared to be bugged by the hawkers. There are several hawkers selling different kinds of items around Taj Mahal. Just ignore them and keep moving if you don’t want to buy from them.
Make sure you read each of the aforementioned point carefully and follow the same as you plan your sunrise Agra tour. The information shared here will ensure a smooth visit to the Taj Mahal. For a better experience, it is suggested to consult, The Tour Basket. The company offers different Taj Mahal sunrise tour packages to match the requirement of tourists from different segments of the society.