The Taj Mahal is an incredible ivory-white monument that attracts thousands of visitors daily. It’s the main reason people come to visit India as they tick off one of the seven wonders of the world. There is some interesting history behind the monument and the detail is breathtaking. If you’re trying to capture some incredible photos like you’ve seen online, be sure to read on to find out the best time to visit the Taj Mahal.
How to get to the Taj Mahal, Agra
The Taj Mahal is located in Agra and is roughly 4 hours away from Delhi. Some people choose to do a day tour from Delhi, however this means you’ll miss sunrise and you’ll be heading there when it’s the busiest. The easiest and most recommended option is to stay in Agra. Most accommodation options are only a 10-15 minute walk away from the Taj Mahal.
We stayed on the east side and walked 10 minutes to the entrance of the Taj Mahal to be there in time for sunrise. We felt completely safe walking at this time as the the roads are quiet and there are plenty of other tourists doing the same.
Where to stay
There are a variety of accommodation options in Agra. You’ll find a wide range of hostels as well as luxury resorts, with some even having a view of the Taj Mahal. We stayed at Bedweiser Backpackers Hostel as it was close to the Taj Mahal entrance and in a fairly quiet area. If you’re after ultimate luxury, The Oberoi Amarvilas Agra is as luxury as you can get! It has a view of the Taj Mahal as well as incredible architecture and beautiful rooms.
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Entry for a foreigner will cost 1100 Rupees ($21 AUD) per person and there are no student discounts. The price includes a free bottle of water and some shoe covers for when you walk inside the Taj Mahal.
Best Time to Visit the Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is open 30 minutes before sunrise and up to 30 minutes before sunset. The Taj Mahal is closed every Friday for prayer so make sure to plan accordingly. Most people would say that the best time to visit the Taj Mahal is for sunrise as soon as it opens. This is exactly what we did and we ended up waiting in line as everyone else had the same idea. Plenty of tour groups will go to watch sunrise at the Taj Mahal so there are actually quite a few tourists around.
We found that the best time to visit the Taj Mahal is between 8am – 9am. All the tour groups and tourists that are there for sunrise start to finish up at around this time. It actually ends up being a lot quieter so you’ll have a better opportunity for photos. We were there from sunrise and it was a struggle to get photos when we first entered. However, after about an hour or two, we were the only ones there. Additionally, you’ll want to wait till the sun has risen a bit. This way you’ll be able to capture the sunray that peaks into the corridor, giving it an orange glow.
What to Expect
The Taj Mahal is an incredible work of art and it’s no wonder why people travel from all over the world to visit. The incredibly detailed architecture carved into the white marble makes it a sight that is sure to leave you speechless. When you enter the complex you’ll see the large garden grounds that lead up to the Taj Mahal. There are plenty of tourists that take photos all along the walkway, blocking most of the path. For the best photos, make your way down to the left side of the Taj Mahal. Here you’ll see another building to the side where you can capture some incredible photos under the archway. At the right time, you’ll also get the golden light that peaks through from the sun.
Once you’re done admiring the Taj Mahal from the outside, you can head inside to check out the marble structure up close. You’ll have to wear your protective footwear when walking around on the marble. Inside you’ll also find the tomb of the emperors beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
The Taj Mahal was one of the most surreal travel experiences we’ve had. The detail was like nothing we’ve ever seen and we are glad to have been able to visit one of the seven wonders of the world!