Locals and tourists flock daily to Agra to visit the Taj Mahal. There are two rows at the entrance. In addition, a fee must also be paid for cameras and photographic apparatus. It is important to note that there are unusually high safety regulations and the bags and backpacks are checked carefully for pens and pointed objects.
I recommend everyone to visit the Taj Mahal early in the morning. In addition, the white marble of the mausoleum changes color, depending on the sun's rays. It appears yellow, sometimes bright white and sometimes bluish. Visitors should, therefore, have enough time to get to know the Taj Mahal on all its facets.
Through a large gate, we reach the Taj Mahal. In front of us stands the Taj Mahal, gleaming in the morning. We must pause briefly to realize how beautiful it is. And so we sit down on a park bench and just sit there quietly. We stare at the Taj Mahal and try to understand India.
The Taj Mahal is beautiful and unique. It sits majestically over the River Yamuna. The park and fountains in front of the Taj Mahal are well-kept. Before entering the mausoleum, you must either take off your shoes or wear a plastic overcoat so as not to stain the white marble. The marble walls decorated with colorful stones are also beautiful. Agra is known for this unique craft. Photography is forbidden inside the mausoleum.
The Agra fort is about 2.5 km from the Taj Mahal. The Red Fort was once a fortress and palace complex. Visitors can only enter through the Singh Gate in the south. A 21 m high and 2.5 m long wall surrounds the complex. You can visit various chambers, pavilions and the large audience hall (Diwan-i-Azam), strolling over the courtyards, which are somewhat neglected compared to the Taj Mahal. With good visibility, you can get a view of the Taj Mahal.
3 km north-east of Agra Center, and on the side of the Yamuna River, opposite the Taj Mahal, is the small but highly picturesque Itimad-Ud-Daula Mausoleum. The Itimad-Ud-Daula mausoleum is also called the mini Taj Mahal. The mausoleum was the precursor of the world-famous Taj Mahal. The entire surface of the mausoleum is decorated with white marble and decorated with floral patterns. Besides the main building, minarets tower into the air.
The Itimad-Ud-Daula Mausoleum is surrounded by a beautifully landscaped Persian garden with fountains. In the garden, many monkeys bathe and play. From the shore, you can have a beautiful view of Agra and the Taj Mahal, especially at sunset.
Even if Agra is one of the most important destinations in India, I would like to emphasize that Agra is anything but inviting. Around the market place there is very chaotic activity, but unfortunately without charm and feel-good factor. The shop windows are all very dusty and unloved. For this reason, I recommend travelers to go for the same day Delhi Agra tour rather than by train from Delhi. An overnight stay or a longer stay in the city is not worth it.
Taj Mahal travel tips
Come early, very early! The sooner the better. The light in dawn is particularly magical. There are three entrances on the east, west and south sides. At each entrance, there is a ticket booth, whereby one must walk from the booth to the actual entrance into the core area that is about 10-15 minutes walk. The ticket desks on the east and west sides open at around 6 am, and at the southern entrance at around 8 am.
The gates of the actual entrances to the core area of the Taj Mahal also open at about the same time. Officially this should only happen at 6:30, but de facto they were definitely opened earlier. This means that even if you buy the ticket as soon as the ticket counter opens, there will be a lot of people who already have their tickets. If you really want to be at the front, you need to get your ticket in advance.
Security checks are carried out before the actual entrance to the core site. There is a line for women and one for men. The Taj Mahal is closed every Friday.
For sunset we recommend you visit the Mehtab Bagh on the other side of the river. From there you can have a nice view of the sunlit Taj Mahal.
The Taj Mahal can also be easily visited on a day trip from Delhi.