Visiting the Taj Mahal and my top tips

When we were planning our visit to India the first place on my list was Taj Mahal. One of the most famous buildings in the world, the Taj Mahal was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife and it's even more impressive and beautiful in person than in photos:

 Visiting the Taj Mahal


We arrived around midday and if you're anything like me and love wandering around and taking photos then I would definitely recommend getting lunch first. There's nowhere to buy food inside and it was easily 6pm by the time we left. 


Entry is 530 rupees foreigners and 40 for locals. With the ticket you also get a bottle of water and a pair of shoe covers for the tomb. There are separate security lines for men and women so if you're going as a couple or group I would recommend standing somewhere obvious after or arrange a meeting point beforehand. 

The monument is surrounded by 4 gates and is completely hidden from the outside. We went through the Great gate and as you enter you're treated to the most beautiful view of the Taj Mahal standing proud in the sunshine perfectly framed by the arches of the mosque.

The Taj Mahal is cleaned every few years with clay to keep the marble white and at the time of our visit 3 of the towers were undergoing works, hence all the scaffolding. There are also acres of gardens to walk around and the the lawns directly in front are so beautifully manicured and felt surprisingly peaceful despite all the crowds.


We had a tour guide as part of our package and it was fascinating to learn all about the history and architecture as we walked around. The Taj Mahal is often said to be the ultimate symbol for love as the emperor built it as an monument to his wife who died during childbirth and the entire building took 22 years to complete.

Both the emperor and his wife are buried in the Taj Mahal and as part of the visit you can go inside and see a mock up of the tombs (the actual tombs are underground). Be aware though that it's a complete contrast to the beauty of the build outside. It's very dark and crowded and I found it quite claustrophobic with guards constantly blowing their whistles and pigeons flying around - my least favourite part of the day.


The entire Taj Mahal is made of marble with different semi precious stones filled down and over layed to make a beautiful pattern. The marble is actually stained with henna then delicately handcarved before the stones are placed in and cleaned. The art of this has been passed down directly through the generations and there are only a few handful of craftsmen in Agra. As part of our tour we were taken to a local workshop and it was fascinating to see how this was done but beware they are very pushy about you buying a souvenir. 


For our visit to the Taj Mahal we made a day trip from Delhi where there are plenty of trains available throughout the day. Because of timings in the end we opted for a private car which costs about £70 and I would definitely recommend as they pick you up and drop you off at the hotel so it's a lot more convenient and comfortable. It's around 4 hours each way though so be prepared to spend a lot of time in the car.

Overall I'm so glad we made the trip to Agra to visit Taj Mahal. As beautiful as the photos are it really doesn't do the monument justice and there's nothing like standing there taking in all, seeing the marble sparkle in the sunshine and soaking up the atmosphere. Without a doubt the highlight of my entire trip!

Have you ever been to India? What trips are you looking forward to this year?

4 comments

  1. Love these tips - I'm going next year and have never really thought about the practicalities of visiting! x

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  2. Great post and tips!! I hope I am able to visit some day soon ❤️���� @www.elenaslifestyle.com

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