Top Things to Do in Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal in Agra, one of the world’s seven wonders, is a magnificently crafted Mughal structure that draws visitors from all over the world. This Islamic tomb is located on the Yamuna River’s bank and was constructed with ivory-white marble, commonly known as the Makrana Marble. It is a masterpiece of art in India and one of the most well-regarded items of world heritage. It was constructed on the emperor Shah Jahan’s command in honor of his beloved bride. However, If you plan to visit Agra, don’t forget to know details and the list of places to visit in Agra city as well.

Taj Mahal

Table of Contents

  1. About
    History
    Architecture
    Lesser known facts
  2. Comprehensive guide to cover Taj Mahal
    Things to do
    Places to visit nearby
  3. How to Plan a trip to Taj Mahal
    How to reach
    Best time to visit
    Timings and Entry Fees
    Travel tips
  4. Hotels and Restaurants

About

The view of Taj Mahal from Mehtab Bagh.

In Tajganj, an area of Agra, the Taj Mahal is located in the Dharmapuri District. The monument’s splendor is enhanced by the Yamuna River bank, the white ivory marble, and the surrounding vegetation.

History

Construction on the Taj Mahal, created by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in honor of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, began in 1632 and was finished in 1648. Subsequent additions to the mosque, guest house, and main southern entrance, as well as the outer courtyard and its cloisters, were made in 1653. The history of Taj Mahal and Agra goes hand in hand as well as dates back decades.

Architecture

It has a total size of 42 acres. Beautiful fountains, pools, and gardens surround the monument. Original construction used solid silver for the main entrance, which was at the far end of the long watercourse. The Taj Mahal complex is made up mostly of five buildings: the Darwaza (primary entrance), Bageecha (gardens), Masjid (mosque), Rauza (main mausoleum), and Naqqar Khana (rest house).

Facts

  • The Taj Mahal’s minarets are not perpendicular- To safeguard the tomb or main structure if a minaret was to collapse, the minarets surrounding the the monument are not perpendicular but rather slanted outward.
  • The artisans who created the this beauty were amputated-Although others claim it is all a ruse, and it is believed that the craftsman who created it had their hands severed.
  • The base of the Taj Mahal is made of wood- Shah Jahan used excellent architecture and science when he constructed the monument on a timber foundation along the banks of the Yamuna. With one exception: He never took into account the Yamuna drying up.
  • Taj Mahal has to have a black twin- It was alleged that it was never built since Shah Jahan’s son Aurangzeb overthrew him. This rumor seems to be supported by the marble ruins in Mehtab Bagh, Moonlight Garden, located across the river.

Comprehensive guide to covering the Taj Mahal

Do not overlook Mehtab Bagh if you plan a Taj Mahal trip. The final of Agra’s 11 parks along the Yamuna River is the crescent-shaped Mehtab Bagh. Shah Jahan reconstructed the garden to shield this monument from sand erosion. This garden’s location ensures that the Taj Mahal is perfectly visible. Mehtab Bagh, commonly known as “Moonlight Garden,” is one of Agra’s most picturesque tourist destinations.

Things to do

The gardens surrounding the Taj Mahal Complex.

Tomb

The tomb serves as the focal point of the entire complex. It is a sizable, white marble building with an iwan (an arch-shaped doorway) and a big dome and finial on top that stands on a square foundation.

Exterior Decorations

  • Minaret- Four equal-height minarets surround the Taj Mahal, and they all tilt slightly outward to shield the tomb in the event of a natural disaster.
  • Plant Motifs- Ginger flowers, a shrub with a conical flower that can be seen in the mosque, have been inscribed on the Taj Mahal.
  • Base & Dome– Four smaller domed chattris (kiosks) situated at its corners, which mimic the main dome’s onion-shaped design, highlight the dome’s shape.
  • Finial & Tamga– The Taj Mahal’s top feature is its finial or tamga. The material is metal.

Interior Decorations

  • Pietra Dura- From a broad perspective, the craft of carving stone is known as pietra dura. It entails creating decorative objects by encrusting stones on previously abraded marble plates.
  • Archways– Eight pishtaq arches, which create four upper central arches, define the space. These turn into balconies and viewing rooms with stunning views from the exterior windows and ornate marble screens. These windows and the apertures in the corners of the roof both let in light.
  • Jali Work– Traditional jaalis were a significant aesthetic component of Indian, Indo-Islamic, and Islamic architecture and required intensive artistry by artisans. While the Mughals eventually used extremely finely carved plant-based designs, as seen at the Taj Mahal, the early jaali work featured cutting into stone, typically in geometric patterns.

Places to visit near Taj Mahal

There are many places to visit near the Taj Mahal. Here are a few of the most well-known.

  • Agra Fort- The Agra fort, which spans 94 acres along the banks of the river Yamuna, is situated about 2.5 kilometers from the Taj Mahal. It is one of the best places to visit near the Taj Mahal.
    Entry Fee: Indian citizens pay Rs. 35, whereas outsiders pay Rs. 550.
  • Fatehpur Sikri- Around 44 kilometers separate the Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri, travelers can travel this distance via buses and other public transportation.
    Entry Fee: Indian citizens pay Rs. 35, whereas outsiders pay Rs. 550.
  • Jama Masjid– Taj Mahal to Jama Masjid travel time is 3 minutes. The Taj Mahal and Jama Masjid are roughly 3 kilometers, 1.9 miles, or 1.6 nautical miles apart by car. The amount of time required to travel a distance in an automobile is referred to as travel time.
    Entry Fee: No Entry Fee
  • Taj View Point A.D.A. – Near Mehtab Bagh– Tourists will be permitted admission to the new viewpoint at Mehtab Bagh, which is 6.6 kilometers from the Taj Mahal, between 7 and 10 in the morning and 7 and 10 in the evening.
    Entry Fee: Rs. 20

Planning a Trip to the Taj Mahal

The majestic gate of the complex

If you are planning to visit the Taj Mahal, avoid going in winter as there might be a lot of fog around it. In summers, the weather is usually clean, and you can view the whole campus with a clearer vision. Every year it is visited by tourists from all over the world who come to see the beauty of this monument. At times it can be immensely crowded. So, if you prefer avoiding crowded places, plan your trip for an early morning visit. The Taj opens at 6 am. Try reaching around 5:30 am. There are usually very few people at this time, and you can enjoy the sunrise. 

How to reach

By Train-

Agra Cantt Railway Station, located about 6 kilometers from the Taj Mahal, is the closest railroad station. From the train station, it takes a car or cab roughly 13 minutes to get there. 

By Road-

There are three primary highways you can pick from to get to The Taj Mahal if you are driving and have arrived in Agra. The first is Aulia Road, which will take approximately 13 minutes and requires a 3.9-kilometer journey. The other two routes are Dipak Road and Mall Road, which are separated from the Taj Mahal by 4 km and 5 km, respectively. The road conditions on the highways circling the city are great making the city accessible to different tourist destinations by road. Hailing a cab and going for a weekend trip is easy and the best way to explore the city and it’s surroundings.

By Flight-

Agra Airport is the closest airport to the Taj Mahal, and it will take 35 minutes to take a taxi from the airport to the monument. Gwalior (GWL) and Delhi (DEL) are two additional airports that are close by (180 km).

Best time to visit Taj Mahal

Avoid visiting the Taj during the winter, namely from November to February, when it will be obscured by fog. Therefore, the optimum time to visit the monument is in the early summer, specifically from March to June. As per our recommendation, visit the Taj Mahal first thing in the morning. You’ll avoid the midday heat and enjoy beautiful lighting and fewer crowds (that starts around 9 am). Get to the ticket office as early as you can.

The view of the Taj Mahal from the entrance fountain.

Timings and Entry Fees for Taj Mahal

During regular business hours, the opening time is 30 minutes before sunrise and closes 30 minutes before sundown. The precise hours are from 6 am until 7 pm. Plan carefully because The Taj Mahal is closed on Friday.

  • Foreign Tourists- INR 1300. The basic taj mahal entry fee is Rs. 1100, and an additional charge of Rs. 200 for visiting the main mausoleum.
  • Citizens of SAARC and BIMSTEC countries- INR 740. The basic entry fee is Rs. 540, and an additional charge of Rs. 200 for visiting the main mausoleum.
  • Domestic/Indian/OCI Cardholder- INR 250. The basic entry fee is Rs. 50, and an additional charge of Rs. 200 for visiting the main mausoleum.

Travel tips

  1. Tajmahal is closed on Fridays, so do not make any plans for this day.
  2. Gates open at 6:30 am, so get up at 5 am to view Taj. The best view is in the early morning (before sunrise). Hence, be in the line at 6 am.
  3. Online ticket booking is an option that offers a discount of Rs 5 for Indians and Rs. 50 for foreigners. Additionally, if you have already reserved a ticket online, you won’t need to stand in line to get it.
  4. Try not to carry too much. They may not be permitted entry to the Taj Mahal. It is not permitted to bring food inside the Taj Mahal. Bring the essentials, such as your phone, camera, and water bottle (water taps are inside the park).
  5. Yamuna River view of the Taj Mahal. If you don’t get a chance to photograph the Taj Mahal during the stunning sunrise, sunset, or full moon, you can do so from the Yamuna river much more effectively.
  6. Don’t forget to use insect repellent. There is a possibility that you will come across some insects or bees because there are so many trees and plants. So it helps to wear a spray.

Hotels and Restaurants

Hotel NameAddress
Hotel Taj ResortsForest Colony, Tajganj, Taj East Gate Road, Agra, Uttar Pradesh. 070601 05001
Hotel Atulyaa TajTaj East Gate Rd, Shilpgram Road, Tajganj, Agra. 073006 01699
Hotel The Taj VilasTaj Nagari Phase 1, Fatehabad Road, beside Hotel Trident, Tajganj, Agra. 078950 02674
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Things to do in Taj Mahal- A Travel Guide
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Things to do in Taj Mahal- A Travel Guide
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The Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders, is a masterpiece of art and heritage that draws visitors from all over the world.
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