4.5 / 5

Mehtab Bagh

📍 Mehtab Bagh, Uttar PradeshView map ›

🗓 Best Time To Visit:October to March

⏰ Open Hours:6:00 AM to 7:00 PM

🎟 Entry Fees:INR 25 for Indians, INR 300 for Foreign Tourists

🎒 Traveller Types:Historians, Nature Lovers, Photography Enthusiasts

🏞 Known For:Beautiful view of the Taj Mahal, Historical Importance, Well-maintained gardens

📍 Distances:From Agra Cantt Railway Station: 8 km, From Kheria Airport: 13 km

🚶 Things To Do:Photography, Sightseeing, Walk along the garden paths

📸 Must-See Spots:The four sandstone towers, The octagonal pool, Views of the Taj Mahal

📝 Tips:Visit during sunrise or sunset for best views of Taj Mahal, Carry water bottles

♿ Accessibility:Wheelchair accessible paths available

🍽 Nearby Eateries:Good Vibes Cafe, Bon Barbecue Agra, Peshawri

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How to Experience the Taj Mahal in a New Light from Mehtab Bagh

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to see the Taj Mahal from a different perspective? To admire its beauty and symmetry without the crowds and noise? To witness its reflection in the water or its glow in the moonlight?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you should definitely visit Mehtab Bagh, a Mughal garden that lies on the opposite bank of the Yamuna River from the Taj Mahal. Mehtab Bagh, which means "moonlight garden" in Urdu, is one of the best viewpoints for the Taj Mahal in Agra. It offers a serene and scenic setting to enjoy the sight of the world's most famous monument.

But Mehtab Bagh is not just a viewing point. It is also a historical and cultural attraction in its own right. It was built by Emperor Babur, the founder of the Mughal dynasty, in the 16th century as part of a larger plan to create a series of gardens on both sides of the river. It was later restored and preserved by the Archaeological Survey of India in the 1990s.

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about Mehtab Bagh and how to experience the Taj Mahal in a new light from there. You will discover its history, legend, and tips for visiting this Mughal garden. You will also find out the best time to go, how to get there, how much it costs, what to bring, what to wear, and more.

Photo of Mehtab Bagh 1/1 by
(C) Taj Mahal

History of Mehtab Bagh

Mehtab Bagh is one of the oldest and most beautiful Mughal gardens in India. It was built by Emperor Babur, the first Mughal ruler, in 1530 as part of his ambitious project to create a paradise on earth. He envisioned a series of gardens on both sides of the Yamuna River, which he called "the river of paradise". He named his garden Mehtab Bagh, which means "moonlight garden" in Urdu, because he wanted to enjoy the view of the Taj Mahal under the moonlight.

Mehtab Bagh was designed as a charbagh, or a four-cornered garden, with four quadrants divided by water channels. It had pools, fountains, pavilions, bridges, and plants that created a symmetrical and harmonious layout. It was also aligned with the Taj Mahal, so that the two monuments formed a perfect axis. Mehtab Bagh was meant to be a pleasure garden, where the emperor and his guests could relax and enjoy the beauty of nature and architecture.

However, Mehtab Bagh did not remain in its original glory for long. Over the centuries, it faced many challenges and threats, such as floods, erosion, vandalism, and neglect. It was also damaged by the British soldiers during the Indian Rebellion of 1857, who used it as a camp and a source of bricks. By the 20th century, Mehtab Bagh was almost forgotten and buried under sand and debris.

Fortunately, Mehtab Bagh was not lost forever. In the 1990s, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) undertook a massive restoration and preservation project to revive the garden. They excavated the site, removed the encroachments, replanted the vegetation, repaired the structures, and restored the water system. They also installed a fence and a gate to protect the garden from further damage.

Today, Mehtab Bagh is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a popular tourist attraction in Agra. It is a testament to the Mughal legacy and a tribute to their love for gardens.

Legend of the Black Taj Mahal

One of the most intriguing and mysterious aspects of Mehtab Bagh is its connection to the legend of the Black Taj Mahal. According to this legend, Emperor Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal as a mausoleum for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, had planned to build another Taj Mahal across the river, but in black marble. This was supposed to be his own tomb and a symbol of his eternal love for Mumtaz Mahal. The two Taj Mahals would have been connected by a bridge and would have reflected each other in the water.

However, this plan was never realized, because Shah Jahan was deposed and imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb, who wanted to save money and resources for his military campaigns. Aurangzeb also destroyed the foundations of the Black Taj Mahal, which were already laid in Mehtab Bagh, and used the materials for his own projects. Shah Jahan spent the last years of his life in the Agra Fort, gazing at the Taj Mahal from his window, until he died and was buried next to Mumtaz Mahal in the white marble mausoleum.

But is this legend true or just a myth? There is no definitive answer to this question, as there are sources and evidence that support or refute this legend. Some historians and scholars believe that the legend is based on some historical facts, such as the existence of the foundations in Mehtab Bagh, the architectural drawings of the Black Taj Mahal, and the accounts of some travelers and chroniclers who mentioned Shah Jahan's plan. Others argue that the legend is a fabrication, a romantic fantasy, or a misinterpretation of the original design of Mehtab Bagh, which was meant to be a garden and not a tomb.

Whatever the truth may be, the legend of the Black Taj Mahal is a fascinating and captivating story that adds to the allure and mystery of Mehtab Bagh. It also reflects the artistic, cultural, and emotional aspects of Shah Jahan's vision and his love for Mumtaz Mahal.

View of the Taj Mahal from Mehtab Bagh

The main reason why most people visit Mehtab Bagh is to enjoy the view of the Taj Mahal from there. And they are not disappointed, because the view from Mehtab Bagh is simply breathtaking. It is a view that you will not forget in your lifetime.

The view from Mehtab Bagh is different from any other viewpoint for the Taj Mahal, because it offers a complete and unobstructed view of the entire monument, from the dome to the minarets, from the plinth to the platform, from the main gate to the mosque. It also offers a view that is free from the crowds and noise that usually surround the Taj Mahal. It is a view that allows you to appreciate the beauty and symmetry of the Taj Mahal in peace and tranquility.

The view from Mehtab Bagh also changes with the time of the day and the season of the year, creating different moods and effects. For example, if you visit Mehtab Bagh in the morning, you can see the Taj Mahal in the soft and golden light of the sunrise, which enhances its color and texture. If you visit Mehtab Bagh in the evening, you can see the Taj Mahal in the warm and orange light of the sunset, which creates a contrast and a silhouette. If you visit Mehtab Bagh at night, especially during the full moon, you can see the Taj Mahal in the silver and blue light of the moonlight, which makes it glow and sparkle.

The view from Mehtab Bagh is also influenced by the water of the Yamuna River, which flows between the garden and the Taj Mahal. The water acts as a mirror, reflecting the image of the Taj Mahal and creating a symmetrical and harmonious composition. The water also adds to the atmosphere and the sound of the view, creating ripples and waves that make the Taj Mahal seem alive and moving.

The view from Mehtab Bagh is not only a visual delight, but also an emotional and spiritual experience. It is a view that makes you feel awe and admiration for the Taj Mahal and its creator. It is a view that makes you feel love and romance for the Taj Mahal and its inspiration. It is a view that makes you feel peace and serenity for the Taj Mahal and its surroundings.

Tips for Visiting Mehtab Bagh

If you are planning to visit Mehtab Bagh and experience the view of the Taj Mahal from there, here are some tips and information that will help you make the most of your visit:

- The best time to visit Mehtab Bagh is during the winter months, from October to March, when the weather is pleasant and the visibility is clear. Avoid the summer months, from April to June, when the weather is hot and the river is dry. Also avoid the monsoon months, from July to September, when the weather is wet and the river is flooded.

- The opening hours of Mehtab Bagh are from 10 am to 5 pm every day, except Friday when it is closed for visitors. The entrance fee for Mehtab Bagh is 25 Rs. for Indian citizens and 300 Rs. for foreigners. You can buy the tickets at the gate or online through the ASI website.

- The best way to get to Mehtab Bagh is by car or tuk-tuk, which you can hire from any part of Agra. The distance from the Taj Mahal to Mehtab Bagh is about 5 km, and it takes about 15 minutes to reach there. You can also take a boat ride from the Taj Mahal to Mehtab Bagh, which is a more scenic and adventurous option, but it depends on the availability and the water level of the river.

- The best time to visit Mehtab Bagh is either in the morning or in the evening, when the light is optimal for viewing and photographing the Taj Mahal. If you want to see the Taj Mahal in the moonlight, you can visit Mehtab Bagh during the full moon nights, but you will need to book your tickets in advance and pay an extra fee of 200 Rs. per person.

- The best thing to do in Mehtab Bagh is to simply enjoy the view of the Taj Mahal from different locations and angles. You can also explore the garden and its features, such as the pools, fountains, pavilions, bridges, etc. You can also learn more about the history and legend of Mehtab Bagh and the Taj Mahal from the information boards and the guides available there.

- The best thing to bring to Mehtab Bagh is a camera or a smartphone, so that you can capture the amazing view of the Taj Mahal and share it with your friends and family. You can also bring some snacks and drinks, as there are no food stalls or vendors in the garden. You can also bring some binoculars or a telescope, if you want to see the details of the Taj Mahal more closely.

- The best thing to wear to Mehtab Bagh is comfortable and casual clothes, such as jeans, t-shirts, shorts, etc. You can also wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen, as the sun can be harsh and bright. You can also wear shoes or sandals, as the ground can be uneven and sandy. You can also wear a scarf or a shawl, as it can get chilly and windy in the evening.


Mehtab Bagh is a hidden gem in Agra that offers a stunning view of the Taj Mahal from across the river. It is also a historical and cultural attraction that tells the story of the Mughal love for gardens and architecture. It is a place where you can experience the Taj Mahal in a new light, in peace and tranquility, in beauty and harmony.

If you are looking for a unique and memorable way to see the Taj Mahal, you should definitely visit Mehtab Bagh. It will be an experience that you will cherish and remember for a long time.

Mehtab Bagh Reviews

Mehtab Bagh : Mehtab Bagh is another place in agra and most ideal place to witness tajmahal from a distant location.It lies to the north of Tajmahal on the opposite side of yamuna river.Over the course of time the floods and the local villagers have damaged the park to such an extent that it was left with the remains of ruined leftovers.Frequent floods have deposited the alluvial silt during early 90's.After it was taken over by ASI, they undertook restoration work to bring back its divine grandeur by planting more trees.According to the reports Shahjahan wanted to built a black tajmahal for himself in the vicinity of Mehtab bagh before he was taken as prisoner by Aurangzeb. The best time to visit mehtab park is during early morning hours or during the sunset times.It about half an hour ride from tajmahal. The entry will be allowed from 6:30am onwards.There is a barbed wire at the edge of mehtab bagh and is under constant vigilance by security guards.If lucky one can spot deers running on the shores of yamuna river towards mehtab bagh.The place will be devoid of tourists during morning hours so you can find solace seeing the golden rays of sun kissing this magnificent architecture.I wanted to witness it both during the sunrise and sunset.Few images i had shot from mehtab bagh can be seen below
MakemytripAlways MMT according to me is the best when it comes to getting the hotels booked. The one which we booked was Maple Grandand the hotel did not let us down. It was actually better than our expectations and was very close to Taj, just a km away. We got it for 2500 INR a room including breakfast. Taj Mahal Closed On Friday For the first timers, Taj Mahal is closed on Friday and honestly I was not aware of it but anyways my anniversary was on Friday so we had no other options. Friday happens to be the best time to visit Mehtab Baghfrom where you can still have a pleasant view of Taj Mahal and being Friday you won't see any crowd like this : Mehtab Bagh So as mentioned above, we decided to go visit Mehtab Bagh on Friday and hopefully get some good photos. The one above is taken from Mehtab Bagh during sun set. The key is Right time and Right place and off-course right camera settings. There are a lot more that I can upload but I will try to keep it short.
A drive away, we reach the Mehtab Bagh and walk in. The entrance looks not so pleasing and a thought comes of taking a wrong decision, but as we go further, something mesmerizing happens. The history says, Mehtab Bagh was developed to be a garden behind the Taj Mahal on the other side of the river to constitute the Black Taj there and bridge them up over the Yamuna and thus we see the history standing right in front of us. The view from the Mehtab Bagh is of the back of the Taj and due to the distance between, we get the chance to capture the complete area around the Taj Mahal. The world's wonder freezes us and can keep us so for hours, but as the sun sets, the place is set to close. So as the sky changes towards the dark, we move out for a dinner.
Anyways experience matters the most. Let's leave. And they left for the hotel. Day: 2Early mornings, no breakfast, hurry up. Let's get to Mehtaab Baug and have a look at the early morning golden Taj. They both went to Mehtaab Baug and the view was extraordinary. Golden sun-rays washing one face of the Taj and the other side was still rejoicing last nights' darkness. True Beauty. I took a bunch of shots. Every time she gets happy she starts to behave like kids. "Hey, will you please click a picture like this", she asked, "Okay just stand there", he agreed. But she can't standstill. Kids never standstill. Anyways he clicked some really cute pictures of her and she was so happy with the morning view even she couldn't sleep well last night after the hectic journey.
Taj Mahal Believe me, if you really wanna have a pleasant experience of visiting Taj Mahal, you should wake up really early in the morning and be there as soon as you can. I literally mean as soon as the Taj Mahal opens for public which is 6:00 AM. I didn't wake up early and I believe I have a reason to it. It gets a bit difficult to travel with a kid plus I got infected with cold the night before. So we reach there at 12:30 pm and there were thousands and thousands of people there. The queue to get inside the premises was not that long but once you reach inside the picture is completely difficult. Will continue to add more information and photos here.......
Photos of Mehtab Bagh
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