Just imagine! Standing in front of the Symbol of Love, world's wonder Taj Mahal that too in a full moon night. Speechless right? Highly Romantic? It is true. First time I heard about visiting Taj Mahal in Full Moon, was in college, when one of my friend shared her family travel plans. I decided that day I will visit Taj Mahal in Night with my life partner. Now that I have visited already, so can you. This post will cover all you need to know to plan your travel to Taj Mahal.
How to Reach Taj Mahal?
Taj Mahal is located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. Agra is very popular in tourists for years hence it is well connected with all the major cities in India.
1. You can choose to fly directly to Agra
2. Book your train tickets to Agra from irctc
3. You can even hire a car from Delhi and reach Agra
4. Another option is to take a bus ride to Agra.
When is the best time to see Taj Mahal in Moonlight?
Taj Mahal is open all year round, but it is better to avoid monsoon season to see the worlds wonder due to obvious reasons. Night viewing of Taj Mahal is only 5 days each month, provided Fridays doesn't fall in those. Fridays Taj Mahal remains closed, so you need to plan accordingly. Those 5 days depends on the day it is Full Moon and 2 days before and after that. You can find the Lunar calendar here.
Where to stay near Taj Mahal?
As I said Agra is very touristy, so for stay option near Taj Mahal you will have plethora of options. Starting from Hostels to Home-stays to 5-star luxury property with Taj view straight from your room.
What is the entry timing to visit Taj Mahal?
All days except Fridays. Taj Mahal opens 30mins before sunrise and closes 30mins before sunset. If you want a crowd free experience target to be there during sunrise. Check Out the visiting hours here.
For night viewing, the timings are for the 5 days in the full moon night is 20.30 to 00.30 . Please note Fridays and the entire month of Ramadan night viewing is not permitted.
Entry fee in Taj Mahal night viewing?
The normal entry fee to Taj Mahal for Indian citizens ₹50 and for foreigners ₹1100. Additional ₹200 for visiting the main mausoleum if interested. Children below 15 years are entry free irrespective of citizenship.
Night visiting charges are expensive, specially for domestic tourists. The charges are ₹500 for Indian citizens and ₹750 for foreigners. Children ticket fee us ₹500. For more information check here.
How to book the tickets to see Taj Mahal in Full Moon?
If you want a day visit in Taj Mahal you can pre book your entry ticket online from here.
To see Taj Mahal in full moon, you need to be present in Agra a day prior to the visit date to book the ticket. Night viewing tickets of Taj Mahal can not be bought online. The tickets are only issues a day prior to the viewing date and can be bought from ASI office, 22 Mall Road, Agra in between 10AM to 6PM. In case you are staying in big hotel, then you can take help from the front desk or reach out to any agent to get this done for you.
Finally, to buy the tickets you will need ID proof ( Adhaar, Passport, PAN for Indian), passports for foreigners. Please carry 2-3 copies of your same ID proof and passport size photo along with you, as the centre doesn't have any shops near by.
What to expect in Taj Mahal night viewing?
Night viewing of Taj Mahal starts 20.30 in batches. There will be batches of 50 people for 30 mins only, an a total of 8 batches. You need to reach 30 mins prior to your viewing timing at Shilpgram with your ticket. Once your tickets are verified, you will be transported with free buggy service to Taj Mahal gate. A through security checking will be done, please remember tripods are not allowed so do not carry them.
Once the security checks are done, each batch will be guided inside Taj Mahal. Once you step inside you will get an eerie feeling standing in a queue, whole entrance lit by moonlight. You need to wait for a while before the group prior to your group leaves.
Taj Mahal at night glows. In moon light when the white light reflects its marble body it glows like a pearl in the middle of the night. It is an experience that you can have but difficult to capture in photos.
Few things to keep in mind
1. No tripod allowed
2. You will not be allowed to go all way to the structure your movement is restricted in the entry gate pavement only from where the Taj is visible
3. You can't rest your camera in the barricade
4. It's a group tour and loud, noisy and crazy people in the group can dampen the experience.