Your travel list could never get complete unless you visit this obvious gem – The Taj Mahal. After a hectic week in office I decided to pack my bags and tick one of my wishlist. So I booked a bus ticket on a Friday night which cost me around 900 INR including return journey.(as it is winter non AC buses will do). A bit of miscalculation on my part made me arrive Agra at around 2am in the morning with no hotel bookings. Fortunately I got a hostel with only 1 bed left (cost me around 350 INR). I slept for the night but I knew I had to get up and be in Taj Mahal before 6am. The more you get late you find more crowd and eventually the serenity of Taj Mahal loses. Try to be there at sunrise to catch some excellent glimpses of the architectural beauty.
As I entered to buy the tickets I was asked for my Identity card. (Remember to bring along your voter ID or any other IDs- otherwise you will not be permitted to enter the premises). After all the initial glitches and checking , I managed entry to my wishlist. The door itself is a work of immense architectural knowledge. One can see the full view of Taj Mahal through the doors. With a water area and fountains laid symmetrical in front of Taj mahal, I moved by its side closer to the main Mahal. The whole area is surrounded by gardens and wooden chairs. There is a small stone structure in front of the mahal which I think is made to view the Mahal in its full grandeur.
As I moved closer to the Mahal, I could now see the inscriptions on the walls of the Mahal. One can find the Yamuna flowing from the back side of the Mahal. The Mahal has quite an historic importance with secret passageways leading to Pakistan (though now it has been closed and only the entrance remains). One can some more structural work going on the walls of the Mahal. If one notices carefully, you would find that the minars in front of the Mahal are all tilted towards the Mahal. The inside is considered sacred where you will find the cenotaphs which were completely guarded by designed walls from where one could only peep. There is a small lamp hanging in the middle of the room which enlightens the whole area. You can find a whole lot of foreigners there.
If you are an history buff, it would take almost half a day for you to feel the whole aura of the Taj Mahal. Though it says that it looks best on purnimas but locals were of the idea that it was just over hyped and it looks the same in case you visit early mornings (one of the reasons I visited so early). For tickets to the moonlight night view of Taj Mahal, you need to get that one day in advance (700INR per person and that too for a 30 minute view is way too much according to me).