Visiting the iconic symbol of Love - Taj Mahal

Tripoto
30th Jul 2019
Photo of Visiting the iconic symbol of Love - Taj Mahal by Escape Route: Travel And Food Blog By Saloni Aggarwal

I have probably known about Tajmahal since I was a kid. Its one of those iconic monuments which I have visited several times when I was a child. But actually I never really considered seeing this place now as I was like I have already been there . But my husband was like its a weekend will have a small trip to agra and will be a change from our daily routine and I was like, all without excitement fine lets go.

We planned to take a road trip to Agra from New Delhi. We left New Delhi at 7:00 AM through Yamuna Expressway and reached Tajmahal around 11:45 in the morning. Being an information freak like me, I read most of the Taj Mahal travel blogs during the journey. Most of the blogs says that, choose the east gate to get inside the Taj Mahal as its less crowded and avoid the other two gates (south and west). Frankly speaking we thought of going through the east gate but mistakenly our taxi driver landed up to the west gate and we were now not in the mood to get back to change the gates.

The Entry to the Gate:

We got down on the West gate from where the TajMahal ticket counters are hardly 500 mtrs. One could easily take a walk too but we took tuk - tuk which costed us 50 rs one side. You will find many authorised guides outside the parking telling you that there is huge line inside, you have to wait hours to get the tickets, and in case you book the guide you will have no waiting time and won't have to wait for too long in the queue to get inside the Tajamal. We asked him the prices, he showed us his card in which the prices were as Rs 1275 or Rs 1375. We negotiated and believe me he came down to Rs 200 and till then we were like no we don't want the guide now.

We took the tuk tuk and reached the entry gate in another 5 mins where the tuk tuk wala told us that the gets are closed from 11 : 30 to 12 : 30 as the cleaning process is carried out in the area so till then you can visit the Meena Bazaar. We visited the Bazaar, which holds things like banana saree, pineapple saree, mud saree, leather shoes, and mosquito repellant bedsheets. But we ended up buying nothing.

The Tuk Tuk Gadi and Meena Bazaar on the left

Photo of Taj Mahal, Dharmapuri, Forest Colony, Tajganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India by Escape Route: Travel And Food Blog By Saloni Aggarwal

We then went to the counter, the line was huge and it was crowded since the crowd piled up because of closing down of the mausoleum for an hour. We stood in the line to buy tickets and in no time tickets were in our hands. Travellers, we need to have patience, if you want to buy Rs 250 tickets (to get inside the Taj Mahal), then its hardly take 5 Mins and if u wanna go for Rs 5o then not more than 15 mins, so don't beleive on the guides.

The rush at the ticket counters

Photo of Visiting the iconic symbol of Love - Taj Mahal by Escape Route: Travel And Food Blog By Saloni Aggarwal

Entry to the grounds was easy, and within a few minutes we were walking through the red sandstone outer walls of the compound, with the Taj still out of site.

Walking throught the redstone

Photo of Visiting the iconic symbol of Love - Taj Mahal by Escape Route: Travel And Food Blog By Saloni Aggarwal

Walking through the redstone to view the Tajmahal

We passed through the Great gate archway which opens into the gardens surrounding the mausoleum. Across the few hundred meters of main gardens was the creative masterpiece "Taj Mahal". The view of the Tajmahal from this gate is just mesmerising providing the snapshot of the beauty of this place. It’s no mystery why most of the pictures you see of this architectural masterpiece are from this very spot. In that moment, I realised why millions of people come here very year, why its in the UNESCO World heritage site and is one the seven wonders of the world. And my impression was, “Damn. I get it. I’m really glad I didn’t miss this.”

The Great gate archway which opens into the gardens surrounding the mausoleum

Photo of Visiting the iconic symbol of Love - Taj Mahal by Escape Route: Travel And Food Blog By Saloni Aggarwal

The Great gate archway which opens into the gardens surrounding the mausoleum

Photo of Visiting the iconic symbol of Love - Taj Mahal by Escape Route: Travel And Food Blog By Saloni Aggarwal
Photo of Visiting the iconic symbol of Love - Taj Mahal by Escape Route: Travel And Food Blog By Saloni Aggarwal

The view of the Tajmahal from this gate is just mesmerising providing the snapshot of the beauty of this place

Photo of Visiting the iconic symbol of Love - Taj Mahal by Escape Route: Travel And Food Blog By Saloni Aggarwal

Across the few hundred meters of main gardens was the creative masterpiece "Taj Mahal"

Photo of Visiting the iconic symbol of Love - Taj Mahal by Escape Route: Travel And Food Blog By Saloni Aggarwal

History of Taj Mahal

The Taj Mahal is a white marble mausoleum located on the south bank of the Yamuna river in the city of Agra, India. It was commissioned by Mughal emperor, "Shah Jahan" in 1632 for his favourite wife "Mumtaz Mahal" who died during the birth of their 14th child. This is how he describes it in his own words: “Should guilty seek asylum here, like one pardoned, he becomes free from sin. Should a sinner make his way to this mansion, all his past sins are to be washed away. The sight of this mansion creates sorrowing sighs, and the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes. In this world this edifice has been made to display thereby the creator’s glory.”

The Taj Mahal took two decades to complete and was said to be architect by Ustad Ahmad Lahouri (the same person who designed the red fort at Dehli). The exterior & interior of the mausoleum is made of white marble that has been carved, painted, and inlaid with precious stones. The design is a combination of Indian, Persian, and Turkic styles. Passages from the Qur’an are also used as decorative elements. The inner chamber where the tombs are located is in the shape of an octagon. Surrounding the tombs of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal is an octagonal-shaped marble screen.

The Taj Mahal was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 for being "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage". It is regarded by many as the best example of Mughal architecture and a symbol of India's rich history. The Taj Mahal attracts 7–8 million visitors a year and in 2007, it was declared a winner of the New7Wonders of the World (2000–2007) initiative.

The Taj Mahal

Photo of Taj Mahal, Dharmapuri, Forest Colony, Tajganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India by Escape Route: Travel And Food Blog By Saloni Aggarwal

Waiting for the clouds to shower the rain

Photo of Taj Mahal, Dharmapuri, Forest Colony, Tajganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India by Escape Route: Travel And Food Blog By Saloni Aggarwal
Photo of Taj Mahal, Dharmapuri, Forest Colony, Tajganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India by Escape Route: Travel And Food Blog By Saloni Aggarwal

Finally it rained, and believe the feel of love and joy was much more

Photo of Taj Mahal, Dharmapuri, Forest Colony, Tajganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India by Escape Route: Travel And Food Blog By Saloni Aggarwal

Viewing the glory of Taj Mahal

Photo of Taj Mahal, Dharmapuri, Forest Colony, Tajganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India by Escape Route: Travel And Food Blog By Saloni Aggarwal
Photo of Taj Mahal, Dharmapuri, Forest Colony, Tajganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India by Escape Route: Travel And Food Blog By Saloni Aggarwal

And yes the love birds enjoying the token of love

Photo of Taj Mahal, Dharmapuri, Forest Colony, Tajganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India by Escape Route: Travel And Food Blog By Saloni Aggarwal
Photo of Taj Mahal, Dharmapuri, Forest Colony, Tajganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India by Escape Route: Travel And Food Blog By Saloni Aggarwal

Insights on Opening Time and Entry Tickets to the Tajamhal

Opening/Visitng Time

1. Tajmahal is opened all days except Fridays, so plan your visit accordingly

2. Visiting time is 6:00 Am to 6:30 Pm

Insights on Tickets

3. No entry fee for childeren below 15 years (both Indian and Foreigner)

4. Ticket windows for Taj Mahal open one hour before Sunrise & close 45 minutes before Sunset.

5. Tickets can also be bought online: www.asiagracircle.in & www.tajmahal.gov.in

6. If tickets are bought online then tourists get discount of Rs.5/- for per Indian ticket & Rs. 50/- for per Foreigner ticket.

7. Ticket Prices:

For Indian : Rs 50/-

For Foreigner / NRI : Rs 1100/-

For SAARC / BIMSTEC : Rs540/-

8. The ticket prices for Foreigner / NRI/ SAARC/ BIMSTEC includes includes water bottles and shoe covers

9. For visiting main mausoleum of the tajmahal one has to buy additional ticket of Rs.200/- along with regular ticket

Tips for Visitors:

1. If you have the budget and time to do so, stay at the Oberoi Amarvilas Agra Hotel.

2. The best Taj Mahal visiting time is EARLY.

3. The prices at shops outside the Tajmahal gate are marked up 100x the real amount. Please negotiate and if you can't then don't end up buying

4. If you’re looking for the perfect photo, it seems all the best come from across the river.

5. Most temples in India require you to take off your shoes for temples, the Taj ask that you cover you shoes with shoe covers. So, don't forget to put on shoe covers.

6. There is no dress code to visit Taj Mahal

7. The line to get inside the mausoleum is not as long as you think

8. The tuk - tuk from the parking will cost you 50 rs one side and one can even take the facility of Taanga which also costs the same.

The Tuk Tuk or the Taanga Stand

Photo of Visiting the iconic symbol of Love - Taj Mahal by Escape Route: Travel And Food Blog By Saloni Aggarwal

Victoria no. 203

Photo of Visiting the iconic symbol of Love - Taj Mahal by Escape Route: Travel And Food Blog By Saloni Aggarwal

Victoria no. 203

Photo of Visiting the iconic symbol of Love - Taj Mahal by Escape Route: Travel And Food Blog By Saloni Aggarwal

9. Rs 100/- penalty is imposed on loss or damage of token

10. The validity of the token is 3 hours only.

Do's and Don'ts to visit the Taj Mahal

1. Drone camera is prohibited inside the Taj Mahal.

2. Tourist must carry his/her Identity Proof issued by Govt. Authorities

3. Water bottle is allowed inside the monument.

4. Most temples in India require you to take off your shoes for temples, the Taj ask that you cover you shoes with shoe covers. So, don't forget to put on shoe covers.

5. Eating and smoking is strictly prohibited inside Taj Mahal.

6. Arms, ammunitions, fire, smoking items, tobacco products, liquor, eatables (Toffees), head phones, knives, wire, mobile charger, electric goods (except camera), Tripods are also prohibited.

7. Video camera, extra batteries are prohibited though still camera is permitted after the security check.

8. No Polluting vehicles are allowed within 500 mts. Radius of Taj Mahal. Parking Facility is available at Shilpgram

Happy Travelling..!!

After the Taj, check out the Agra Fort before you head out of town

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