Volumes have been written about the Taj Mahal as the symbol of everlasting love. But just as people have difficulty with love, many have difficulty getting great pictures at the Taj. We’ve been there, done that… and so here are 5 great tips:
Plan the night before: The Taj opens around 7 am and the best light falls on its Eastern face between 8 and 8:30 am. It takes almost an hour to get through the queue and security, and close to the monument, so you can see its inlaid jewels sparkle in the morning sun. So an overnight stay in Agra near the Eastern gate is a really good plan.
Get tickets in advance: Since you are there a night before, ask your hotel to arrange passes. They are not available near the gate. Remember if you are from outside India, passes/tickets are a lot more expensive as per Government rules for heritage sites. Don’t grumble… enjoy the treat – it’s not too much money.
Avoid bags: Take only a camera, wallet and cellphone unless you want the security to display all your belongings. You will not be allowed to carry any eatables (and nothing is sold in the premises either, to keep the place clean), so plan to have a light bite at 6:30 am and a bigger bite at noon or whenever you return.
Check for your queue: Foreigners, Indians, Ladies, Gents… 4 queues. Don’t get mixed up. Being in the right place helps keep your spirits happy. By 7:30 am in summer months Agra can get quite hot… you want to stay cool inside!
Don’t waste time: There is a lot to see around the Taj premises before you get to the monument. But… as you see in the picture, it appears that the Taj was built in this couple’s backyard. Because they chose to walk down the pathway to Taj before the crowds came there… and explored the other galleries later!
We hope this helps you to have a good trip!