How to visit the Taj Mahal in Agra from Delhi

Taj Front in the fog

How to visit the Taj Mahal in Agra from Delhi

No trip to northern India is complete without seeing the Taj Mahal. The Taj is just a 3 hour drive from South Delhi.

We strongly advise taking it easy and getting to Agra the night before you want to visit the Taj. Spend a night at the ITC Mughal or the Oberoi Amarvilas before seeing the Taj in the cool early morning hours. 

Taj through the fog
Taj through the fog

UNESCO’s website describes the Taj as an immense mausoleum of white marble, built in Agra between 1631 and 1648 by order of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife, the Taj Mahal is the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage.

They also say, “The Taj Mahal is considered to be the greatest architectural achievement in the whole range of Indo-Islamic architecture. Its recognised architectonic beauty has a rhythmic combination of solids and voids, concave and convex and light shadow; such as arches and domes further increases the aesthetic aspect. The colour combination of lush green scape reddish pathway and blue sky over it show cases the monument in ever changing tints and moods. The relief work in marble and inlay with precious and semi precious stones make it a monument apart”.

 

Itinerary for Agra

Day 1: Leave Delhi at 4PM for Agra
Check-in. Have a nice dinner at ITC Mughal’s Peshawari Restaurant or at the Oberoi over looking the Taj
Day 2: Visit the Sites
Visit the Taj Mahal at 7AM and then move on to Sikandra and then Fatehpur Sikri. Leave for Delhi in the evening directly from Fatehpur Sikri

What will you see at the Taj Mahal

Lineup at 6AM
Lineup at 6AM
Lineup at 6AM 2
Lineup at 6AM 2
Security check after the entrance
Security check after the entrance
Sunrise at Taj entrance
Sunrise at Taj entrance
Taj Glimpse through the fog
Taj Glimpse through the fog
Taj fogged out entirely
Taj fogged out entirely

Sikandra – Tomb Entrance

Taj Carvings - Entrance
Taj Carvings – Entrance
Taj Fog Clears
Taj Fog Clears
Taj Entrance
Taj Entrance
Taj Front in the fog
Taj Front in the fog
Taj in the fog
Taj in the fog
Taj Main entrance
Taj Main entrance
Taj side
Taj from the side
Taj through the fog
Taj through the fog
The tomb of Shah Jahan
The tomb of Shah Jahan
Photos inside the Taj
Photos inside the Taj
Mihman Khana in the fog
Mihman Khana in the fog
Ketaki at Taj
Ketaki at Taj
In laid marble flowers
In laid marble flowers
Mihman Khana from inside the taj
Mihman Khana from inside the taj

Where to Stay in Agra

We recommend staying at any of these three hotels in Agra the night before you want to visit the Taj. All these hotels have been marked on the map above.

  1. The Oberoi Amarvilas
  2. ITC Mughal
  3. Radisson Blu

Tip: The Lounge at the Oberoi is a nice place for a drink in the evening as it looks over the Taj. 

This will help you have more time at this incredible world heritage site and you can beat the crowds that show up on day trips from Delhi. Plus, you can use the afternoon to get to Fatehpur Sikri, which is the other world heritage site in Agra.

Personally, we don’t think it makes sense to line up before sunrise to be the first to get in to see the Taj. Go at 7AM in the summer and get back by 10. The ticket to Taj now only allows you to stay there for three hours.

That’s enough time to see the monument.

Tips for Taj mahal

Taxi from Delhi to Taj

We recommend Mann Tours. They are expensive but they have reliable drivers and well maintained cars. A car that can fit four should cost you about INR 14000 or $200 for the 2 day one night itinerary listed in this post. The tickets to Taj will be extra. 

Visiting Hours for the Taj Mahal

  • Taj Mahal is open from 30 Minutes before sunrise and upto 30 Mintues before sunset during normal operating days
  • Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays for general viewing and is opened on Friday afternoon only for those who have to attend prayers at the Mosque inside Taj Mahal.

Where to buy tickets for the Taj Mahal

Buy tickets for the Taj online at the Archeological Survey of India website and carry print outs with you.

You can also buy the tickets the Taj entry gates one hour before sunrise to upto 45 minutes before sunset.

  • Taj Mahal Western Gate :- Tickets are available on Western Gate near Saheli Burj. 
  • Taj Mahal Eastern Gate :- Tickets are available at Eastern Gate of Taj Mahal. 

I suggest buying tickets at the Taj West Entrance gate ticket office if you can’t buy them online. The East gate entrance is closed for vehicular traffic. So you either have to walk or a take a bus and I would avoid it if possible. Ensure that your rickshaw driver does not take you to the east gate by confirming it twice before you get in the rickshaw. 

The east gate is closer to the Oberoi. So, you could use it if you stay there. But then, you should use the concierge service at the Oberoi to book tickets and arrange for your trip. They will be glad to do so. 

NOTE: Carry a Govt Issued Photo ID with you when you plan to visit the Taj. 

Taj Mahal ticket costs

Foreigners: 1000INR or US $18

Indians: 40 INR 

Kids below 15 are free

Full moon night viewing of Taj Mahal

Viewing the Taj on a full moon light is a fantastic experience but is hard to arrange. 

NOTE: There will be no night viewing of the TAJ during May 2018

Night viewing of Taj Mahal is available on five days in a month i.e. on full moon night and two nights before and two after the full moon. Tickets are available 24 hours (1 day) before Night Viewing of the Taj between 10 A.M. to 6 P.M. at Archaeological Survey of India (A.S.I) 22, Mall Road, Agra. Ph. +91 0562 – 2227261, 2227263, Fax: +91 562 – 2227262 e-mail: asiagra@sancharnet.in

Night Viewing Ticket can be cancelled in the above mentioned office on the day of viewing up to 1 P.M. (Cancellation charges:25% of the ticket) Timing: 20:30 hrs. to 00.30 hrs. in 8 batches of max. 50 people each. Time duration for each batch is half an hour (30 minutes).

Night Viewing of the Taj Mahal is closed on every Friday & in the month of Ramzan.

Adult – Rs. 510/- (Indian) Rs. 750/- (Foreigner) Rs. 500/- Child (3-15 years)

Night Viewing of the Taj Mahal is closed on every Friday & in the month of Ramzan.

What to see in Agra

Fatehpur Sikri

A city, predominantly made of red sand stone, Fatehpur Sikri was once the capital of Mughal Emperor Akbar. It is now a UNESCO world heritage site and a famous tourist attraction. It was built by Akbar in 

Sikandra 

Sikandra is the tomb of Akbar. Akbar was the king of India from 1571-1585. and had set up its capital in Agra. He was thought to be a good king who brought the people of India together. He was also the father of Shahjahan who built the Taj in Agra and Old Delhi. 

Sikandra - Entrance
Sikandra – Entrance
Sikandra - Entrance 3
Sikandra – Entrance 3
Sikandra - Entrance 2
Sikandra – Entrance 2

Sikandra - Tomb Entrance

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