Taj Mahal, beautiful but overcrowded.

4 years ago
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Taj Mahal, the Indian icon and one of the 7 wonders is definitely one of the most beautiful buildings in the world! (even though I personally find Registan in Uzbekistan  to be more impressive)

NB. From 1.April 2016 the entrance ticket price for foreigners got raised to 1000 Rs (750 Rs before). Also remember that Taj Mahal is CLOSED for visitors EVERY FRIDAY!!

There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who have seen the Taj Mahal and love it, and those who have not seen the Taj Mahal and love it. Bill Clinton

This wasn’t the first time I visited Taj Mahal –  was actually my third visit to the Indian icon –  And it was still as impressive as the first time I saw it back in 2009!
However one thing has unfortunately changed; It has become extremely overcrowded.

The gates open at sunrise, just after 6am, and while the first hour is still pretty quiet and nice it all changes pretty quickly with hoards of tourist arriving constantly – it gets pretty packed.

So, if you’re aiming to get that peaceful photo of Taj Mahal without the crowds, you better be there early.
If not, your photos will look like this:

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Starting to get crowded.
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Crowds arriving.
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And More people.
And even more people.
And even more people.

All these photos were taken just about 30-40min AFTER the gates open.

However, if you’re at the queue buying your ticket more than 30min BEFORE the gate opens – you will be able to get photos like this:

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Taj Mahal just after the gates been open.
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Another photo before the crowds arrives

Another place you can visit to enjoy a glimpse of the Taj Mahal is from the back, directly across the Yamuna River at Mehtab Bagh Park. The entrance fee for foreigners is 100 Rs and it’s open from sunrise to about 18.00 (they will tell you that’s it’s until sunset, but it’s not).

A rickshaw return trip will cost you 200 – 300 Rs from the city center.

The park is quiet and nicely maintained, but don’t expect to escape the crowds of tourists here either.

Mehtab Bagh Park
Mehtab Bagh Park at sunset
The typical jumping photo
The typical jumping photo.

But, with a decent zoom lens you get some good photos of Taj.

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Taj Mahal as seen from Mehtab Bagh Park.

Additional Information About Agra and Taj Mahal.

I have already mentioned it, but it’s important so here we go again.

From 1.April 2016, the entrance ticket-price for foreigners got raised to 1000 Rs (750 Rs before).
The gates to Taj Mahal are open from just after sunrise to just before sunset.

Taj Mahal is CLOSED ON FRIDAYS!!

Accommodation.

Agra is probably the city in India with the most guesthouses. As a result, the competition between guesthouses/hotels is huge.
If you use the amazing travel app “Makemytrip” to book your accommodation will you be able to get some crazy deals (that sounds sponsored – but it’s not)!
Me and my travel-buddy were able to stay at a 5* hotel with all you can eat breakfast – at a CHEAPER price than we would’ve paid for a bed in a dormitory, at a hostel.

Getting Around.

Agra is a spread out city with a population of 1,7 million.
Unfortunately, there is no metro system – So like in most other Indian cities, Rickshaws (Tuk Tuks) are the main form of transportations. You should be able to hire a rickshaw with a driver for the whole day for around 400 – 600 Rs.

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