Travel Tips: Agra
We want to know a lot before we see the Taj Mahal. These tips will follow you on our top tips along with everything we have told you before our trip. We hope this will help make your experience as memorable as possible.
1. Arrive at the ticket booth early
We recommend taking the first visit to the Taj Mahal in the morning. There will be less congestion, good light and you will avoid the heat of the afternoon (which actually starts at 9 am). Arrive at the ticket booth as soon as possible. We arrived at 5:45 am (15 minutes before the ticket booth opens), and there was already a long queue. If we were to do it again, we would try to come in at 5:15. The building is called Shilp Gram UP. Tourism). When we got out after 6:15 in the morning, the line was wrapping outside the door. Even though the ticket booth is 1 km from the entrance of the Taj, it is not bad. But there are plenty of rickshaw drivers that you can hire if you do not want to make it on foot. Keep in mind: Do not expect a colorful sunrise in solitude. There is not really a sunrise behind the Taj Mahal; Also, the gates do not open until the sun has actually risen. That said, the morning light is lovely. And even though you are getting up early and beating up most of the crowd, you certainly won't find yourself alone - it's crowded all day long, even when the gate opens. As long as your expectations are realistic, you won't regret waking up early.
2. Choose Your Gate Wisely
See full size Top tips to visit Taj Mahal Agra India Travel Guide There are 3 entrances to the Taj Mahal. Make sure you read on each so that you know which option is best for you. The East Gate was closest to our hostel, and when it was crowded, we were not waiting ourselves long before we were able to enter. This was the most convenient for us. The West Gate is ahead of most hotels, and is the most crowded gate during the day. However, we have read that it is slightly less crowded at sunrise than the East Gate. So depending on where you are staying, this can be a good option. If possible avoid the South Gate (until people see the whole lot). It is located near a ramshackle market and the souvenir sellers do dhakkamukki. Also, this gate does not open until 8 am, so if you want to make it to the sunrise, you can cross this gate from your list. More information on the entrance to the Taj Mahal.
3. Buy your ticket with exact change
Even though we arrived at the first point in the morning, the people at the ticket counter were harassing people for not making the exact changes. Price of Taj Mahal entrance: Rs 1,000 per person (recently increased from Rs 750). A foreign ticket should be accompanied by a water bottle, shoe cover and a tourism map of Agra.
4. Wear bug spray
The mosquitoes are still leaving at dawn (when we went in March) and we were spotted while waiting in line to enter the Taj Mahal. Travel tip: We love traveling with this all natural bug balm. This is a solid rod, so it will not leak or count towards your TSA fluid limit.
5. Be Prepared to Separate from Your Travel Partner
At the east entrance, there is a line for men and women. As is usually the case with bathroom lines, the queue of women takes longer. If you are traveling with the opposite sex, make sure you set aside and prepare a meeting place on the other side of the outpost as it gets increasingly crowded. If you are visiting the Taj Mahal with children, this entrance gets really crowded, so make sure you keep the little ones closed so that they don't get lost in the clutter.
6. Dress Properly
See full size Top tips to visit Taj Mahal Agra India Travel Guide Dress code is not applicable in Taj Mahal. We saw some women wearing streppy dress and tank tops. Even if no code is in force, we would recommend dressing modestly. The general rule of thumb for women in India is to cover everything below your shoulder and your knee. Wear light and loose clothing, as it can be incredibly hot, especially when shade is rare and the sun is reflecting on the marble and concrete structures around you.
7. Know what you can't bring
The bag must be scanned, so after being Frisk you will have to go to another queue if you have a backpack or purse. There is a long list of items you cannot bring inside the Taj Mahal, including food, headphones and tripods. Read the banned items on the official website. We had a deck of cards, a headlamp and a tripod section of our GoPro expendable arm. And we saw that a girl's packet of gum was confiscated. Be very selective when packing your bags! We had to go back out of the gate, directed to a small shop nearby which had "lockers". This shop will hold your luggage, but when you come back to pick it up, you will be under pressure to buy something. Things have started knocking more in these shops, so we didn't want any. Cut to the chase, tell them that you are not interested, and give them 100 rupees to keep your stuff.