Most would agree that no visit to India is complete without seeing the Taj Mahal for yourself. A stunning, fairy-tale-like mass of bejewelled marble looming over the banks of the river Yamuna in Agra, it’s the most recognised monument in India, not to mention one of the Seven Wonders of the World!
This mesmerizing mausoleum was completed in the mid 17th century at the behest of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, after a whopping 22 years and an army of 20,000 workers. Not surprisingly, experiencing the beauty of the Taj Mahal in person is often a highlight of their trip to India for many of our guests. To make it one of yours too, here are our Top 6 Ways to See the Taj Mahal:
The Taj Mahal is located in the city of Agra, in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India;
One of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal is visited by approximately 7 – 8 million people every year;
It was built in 1631 by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife who sadly died during childbirth;
The monument is open year-round from Saturday through Thursday and closed to the public every Friday. However, you can still enjoy a fantastic view of the Taj Mahal on a Friday from Mehtab Bagh or Agra Fort (see below).
1. See the Taj Mahal at Sunrise
Seeing the Taj Mahal at sunrise is well worth the early start. Not only do you have the opportunity to appreciate the marble gradually changing colour through pinks and yellows as the sun rises, but you also beat the crowds. Get there early doors, and it’s the quietest time of day to visit the Taj Mahal.
Visiting the Taj Mahal at sunrise is perfect for the hotter months as you can enjoy the cool morning breeze. However, during winter it isn’t always recommended as the colder months of December and January tend to be foggy in the early morning, not to mention chilly! If you’ll be visiting at this time of year, we recommend visiting the Taj Mahal at another time of day and including an optional return to the Taj Mahal at sunrise the following day, weather permitting. This is something we will tailor to your individual requirements in more detail when designing your bespoke itinerary together.
For all other months of the year, we recommend visiting the Taj Mahal at both sunrise and sunset to appreciate further its spectrum of hues throughout the changing light of the day, which brings us on to…
2. See it at Sunset
Whilst the Taj Mahal is beautiful no matter what time of the day you decide to visit, there is something special about watching the sunset behind it, with the marble seeming to glow a warm, rose hue.
3. Catch a Peaceful View from Mehtab Bagh
Mehtab Bagh is a peaceful patch of garden right behind the Taj Mahal, offering a sublime view. Best of all, Mehtab Bagh is relatively undiscovered by most visitors to Agra, so you may find yourselves the only ones there. Mehtab Bagh is open every day, too, whereas the Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays, so if you find yourself leaving Agra on a Friday morning but would like to catch the Taj Mahal at sunrise, Mehtab Bagh is the place to do it.
4. See the Taj Mahal from Agra Fort
Along with the Taj Mahal, we recommend visiting Agra Fort whilst in the city. Also known as the Red Fort, our privately guided tour of the citadel will set the scene of the era and provide a more comprehensive background to the Taj Mahal itself and the Mughal empire.
We recommend visiting Agra Fort before you visit the Taj Mahal. That way, it makes the fort’s view all the more special as you catch your first glimpse of the Taj.
5. See the Taj Mahal at Moonlight
For five nights a month – the night of the full moon and the two prior and after – the Taj Mahal is open to visitors for a special, booked-in-advance nighttime viewing. This takes place for four hours from 20:30 – 00:30 (8:30 pm – 12:30 am), with each visitor being allocated a 30-minute slot.
If you’re lucky enough to visit during a clear, bright night, you’ll enjoy an amazing view of the mausoleum as it shines under the moonlight. However, it can be a bit of a gamble; if it’s overcast or smoggy (as it often can be overnight in the winter months of December and January), you probably won’t be able to see much.
6. Soak it up from your Suite at The Oberoi Amarvilas
Our favourite place to stay in Agra is hands-down The Oberoi Amarvilas. This stunning five-star property offers a beautiful view of the monument from every room and suite, with some sprawling out onto a private terrace. Stay at The Oberoi Amarvilas and enjoy uninterrupted views of the Taj Mahal without the restriction of visiting hours. For a truly memorable experience, we recommend upgrading to one of the rooms with a balcony and ordering a special dinner to be served right there in the comfort of your private terrace overlooking the timeless Taj Mahal. For more amazing experiences like this:
If you’d like to see the Taj Mahal on your upcoming trip to India, do get in touch. As specialists in private, tailor-made tours of the Rajasthan region and its environs (including Agra and New Delhi), we’d make a perfect match to assist with your arrangements. Don’t just take our word for it… check out what our past guests have to say about our service! Whilst all our trips are tailor-made to suit you, as a starting point, you might find our Luxury Golden Triangle sample tour inspiring and our guide to offbeat experiences in India’s Golden Triangle.0