Hello , welcome back to the the India series where I talk about my trip to India with my group of friends.Today post would be talking on the third day of our Golden Triangle tour and focusing on the city called Agra .In case you missed my previous post on part 2,please click here.
Agra is the city where the beautiful Taj Mahal is being built and one of the most visited city by international tourist because of it.Our personal driver has advised us to wake up early to visit Taj Mahal and there is a reason for taking his advice for it .
Taj Mahal, an iconic building was build by the late Emperor Shah Jahan from the Mughal empire for his favourite wife Muntaz Mahal after her death. Taj Mahal means “Crown Palace” and it was one of the most preserved tomb ever maintained. The building itself was built using incredible marble and decorated with precious or semi precious stone.
How to get there ?
Hi put a goggle map link below as a guide to anyone who wishes to go to the Taj Mahal.
Where to get the tickets?
Currently there are only 2 gates where you can buy the tickets which is the western gate and the eastern gate. The south gate is not for entry and is only for exit only.
How much is the ticket?
For foreigner ,you need to pay 1100 indian rupees .If you want to now more about the entrance ticket price for others nationalities please clink on the links below for more info
Children below 15 years old are free to enter for both foreigner and local.
What did you get for paying 1100 indian rupees for foreign tourist?
As a foreign tourist ,we will get a pair of disposable shoes cover to wear when entering the Taj Mahal and a bottle of water.
Important notes to all traveler and visitor visiting Taj Mahal
Go there early
People,if you travel to Taj Mahal on a weekend (coincidentally I was visiting Taj Mahal on a Sunday ) it is important to go there early because weekend you usually tend to get more crowd and going early help you to beat the traffics and I not talking about traffics on the road. I’m talking about traffics entering the monument not to mention the long lines you need to queue to buy your tickets .Plus going early you not only “beat the traffics” but also you won’t feel the heat of the sun if you go later because you can easily spend 2-4 hours there?
We check out from the hotel we stay and we departed from the hotel around 6am. 6 am? you must be thinking we some crazy tourist waking up so early just to see Taj Mahal. Well… we are not the only tourist or visitor waking up early to visit Taj Mahal. By the time we reach the entrance tickets you can see a lot of people as well .
Taj Mahal is open from sunrise to sunset (from 6.00am to 6.30pm) but is closed every friday for tourist and only can be access by Muslim people during the afternoon to attend Friday prayers.Night time is open from 8.30pm to 12am.
Best time to visit Taj Mahal ?
Well there is no right or wrong timing to visit Taj Mahal but you are able to see the Taj Mahal from different perspective when is it in the morning ,afternoon or evening. Like I say ,if you don’t like to squeeze with other tourist and don’t mind being a morning person ,going early is the best because lesser crowd and not so hot before noon. Most people like to go during sunset because it would be more cooler temperature but when taking picture you need to be more patient.
If you decided to go on night tour to Taj Mahal ,be sure to buy your ticket earlier to avoid disappointment because there is only limited entry to Taj Mahal at night .For more information please click here.
The website would able to give more information on night viewing in Taj Mahal.
Why you are here it good to take lots of people of the Taj Mahal for remembrance .
Agra Fort is one of the historical fort in Agra city and is the main residence of the Mughal empire emperors.Today is one of the UNESCO world heritage site an it is also know as Red Fort of Agra.Agra Fort is located 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) west of the Taj Mahal, alongside the Yamuna River.
Open daily from sunrise to sunset .
Do I need to pay an entrance fee?
There is an entrance fee about 550 indian rupees for foreign tourist and 40 indian rupees for Indiant National . Children under 15 can enter for free.
Where to enter ?
Agra fort used to have 4 gates but 2 had been walled up and the official one is Delhi Gate on the western side.
Unfortunately our group decided not to go in as that day a lot of the Agra Fort area has been closed for unknown reason and it would be a waste of money to go in and see nothing much out of it because the ticket it not cheap as well. Although we didn’t visited the fort but it is still worth while to take picture in front of the Agra Fort
Itmad-Ud-Daula / Baby Taj
The tomb of Itmad-ud-daulah or often called “Baby Taj” was made out of white marble instead of the red sandstone . It’s located alongside the Yamuna River, and contains the body of Mirza Ghiyas Beg who served under Akbar. He was later appointed as chief minister when his daughter married Akbar’s son, Jehangir. I don’t have a picture taken for this monument but here I linked a picture from Tripadvisor website as reference for you how it looks like. My group also didn’t visited this monument as they weren’t keen but I still feel I need to share with you guys some others interesting places which you can see beside the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort.
This photo of Agra is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Tickets cost 210 rupees for foreigners and 20 rupees for Indian National.
After visiting the Agra Fort (from the outside the entrance) ,we went to visit one of the shop here who sell marble same as the one that was used to built the Taj Mahal just for some knowledge.Sorry guys I can’t remember the shop name and its location but here are some pictures taken while visiting the shop.
We left the shop before noon and say goodbye to our tour guide of the day and headed off to New Delhi our last stop before flying off home.It would take us about nearly 3 hours & 20 minutes drive from Agra to New Delhi by road .
Alternatively if you are on a day trip from New Delhi to Agra ,you can take a train or bus to come here .The train would take about 2 hours 30 minutes to reach or bus around 5 hours .Guys ,I’m sorry that I not able to provided more details how to get here by public transportation.It best to do some goggle research.
I hope you all have enjoyed reading this post and hope you be inspire to travel soon . As we nearing to the last part series of my India Trip in my next post .I hope you also share your stories if you have been to these places before in the comments below . All is good .See you in next post !