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Best Time to Visit The Taj Mahal (4)

Visiting the Taj Mahal is an iconic and surreal bucket list experience. It offers a glimpse into India’s rich history and architectural magnificence.

If you’re wondering about the best time to visit the Taj Mahal, this guide is for you. I will also share some insights and helpful tips for your visit!

Top tips:

  • Arriving at least 1 hour before sunrise is crucial to avoid massive crowds at the Taj Mahal.
  • I highly recommend purchasing your entry tickets online, in advance.
  • Hiring a photographer or tour guide ahead of time can enhance the overall experience and provide valuable insights.
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Best time to visit the Taj Mahal

How to get to the Taj Mahal

While it is possible to visit the Taj Mahal on a day trip from Delhi, I recommend staying overnight in Agra to truly savor the Taj at sunrise. If you’re following a one-week Golden Triangle itinerary covering Delhi, Agra, and Jaipur, allocating a night in Agra allows for this unforgettable experience.

A variety of hotels are available in the area. During our visit, we chose Joey’s Hostel Agra, which was both economical and conveniently located, just a 5-minute walk from the Taj Mahal entrance.

Additionally, there are numerous mid-range and luxury hotels in close proximity. The East Gate serves as the primary entrance for tourists.

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Best time to visit the Taj Mahal

The ideal time to visit Agra is between October and March when the weather is at its best. During our visit in mid-March, we enjoyed perfect weather without any fog. To avoid large crowds, make sure to plan your visit on weekdays rather than weekends. However, keep in mind that the Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays.

We highly recommend experiencing the Taj Mahal at sunrise. The way the morning light transforms the color of the white marble is truly mesmerizing. Arriving early not only allows you to witness this breathtaking sight but also helps you beat the crowds. However, be prepared for the possibility of lines even at this early hour. When we arrived around 6 am (on a Saturday), which was sunrise time, we found that many others had the same idea.

Despite our early wake up call, the line at the entrance was already quite long. To ensure you make the most of your visit, we suggest arriving at least an hour before sunrise. The gates open 30 minutes before sunrise, giving you plenty of time to enter the complex, take some photos, and find a prime viewing spot to watch the sun rise over the Taj Mahal. This early arrival also allows you to leisurely explore the surroundings and appreciate the monument’s beauty before the crowds arrive.

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Buying tickets online

I highly recommend buying tickets online to cut down the time spent in line. Tickets to enter the Taj Mahal cost 1,100 INR ($13 USD). If you want to visit the main mausoleum you need to purchase an additional ticket for 200 INR ($2.40 USD). You can buy your entry ticket here up to 1 week in advance.

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What you can and cannot bring inside

There are security checks before entry and you will need to put your bag through a scanner and walk through a metal decector. Certain items are not permitted within the premises. However, visitors are allowed to bring a camera and a phone for capturing the stunning beauty of the Taj Mahal. It’s important to respect these regulations to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience at this iconic monument.

Some prohibited items include:

  • Food
  • Lighters
  • Flowers/Garland
  • Drone
  • Tripods
  • Religious books
  • Large bags

You can find the full list of prohibited items here.

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Hiring a photographer/tour guide

Since tripods are not allowed inside the Taj Mahal, we considered hiring a photographer to capture some photos and videos for us. In the end, we decided against it, but we regretted this choice later on.

The limited time frame for taking photos, especially together, made us realize the value of having a photographer’s assistance. If you’re interested in hiring a photographer, they often also serve as your tour guide.

You can easily book them through GetYourGuide or other similar websites (make sure to check their reviews). These photographers are familiar with the best photo spots, as well as the less crowded areas that offer unique perspectives.

While waiting in line outside the entrance, you may encounter individuals offering their services as “tour guides” or “photographers”. However, we do not recommend hiring them. It’s better to arrange for a photographer or tour guide ahead of time to ensure availability and to avoid potential scammers.

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Beyond the Taj: Exploring Agra

If you decide to stay overnight in Agra, you’ll have the opportunity to explore some other famous monuments in the area.

  • Agra Fort – A UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for its red sandstone walls and intricate marble structures. Its historical importance and stunning architecture make it a must-visit destination.
  • Mehtab Bagh (aka Moonlight Garden) – provides a different perspective of the Taj Mahal, offering picturesque views from across the Yamuna River.
  • The Itmad-ud-Daula, known as the “Baby Taj,” is another enchanting site with beautiful gardens and intricate Mughal architecture.
  • Agra’s local markets are also worth exploring, offering a wide range of traditional crafts, vibrant textiles, and delicious street food.
  • If you’re next destination is Jaipur, I recommend stopping along the way at Fatehpur Sikri. This historical site, located just 1 hour outside of Agra, features a blend of Mughal and Persian styles, showcasing well-preserved palaces, courtyards, and mosques.
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Helpful tips for visiting the Taj Mahal

  • When you visit the Taj Mahal, it’s respectful to dress modestly, opting for long pants, shirts that cover your shoulders, or a long dress paired with a scarf. Avoid wearing shorts, tank tops, or anything revealing, and consider wearing comfortable shoes for the amount of walking you’ll likely do.
  • To help preserve the Taj Mahal’s beauty, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and symbol of love, avoid touching the marble and ensure you don’t leave any trash behind.
  • Agra experiences scorching summers, so make sure to carry a water bottle and stay hydrated to prevent heat-related illnesses.
  • Respecting Agra’s traditional culture is important. Be mindful of local customs, avoiding public displays of affection and dressing modestly.
  • For a sunrise visit, bring mosquito repellent, as mosquitoes are abundant at that time.
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Hi! I'm Carrie Salter, a travel blogger originally from the USA, but now traveling and living abroad full time. I share travel guides, travel tips, and inspiration from around the world!

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