Taj Mahal – The Mausoleum for the iconic love story

The iconic Taj Mahal needs no introduction – the epitome of love with one of a kind architecture! Last month I got a chance (again!) to visit the iconic Taj Mahal – One of the Seven Wonders of the World. I have been to Taj before as well yet this time I documented it in my camera more like a traveler and not a tourist. I’m going to present one day Taj Mahal tour from Delhi with all the details of the trip. If you’re visiting India for the first time as a women traveler, then I’d recommend being prepared about what to wear in India. Delhi is quite liberal, skirts, shorts, and dresses will work, but Agra is a still coping with the dress code. It’s best to be prepared to avoid stares. Beyond this, Agra is friendly towards international tourists as the footfall is spectacularly high here. 

History Of Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal a 17th-century architectural landmark in the world history, a part of Seven Wonders of the World is known both for its striking architecture and the love story behind it. 

The Taj was built as a mausoleum by Shah Jahan and his 13th wife Mumtaz Mahal. Well, one must be surprised to know about the number of wives he had, I was too! But Mumtaz was his favorite and that’s the reason he gave her the name Mumtaz Mahal meaning ‘Jewel of the Palace’ and thus very few people know her real name – Arjumanad Banu. It is believed that it was love at first sight for Shah Jahan when he saw Mumtaz working in Meena Bazaar. She even accompanied him to the military sites. While giving the birth to their 14th child, Mumtaz died and it was then Shah Jahan promised her never to remarry and will build the richest memorial for her. Thus we have the iconic Taj Mahal here in India

Planning Taj with Kids? Read this fabulous guide from Jenny about Visiting the Taj Mahal with young kids.

image of taj mahal in agra

One day Taj Mahal tour from Delhi

The Trip – Delhi – Mathura – Vrindavan – Agra

Agra can be covered as a one day Taj Mahal tour from Delhi as it is a 2.5-hour hour drive from the capital. The DelhiAgra expressway routes through Mathura and Vrindavan which are another popular religious destinations near Delhi. Besides their religious values, the small towns are famous for their mouth-watering delicacies. I recommend tasting the famous food of Mathura while heading (or coming back) to Taj Mahal. We (the family) started early morning around 5h00 via the Expressway & reached the outskirts of Agra around 8h00. While still on way, we got to know about the new route especially for the Taj without having to enter the main congested town. This helps to save a lot of time. We parked the cab at approx. 1.5 km before Taj and not walking till the entry we decided to hop on the government cab at a merely 10/- per person. You might find other options as well including a carriage which charge as high as 250/- for that small distance. Read more on how to reach Agra from Delhi from Bianca. 

Suggested Read – Places to see in Agra beyond Taj Mahal!

Taj Mahal Entry Fees

Agra’s Taj Mahal entry fees are 30 INR for Indians and 1000 INR for foreigners. The entry fees can be bought from the office near Parking lot itself. We boarded the cab and it took us no more than 5 mins to reach Taj. Children below the age of 15 have free entry but with a zero charge ticket.

P.S. Entry to Taj Mahal is now restricted to a 3-hour limit.  

The 17th-century mausoleum is clearly showing the signs of aging despite all the efforts & restoration in place. As of 11th April 2018, one of the minarets clattered because of the heavy rain and strong winds. Although this may seem unfair to the people coming from far off, this is what is needed to preserve the monument. The number of tourists visiting the Taj Mahal has exceeded 60000, so to reduce “human load”, that’s why ASI put the time constraint in place.

main entry of the Taj premises with security check

Entry Lane to the Taj Mahal

To my surprise, the entry lane to the Taj has improved significantly and the road/shops are much more organized now. We took a small halt at one of the shops to buy sunglasses & hats as we forgot to bring ours 🙁 and it’s actually difficult to enjoy the historic monument when you can’t keep your eyes open in the scorching sun. That was a nostalgic moment as I remember how much the area around Taj have tidied up and the shops are well maintained. Moving on, we passed through the security at the entry gate quickly as it was still quiet in the early morning hours. 

entry of the Taj Mahal built of red sandstone

Suggested Read – Have you seen Taj Mahal from above?

Taj Mahal Tour

As we got inside there was a huge entry gate to the Taj built of Red Sandstone. Went ahead within the premises, took a stroll around the beautiful gardens and found the newly restored (still in progress) the shining white Taj in the front which indeed was mesmerizing in itself. 

taj mahal intricate works

Buildings in the Complex apart from the Taj Mahal

The main complex has two red sandstone monuments mirroring the Taj on the left & right side which are also an architectural marvel. One of the building is a Mosque and the other is a Jawab (answer) hall. The Jawab hall later went on to be majorly used as a guesthouse. 

taj mahal intricate work

The Yamuna across Taj Mahal

After exploring the Jawab hall, we moved on to exploring the exteriors of the Taj Mahal. The rear ends face the holy river – the Yamuna when going towards the Mosque. The boat rides are also available for viewing the Taj Mahal from a different perspective. We missed it for now but will cover it the next time. 

 Yamuna across taj mahal

Resemblances in the Tombs

The Humayun Tomb, in Delhi, is also built on similar lines and one might find the similarity in the outer structure of both the tombs. Yet the two differ greatly in the use of stones as the former used Red Sandstone and the Taj used White Marble with intricate Mughal style decorations. Well, also in terms of grandeur as well. 

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Photography Tips

Photography is seriously prohibited inside the Taj Mahal and you might lose your camera/mobile if you try to click and the security officials are on the watch for preventing it. Once you’re out of the main hall where the real graves are kept, you can click pictures again. You can see one of the pictures here which I clicked from the outer hall of the main tomb of Taj and that is one of my favorite shot from the Taj. After visiting the Tomb coming towards the exit gateway from the gardens, we get another gorgeous view of the Taj. If you’ve finally visited Taj and fulfilled your dream, don’t forget to click awesome pictures and read this guide about How to visit the Taj Mahal & Agra Fort with tips on where to find the best sunset!!

Taj Mahal

No matter what angle you choose for clicking Taj, the pictures are surely going to be amazing. The above one I tried while entering the Taj from the Jawab Mahal route and liked the perspective of the corner!!

Minaret in Taj Mahal

The Minarets surrounding the Taj Mahal

The four minarets surrounding the Taj Mahal became an essential part of Mughal architecture from the 17th-century under Shah Jahan’s reign. The minarets stand high at 137 feet and are an important part of the Islāmic architecture. They were introduced as the stairs to the sky and their decoration is exceptional when compared to other minarets in mosques. These minarets have three balconies, an umbrella-shaped dome and a crescent at the top. But these are not open for the tourists, but that doesn’t stop us from capturing it from outside!! 

View of entry from taj mahal

The Gardens of the Taj Mahal

When coming out of the mausoleum, the gardens stand in the front of the grand entrance gate. The grandeur of the entry is as magnificent as the Taj Mahal itself. 

A different view of the Taj mahal from the gardens

The exit from the Taj Mahal takes us through the side gardens with another spectacular view of the mausoleum and another photographic opportunity. 

The entrance of Taj Mahal

As a native Indian and Taj being just being a 2.5-hour drive away, I always take it for granted. But I completely get it, sitting in your home and planning a trip to the Taj is tough. 

If you’re a foreigner, you might have some interesting stories to share, read this one about Putting on the Ritz in India


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Taj Mahal – The Mausoleum for the iconic love story

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one day Taj Mahal tour | The iconic Taj Mahal, India

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**Last updated on 12th April 2018.






84 Replies to “Taj Mahal – The Mausoleum for the iconic love story”

  1. I visited the Taj Mahal on the Golden Triangle Trip last year. How majestic and beautiful it was! I would like to go back one day to see those places again! Great post on that and good to read a little bit about history.

  2. Your photos are amazing. Thanks for the tips on getting to the Taj and how best to see it once you are there. Thanks for the article.

  3. Such a great post <3 Hope that one day I could have a chance to visit Taj Mahal. I`m sure that my experience in there will be one of the most memorable moments in my life. Thank you

  4. This is a beautiful post. It reminds me of my visit to Taj. Rightly said, photography from every angle brings out amazing picture of Taj. I noted the time constraint added now to explore it. Would be helpful for next visit sometime. 😊

  5. That post reminds my visit to Taj during the first trip to India. Unfortunately, it was a cold and misty morning, so wasn’t completely satisfied with conditions for photography. Anyways, it just another reason to visit it again. Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂

  6. One of my favorite places to visit in India. I have read their love story and I really would love to visit this place in the future. You’re so lucky to experience this moment. Can’t wait to be there!

  7. I didn’t know anything about the Taj Mahal, besides that it was pretty, until now!! SO much information- i appreciated reading all fo this!!

  8. Wow! What a lovely post! Taj Mahal is indeed an engineering marvel and a symbol of love. The grandeur of this iconic building has always left me in awe. No matter how many times I visit the place, its magnetism keeps calling me back to its magnificence. Thanks for sharing the interesting facts about Taj Mahal as well as beautiful pictures.

  9. I always want to go to Taj Mahal, but I haven’t got any chance to go there yet. The last time I had a really short layover in New Delhi, and it was less than 12 hours for work. 🙁

    However, I’m interested to the fact that the entry to Taj Mahal is now restricted to a 3-hour limit. So, for all visitors that visit Taj Mahal, are they going along with a guide that acts as a time keeper as well or…?

    1. Oh, I hope next time you make it to the Taj. I’m sure how that 3 hour limit works since I haven’t gone personally since the rule came. But no matter how mandatory it is, it’s going to make chaos in the initial time of implementation.

  10. The backstory to the Taj Mahal is so interesting! I actually didn’t know it was a mausoleum until it was in a lesson during one of my ESL classes! Haha I have never been but my husband has and I dream of seeing the Taj Mahal for myself one day!

  11. The history behind Taj Mahal is fascinating! But what strikes me the most is that there are a lot of Hindi words that are similar to Arabic words, like Jawab and Mumtaz.

  12. We would absolutely love to go back too! Once is never enough! There is no surprise the Taj’s road and shops improve over time. With the number of people that visit, it’s a no brainer that it needs to constantly be practical for visitors!

  13. Beautiful photos and definitely one of the crowning glories of our nation. I like how they have been working on it to restore it, although the pollution isn’t helping at all. The new highway though has made day trips so much easier.

  14. I’m not sure that I’ve seen the red sandstone entrances of the Taj Mahal or at least I didn’t realize what they were anyway. It always seems it’s just the white photos so it was great seeing so many different perspectives of the location instead of the cliche ones. It really is a beautiful location and your photos of gorgeous.

  15. Oh my goodness this is so exciting! I leave for India TONIGHT and can’t wait to see the Taj Mahal myself! Good to hear that the entry lane is improved and the road and shops are more organized! I’ll definitely keep in mind that photography is prohibited inside the Tomb!

  16. Your pictures certainly reminded me of my first visit to the Taj Mahal. I also traveled on the new highway from Delhi to Agra (so comfortable and convenient!). I could easily visit it again although I would like to visit it at a different time in the day.

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