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.
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 Delhi–Agra 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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!!
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!!
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.
The exit from the Taj Mahal takes us through the side gardens with another spectacular view of the mausoleum and another photographic opportunity.
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.
HAVE YOU TAKEN A TRIP TO INDIA AND THE TAJ MAHAL? WHAT DID YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT IT? DID YOU LIKE MY ONE DAY TAJ MAHAL TOUR FROM DELHI? TELL ME IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!
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**Last updated on 12th April 2018.