Are you looking for how to visit Taj Mahal? In this post we are going to be looking at how to get to Taj Mahal from Delhi, history of Taj Mahal Agra, things to keep in mind before entering Taj Mahal, and cost.
A day in Taj will be ideal for a weekend getaway, or day picnics, or family outings, or enhancing your history knowledge. This Wonder of the world is iconic for its love story and of course its architecture.
History of Taj Mahal:
Taj Mahal was built by the 5th Mughal emperors Shah Jahan in 1631 in memory of his soul mate his third wife Mumtaz Mahal. Mumtaz Mahal was a Muslim Persian Princess, she died while giving birth to their 13th child when she was on a campaign along with her husband. History says that when Mumtaz Mahal was still alive she made the Emperor promise her 4 things;
- To build Taj Mahal.
- That he should marry again
- That he should treat his children well and with kindness.
- And that he visits the tomb on her death anniversary.
The death of Shah Jahan’s wife affected him so much that his beard and hair had grown white in a few months.
The Taj Mahal means the “Crown Palace” and it is one of the well preserved and beautifully architected UNESCO sites in the world.
It stands on the banks of River Yamuna in Agra, Uttar Pradesh. The Taj rises on a red sandstone base topped by huge white marble terrace on which rests the famous dome flanked by four tapering minarets. Within the dome lies the jewel-inlaid monument of the queen. It’s so exquisite that the Taj Mahal has been described as ‘having been designed by giants and finished by jewellers”.
The dome is made of white marble, and the tomb is set against the plain across the river so the background can work its magic of colours through reflection. The colours change at different hours of the day.
Taj Mahal Story:
Shah Jahan wanted to build a “Black Taj” on the opposite side of the river with black marbles for his tomb in the tribute and love for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. But the war with his sons and enemy Aurangzeb interrupted the plan. Shah Jahan was on house arrest. Legends claim that Shah Jahan stared at the Taj Mahal for this entire 8 years of imprisonment by fixing a diamond on the wall at a particular angle.
The architect of Taj Mahal was Ustad Ahmad Lahauri. But Shah Jahan would indeed supervise the construction and make some detailed changes and ask questions to the labourers.
Taj Mahal Myths:
Shah Jahan ordered to chop the hands, of all the labourers involved in the construction of the Taj Mahal (approximately 20,000). To ensure that this iconic piece is never constructed again.
So that was a bit of an emotional but beautiful love story of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz and the mesmeric Taj Mahal.
How to visit Taj Mahal:
Now, we have known Taj Mahal is located in Agra so let’s get to the point on how to reach Agra. Well, Delhi, the capital city of India will be the best and well-connected city to commute from. If you are wondering how to reach Delhi to Agra, there 3 ways to reach from Delhi which are not only affordable but also convenient and safe.
- To take a train from Hazrat Nizamuddin Station Delhi.
- To take a bus from Hazrat Nizamuddin Bus Station.
- And to book a private or sharing cab.
Agra is uniformly connected to other cities in India through a structural network of flights, buses and trains.
If you need a ride from Agra to the capital of the country, Delhi, it is well-advised to take the train. The Taj Mahal needs at least a day for you to capture the essence, and it will only take you two hours by train from Delhi to Agra and vice-versa.
Still confused about the right trains to catch and their timings? Here is a guide to aid you through this crisis:-
How to reach Delhi to Agra
The availability and convenience of transport between the two cities which is roughly 230 kms apart, makes the journey planning very convenient. Below here is a flexible guide for you to plan your journey which you can edit according to your budget, comfort level and your schedule. You can reach your destination by train, bus, and car or by flight.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
- There are two railway stations in Delhi where you will get trains to Agra. The preferred one is New Delhi Railway Stations (NDRS), which is a one hour distance from the Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL/VIDP). The Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station (NZM) is a better option for the people residing in the southern part of the city and is a little more than an hour from the India Gandhi International Airport.
- The prime railway station in Delhi is New Delhi Railway Station (NDLS), which is situated near Paharganj.
- Trains to Agra also depart from the Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station (NZM) in Delhi, which is about 20 minutes south of New Delhi Railway Station. This station should be ventured by people living in South Delhi. M
- The prime railway station in Agra is the Agra Cantonment(AGC)
- What you should know is that there is a frequent occurrence of trains getting delayed during winters due to fog (December to March).
- Delhi to Agra by train
There are a lot of trains that go from Delhi to Agra, running on a daily basis. However, the journey differs from train to train. It can take anywhere from nearly 6 hours to less than 2 hours. However, the most travelled routes are the ones that take 2 to 3 hours. The fluctuation of time difference depends on the speed of the train and the number of stops before the final destination.
Early Morning Trains to take from Delhi to Agra
- It is important to note that all trains moving from Delhi to Agra have chairs and not sleepers.
- The fastest early morning train to take from Delhi to Agra is the 12050 Gatemaan Express. This is India’s first semi-high speed train which started operating on the 5th of April, 2016. This train just takes one hour and 40 minutes to reach Agra travelling at 160kms per hour.
The train departs Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin Railway Station at 8:10 am and arrives Agra at 10:40 am.
The fare in 1AC executive class which is first class and air-conditioned is 1,495 INR. CC which is chair car-seated with AC costs INR 750-993 depending on the demand level.
The runs on a daily basis except on Fridays because that is when the Taj Mahal is closed.
But you have the luxury of on-board catering, with Indian and Continental cuisines being served. Additionally, the train also has hostesses and multi-media facilities. Its cleanliness, food and ticket availability are commendable. Bonus for it being a punctual train with minimal recorded delays.
- However, if you want to get an early start, the best option is to take the 12002 New Delhi Habibganj Shatabdi Express, which only has one stop in between on its way to Agra. It departs from New Delhi Railway Station at 6:00 am and arrives at 7:57 am.
The fair on 1AC executive class is 1,010 rupees and CC costs 505-673 based on the demands.
This train runs 7 days a week and its ticket availability and punctuality are both excellent.
- The 12280 Taj Express Superfast from New Delhi Railway Station to Agra is also a popular option, but the trip takes nearly three hours, which is not preferred by everyone. It departs at 6:45 am and arrives at 9:40 am.
2. Delhi to Agra by bus
The bus service from Delhi to Agra is also a very popular commute and it takes about 3-4 hours to reach the destination. There are a variety of seats available based on comfort level and availability.
- The earliest bus from Delhi to Agra departs at 6:00 am. The last bus to Agra leaves at 10:40 pm.
- The bus journey also has plenty of lodging points in Delhi, but that depends on the bus company and the route taken. Some of the most popular stations are Sarai Kale Khan, Kashmiri Gate Metro, Akshardham and Mahamaya. Other boarding points include bus ticket shops, malls and numbered bus shelters.
- There are about six dropping points in Agra out of which the most popular ones are Agra I.S.B.T., Agra, M.G. Road, and Kuberpur Sunny Dhaba Agra.
- AC and sleeper seats are available and the cost for these seats vary depending on the operator and seat. The average for the cheapest seat is USD4 and the most expensive seats are around USD 15-20.
This is your to-go guide, so choose your options carefully depending on your comfort level, your budget and your schedule.
3. Renting a Private Taxi:
Obviously, this is going to be a lot more expensive than the above 2. One because it’s private, 2 because you will be paying for the tolls and the checkpoints. Which is around 1000 INR. So the cost of the taxi would cost you anywhere between INR 3000-3500 INR. (USD 40-50)
Things to remember before entering Taj:
- Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays because of the mosque inside of Taj Mahal.
- Plan to go early to beat the crowd and witness the sunrise.
- A lot of important things for a photographer which can be annoying is: you cannot take your tripod, no videos allowed, no selfie sticks or monopods.
- No sharp objects.
- If you need to shoot you need to apply for permission 48 hours prior with an extra cost.
- There are different prices for locals and foreigners.
- You need an ID proof at the counter which states your nationality.
- Dress modestly as there is a mosque inside.
- There are strict security checks at the entrance. So you cannot get away with anything.
- There are locker facilities on one of the gates.
- It’s a bit of the hassle because the board of the Do’s and Dont’s is only at the security point so only after you reach the scanning point they will ask you to go back to deposit on things in the locker.
- No laptops allowed.
Taj Mahal Ticket Price:
Now like any other tourist place the cost for foreigners is different than for Locals. Like I know for Effiel Tower the locals had to pay €16 foreigners had to pay €25.
Same for Taj Mahal:
- Indian National: INR 50/person + 200/person if you want to enter the main mausoleum (optional)
- Foreigners: INR 1100/person +200/person if you want to enter the main mausoleum (optional)
- Citizens of SAARC and BIMSTEC countries: INR 540/person +200/person if you want to enter the main mausoleum (optional)
Children under the age of 15 can enter for free irrespective of the nationality.
Best place to take picture of Taj Mahal
Photography at Taj Mahal is a thing which you will never forget. Taj Mahal photography ideas can be more charming,
- From the entrance just before the water fountain.
- From the right-hand side pathway. Less crowd activity.
- If you take a boat tour from the Yamuna River.
- From the Mahtab bagh where you can see both the mosque and the Taj Mahal.
- From opposite the Mosque itself.
- From the Terrace of the Hotel we stayed.
Best Place to stay in Agra
We booked our stay with the hotel Taj resort. The hotel is not only convenient location-wise but, also, it is quite budget-friendly and something that can suit all kinds of travellers from family to solo.
One of the main reasons to choose this hotel is it is just 10 minutes 500 meters walking distance from Taj Mahal. It is a beautiful walk as there are no vehicles allowed after a certain point except the electronic Tuk Tuk’s. The rooftop had a beautiful view of the Taj Mahal, Red Fort and the Agra City. It is surrounded by lots of trees and Parks that you can hear the peacocks from the terrace in the evenings.
The basement where the breakfast is served they have a store where artist’s sit for hours and indulge in hand made souvenirs of Taj.
- Check the timings of the Train or Bus before you Travel.
- My recommendation is Train or Private or sharing Cabs.
- Do not travel on a Friday as you cannot enter the Taj Mahal unless you plan to stay there for a night.
- Avoid carrying things that are not permitted to avoid the hassle.
- Carry passports or some proof of ID.
- Book your stay in a reasonable and yet a beautiful location.
- Enjoy Agra ka Petha. (local Sweet)
- Get a good picture from one of the spots mentioned above.
- Dress modestly.
- Enjoy your trip.
I hope you have enjoyed this short but informative post on how to visit Taj Mahal. Hope you enjoy your short trip or a weekend getaway with your family or if you are travelling solo. And do share your best picture in the comments we would like to be a part of your trip through pictures Safe Travels.