The Taj Mahal has enraptured people for centuries with its tales of monumental beauty and an eternal token of love. The monument receives anywhere between 7 – 8 million visitors annually and it is swarming with people all year round. In this blog on the sunrise tour of Taj Mahal, we will suggest travel tips for the best experience.
Pic courtesy: ruben alexander
Where is the Taj Mahal located?
It is in the city of Agra in the state of Uttar Pradesh in the north of India. The Taj Mahal is approximately 222 km away from New Delhi.
There are dedicated expressways and transportation system in place for a convenient journey. It takes around 3 – 4 hours by road or by train to reach Agra from New Delhi.
Best time of the year to visit the Taj Mahal
Winter is the best time to visit the Taj Mahal from October to March. The weather might be very cold but at least you are spared from the blazing heat of summer.
It might not be a great idea to visit the Taj Mahal during summer (April to August) because the heat is unbearable. If you no choice but visiting India in summer, then the sunrise tour of Taj Mahal is definitely custom-made for you.
Another disadvantage of visiting the Taj during summer is that Indian schools are shut from March to May, so expect more crowds.
Why take the sunrise tour of the Taj Mahal?
To escape the scorching heat (during summer)
I visited the Taj in May during peak summer. I made two trips to the Taj on the same day. Once during sunrise which was a spectacular experience. The Taj definitely has a different aura at this time of the day.
And then the second time on the same day at 10 am for a photo session and goodness, I regretted that decision so much. The heat from the sun was piercing hot and I was sweating the whole time. I just took a few photos, headed back to the hotel as I was needed some cool air.
2. Less crowd
The Taj Mahal is open to tourists at 6.00 am every day except on Fridays. The monument is closed on all Fridays of the year. Hence, 6 am is the best time to visit as there are lesser crowds. Most importantly, you can take as many pictures as you want since there are not many people to photobomb your pic.
The crowd starts seeping in at around 9 am and do not underestimate the size of the crowd. There are many travelers waiting in line to sit on the Diana bench for that epic shot with the Taj in the background.
In short, evade all these hassles and be at the gate of the Taj Mahal at 5.30 am. Enter at 6 am and relish the sights of the Taj at your own pace.
3. To appreciate the beauty of Taj Mahal
With the first rays of the sun slowly trickling from the sky, the Taj Mahal glows like a golden artifact in beside the Yamuna river. The air is cooler and you can hear the birds chirping when you are savoring this moment.
Pic courtesy: Nathalie Chatelain
It is hard to imagine that the marbles which are claimed to look milky white have this golden sheen at this hour of the day. When you walk towards the eastern side of the Taj complex, the rising sun illuminates the Taj mausoleum and the monument looks magnificent.
As the sun starts to rise high above your head with passing time, you begin to appreciate the pure shade of white of the marble.
It is recommended to buy the tickets online here before reaching the venue. Above all, with an e-ticket, you can avoid the hassle of standing in long queues to buy the ticket.
4. Take countless pictures
The Taj Mahal is a photographer’s dream as this exquisite monument radiates with its charm. Here are a few tips to bear in mind to get great shots of the Taj.
From the main gateway or referred to as the Darwaza-i-Rauza
The Taj mausoleum is designed in such a fashion that you do not get a glimpse of this huge structure until you stand inside the Darwaza-i-Rauza.
Pic courtesy: Steve Walker
The appearance of the main tomb of Taj Mahal from the interiors of the Darwaza-i-Rauza is your first tryst with the Taj. This is a great spot to click some fantastic pictures.
As soon as you walk past the Darwaza-i-Rauza
As you walk past the main gateway, you will witness the Taj Mahal in its entirety. This is one of the best views of the Taj Mahal along with the four minarets. The ivory white marble fades into the blue sky at the end of the green garden. The waterway right opposite to the Taj Mahal adds a beautiful dimension to the viewer.
The most favorite spot for travelers to pose with the Taj in the background is the Diana Bench. Fondly called so after Princess Diana sat on this bench and posed for an iconic picture when she visited the Taj during 1992.
Pic courtesy: Time.com
Your trip to the Taj Mahal is incomplete if you do not have a picture at this popular spot.
From the eastern side
Walk towards your right near the Guest House on the eastern side of the Taj complex. This structure is on the eastern side and the sunrise is behind you. The Taj mausoleum from this viewpoint looks golden in color.
From the western side
Another interesting viewpoint of the main mausoleum is from the mosque on the western side. With the sun slowly looming over the Taj Mahal, the silhouette of the dome and the finial on top of the dome looks very prominent. You need to witness this from the inside of the mosque.
Pic courtesy: Night Mode
Some of the best shots of the Taj Mahal are captured from this spot. You can observe a lot of pigeons fluttering around which will add a tinge of life to this towering structure. Many award-winning shots of the Taj Mahal is captured from this point.
From Mehtab Bagh garden
Request your guide to take you to Mehtab Bagh garden on the other side of the Yamuna river. Moreover, this is an excellent place to behold the symmetry of not just the main mausoleum but the whole complex in itself.
Pic courtesy: Trey Ratcliff
The Taj Mahal including the Guest House on its left and the Mosque on its right combined with its reflection on the river is a brilliant photo op. If you haven’t hired a guide, you can hire a rickshaw to go to Mehtab Bagh for a price of around 100 INR.
Full moon night
Last but not least, the beauty of the Taj Mahal is exceptional during and around the full moon night. Within the 30 minutes of time provided in the night, capture the glory when the Taj glimmers under the radiant moonlight.
From the Agra Fort
When you visit the Agra Fort, you can see the Taj Mahal at a distance. You can prominently see the main dome, the four chattris (umbrellas) around the dome and the four minarets which makes for a good photo op.
For more information about the Taj Mahal, check out this travel guide from Talk Travel App.
Make the most of your day in Agra by combining the sunrise tour of Taj Mahal with Agra Fort, another historically significant place.
Popularly known as the Red Fort of Agra, it is situated around 3 km away from the Taj Mahal. The Agra Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Agra Fort is a palatial red-sandstone and marble fortress, which was built between 1565 and 1573. It is constructed on the banks of the river Yamuna by Akbar, the Mughal emperor, who is the grandfather of Shah Jahan.
After Shah Jahan’s son Aurangzeb deposed his father and restrained him in the Agra Fort. It is believed that Shah Jahan died in Muasamman Burj in the Agra Fort. In other words, the Muasamman Burj has uninterrupted views of the Taj Mahal.
Golden Triangle Tour of India
Since you are in Agra, go an extra mile and include Delhi and Jaipur in your itinerary by taking the Golden Triangle Tour of India. Read this blog for detailed information on what you can expect to see in this popular tourist trail in India.
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We wish you a safe and happy travel!