When people talk about romantic vacations and getaways with their partner, there are some typical places that come up. The Eiffel Tower at Paris, the charming city of Venice and so on. But I was always skeptical – ambience adding to the romance? Didn’t seem likely.
So, last year when we got married, we planned a short getaway to The Taj Mahal, Agra – one of the Seven Wonders of the World – and, well, I was forced to change my mind. Exploring that archaic Mughal monument, which has been a symbol of romance for many centuries now, with my husband – the experience was simply unparalleled.
I had been there with my family before, but with Harsh being there by my side, the whole experience was different.
(Suggested Read: Why Couples Who Travel Together Stay Together)
I don’t know how else to put it but the Taj Mahal Agra has an aura – an aura of timeless romance, of love that never dies.
The story of a king’s immortalized love reminded me of how I am as blessed as he was. There was beauty in his life because of his beloved and he celebrated it brilliance by making the Taj Mahal. We create beauty every day in our lives, being together, loving each other. Yes, these are the kind of epiphanies that strike you when you finally stand before the majestic Taj Mahal.
It was a conscious decision to book our tickets to the Taj in advance as we wanted to skip the long queues on reaching. In fact it is super easy to book tickets online. It remains open from sunrise to sunset on all days, except Friday.
Just fill in the preferred day and time for your visit and an e-ticket will be generated within seconds. Make sure you carry your identity card along with the ticket for hassle-free entry!
The entrance ticket doesn’t include transportation or food. It just is for entrance into the Mughal site.
Taj Mahal is approximately 236.6kms away from Delhi, i.e. about 4-hour drive from the city. And the shortest and the fastest way to reach there is by taking the Yamuna Expressway, Greater Noida.
The construction of the 6-lane expressway has reduced the traveling time considerably and is most recommended, for you can avoid unnecessary traffic jams.
Where to Stay in Agra?
Radisson Taj Mahal East Gate is where we sought accommodation for the 2-day trip to Agra. Taj was the closest from this gate. The eastern gate faces Fatehabad and you can see a domed tomb erected on an elevation. The gate that was built in the memory of Shah Jahan’s another wife, Sirhindi begum, is called ‘Sirhi Darwaza’.
We got a smart deal for making reservations in Radisson Blu, and it cost us near about $53 per night. If you wish to book your room in the same hotel, do it here.
This crown jewel of Mughal architecture is indeed a gorgeous monument whose beauty is par excellence. It looks exactly, even better than what you might have seen in those postcard letters, holiday brochures, and guidebooks.
Rabindranath Tagore poignantly referred to Taj as ‘a tear on the face of eternity’ – a monument where the queen rests with her king for all perpetuity. We walked by the reflecting fountains and saw the pure marble structure decked with Persian calligraphy.
On your visit, you’ll get to know why it took over 22 years for completion. Perhaps, that is quite visible in the grandeur, finesse and intricate detailing of the grand structure.
Best Time to Visit Taj Mahal
To our dismay, we had planned a trip to see the monument in the month of July, when the weather was scorching hot. Months between October and March are ideal for planning your visit as the weather is considerably cooler.
Some Amazing Tips For Photographing Taj
Photography is one of the prime reasons for which most of us would visit the Taj. Well, we too had our share of clicks, with and without the monument in the background.
Here are some of the tips in order to get some of the best shots of the monument:
- Reach the Taj Mahal Agra gate before sunrise to capture epic shots (We couldn’t do that, but maybe on our next trip).
- Black and white photographs should be there in your collection, just like ours.
- You cannot avoid capturing people within the frames because they keep thronging. The max you can do is just wait for the time when there is minimum interference and your job will be done.
- The light conditions keep changing, so make the most of that and try to capture as many pictures as possible, while adoring it.
Indian Visitors: Total Rs.20/- (Rs.10/- by ASI as Entry fee and Rs.10/- by ADA as Toll tax).
Citizen of SAARC and BIMSTEC countries: Total Rs.510/- (Rs.10/- by ASI as Entry fee and Rs.500.00 by ADA as Toll tax).
Other Foreign Visitor: Total Rs.750/- (Rs.250/- by ASI as Entry fee and Rs.500/- by ADA as Toll tax).
Are you planning to visit this Mughal monument anytime soon? Please drop a comment and tell us about your plans?
Planning a trip to India? Read about all the places we have explored in the country!