The Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world, the epitome of love and beauty. It is a must for any traveler’s bucket list, so what next? You have your flights booked and your trip planned, but what do you really need to know before visiting this exquisite monument? These are the things I wish I knew before visiting the Taj Mahal, and hope this helps you, my fellow travelers…
1. Wake Up Before The Sun
The beautiful tranquil photos you see of the Taj Mahal are far from the truth, with over 40,000 people visiting this iconic place each DAY, it’s a lot more hectic than portrayed through the pretty pictures. To get the most out of your Taj Mahal experience, I highly recommend visiting first thing in the morning (The Taj Mahal opens 30mins before dusk).
2. Prime Photo Spots
As much as I love learning about the history, a place this beautiful you need to take advantage of any prime photo opportunities right? Now, there are many beautiful photo spots, but the two main ones that are the best/most popular are; first, directly in front of the Taj (if you want to be in the photo you have the options of sitting or standing). Second, when facing the Taj, head to the mosque to the left, where you will find next to no people and some beautiful angles of this majestic monument (use the mosque walls to frame the Taj, or get up close for some stunning angles).
3. It’s Under Renovations A Lot
Due to restoration work to keep the Taj Mahal looking beautiful, there is a high chance of scaffolding being up (exhibit A below), but luckily if you travel during ‘high season’ (Sept-Nov) they kindly try to keep the scaffolding to a minimum (ya know… for the ‘gram)… I did not travel during high season (Jan – Feb), but it was still beautiful none the less.
4. Hire A Guide
Highly recommend hiring a guide, this place is full of so much beautiful history, you would be crazy not too!? And if all you want is photos, and your travelling alone (or even with someone), these guides have a good amount of experience taking photos for tourists everyday (just explain what you want, and remember to tip them for their services!) Lastly, if it’s a priority, let them know that you want to take the photos first, then happy to go back again to learn the history (a perfect balance!).
5. Balloon Ride Over The Taj
We learnt about this from our amazing guide… unfortunately only once we were actually there, and you do need to book ahead for this one! Regular operating is from September – November, but after some research, you can call or email to find out exact operating times and days if you want to plan it before entering the country (for future trips), otherwise, once in Delhi you can go to any local ‘tour operator’ and get them to book it for you.
6. You Will Also Be The Attraction
Now, before you think I am just basing this on my experience, ask ANYONE who has visited the Taj Mahal (and looked like a foreigner), and they will all tell you the same thing… People want photos of you, with you, with you and their friend, with their baby, with you alone with the Taj…? Now, it’s easily avoided by just saying “Sorry, no thank you”, but be prepared if you say yes there will be a line…. and you will spend a lot of your time at the Taj Mahal taking photos with other people…
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