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Travel Guide

Agra, on the banks of river Yamuna, home to the world -famous Taj Mahal, is a famous tourist destination that is visited by tourists from India and aboard every year in crazy numbers. It is a small town in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. A trip to India is incomplete without visiting Agra. For the first time visitors, how to reach the destination is always a concern. The national capital of India, Delhi is the best stopover to visit this erstwhile Mughal town. Agra is located 204 kilometers away from New Delhi.

 

 The best time to visit Agra is from October to March because the climate is very pleasant. Agra is well connected to rest of India by the means of air, train and road. You can hire a car or tempo to travel around the city. The historical monuments of Agra are not only architectural marvels but each has an interesting tale behind its construction.

 

 It is no exaggeration to call Agra a place where Mughal architecture, art and culture are still kept alive. A trip to Agra, comprising of three UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Fatehpur Sikri, Agra fort and Taj Mahal can become an unforgettable one. Supposedly founded in 1475, the medieval city of Agra has been the capital of Lodhis and Mughals in its documented history.

 

For discerning travelers from all around the world, there are innumerable hotel in Agra, segregated into various categories, each offering a comfortable stay. During your tour to Agra, indulge in sightseeing, visit the local markets for shopping and taste the local renditions of Petha, an Indian sweet and Dalmoth, a mixture snack made from lentils.

Now that you have reached Agra, here is something more about the famed Taj (Taj Mahal Travel Guide):

 

One of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal can rightly be called the epitome of Love of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and his beloved wife Mumtaj Mahal. This white-marble mausoleum dates back to 1630 AD whose construction took a time of 22 years and 20, 000 workers were used to complete it. It is not an easy task to sum-up the beauty and grandeur of Taj in words:

 

Location

It is located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, which is around 200 kms from Delhi. Agra, along with Delhi and Jaipur, is a part of the most sought-after the famous Golden Triangle tourist circuit of India. To arrive in Agra, you can opt for any of the 3 modes of transport- by plane, by train or by road.

 

Opening Hours

Taj Mahal can be visited between 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day.  However, it is closed to the public on Friday when it is closed in prayer. It is also open for moonlight viewing between 8.30 p.m. to 12.30 a.m., two days before and after full moon night.

 

Cost

The foreigners have to pay an entrance fee of 750 INR including 250 INR Entry Tax (By Archeological Society of India) and 500 INR Toll Tax (Agra Development Authority). Indian nationals have to pay 20 INR. Children below 15 years of age are free.

The ticket of night time costs 750 INR for foreigners and 500 INR for Indians (for half an hour). One has to purchase these tickets before from the Archaeological Survey of India with an office on Mall Road.

 

Festivals

Every year between 18th and 27th February, a week- long Taj Mahotsav is organized at Shilpgram near the Taj, focusing on recreation of the Mughal times, the culture of India and arts and crafts. The festival is supposedly organized at the site where the Taj’s workers used to stay. You can enjoy procession of drummers, elephants and camels, lip-smacking food, games, camel ride, elephant ride and more.

 

Travel Tips

  • It appears that the Taj Mahal changes color with changing light of the day. The best time is during sunrise and sunset.
  • Keep at bay beggars and touts, at the entrance of the Taj.
  • If anyone comes up to you and asks for any extra money, strictly say no and take the assistance of your guide.
  • It is advisable that you should wear comfortable cotton clothes and comfortable shoes, as you will have to spend a few hours walking and exploring the Taj Mahal complex. You might not want to get tired quickly.