The Taj Mahal is, without a doubt, one of the finest and most visited monument in India. This monument will leave you awe-struck, no doubt, there are certain simple things that you have to keep in mind before you make a trip to this historic landmark.
1) The best time
At any given time in the year, there will be a long queue in front of the Taj Mahal. So it is ideal to reach the monument early at around 6.30 am when the monument is thrown open to the public. The tourist buses start arriving by around 9, and then, it gets way too crowded.
Yes, you need tickets to visit the Taj Mahal and if you are an Indian, all you need to shell out is Rs 40 to visit the monument. But, here comes the catch. You need to have a photo identification card to avail this rates for tickets and it is mandatory for every member of your group. You can book your tickets online and avoid the long queues in front of the ticket counter. The fact that the ticket counter does not have a cover makes it all the more difficult if you have to wait for a long time. The rates vary for SAARC country citizens and foreign nationals.
3) The security check
Make sure you that you leave your heavy backpacks, electronic devices, and food materials in the cloak rooms or your hotel rooms. They do a thorough check before letting you inside. You are not allowed to take food inside.
4) The guides
Engage a guide only if you must. There are audio guides you can purchase and all around the monument there are small stone slabs that tell the history.
The Taj Mahal is an amazing work of art. A monument dedicated to love, years of hard work and many more years of wear and tear. And one has to tread carefully. You will be given shoe covers to enter the mausoleum. Once you enter the monument, it is dark, hot and stifling. While your guide will drone on about the height of the dome, the underground chamber where the remains are interred, the intricate inlaid work on the marble or the direct line of the monument with the gate, you will want to run out if you are uncomfortable in crowded dark places. Photography inside is banned, but there are many who use the phone cameras.