If you are travelling India, chances are you are going to be visiting the infamous Taj Mahal. I’ve heard countless stories of underwhelming experiences and frustration due to the huge crowds and unbearable heat. This is how it looks on a relatively quiet day.
If you’re after a unique insight into this breathtaking monument then follow my 7 steps for the best experience of The Taj Mahal.
1. Buy your ticket at least one day before you want to visit. This may mean buying a ticket via your accommodation or taking a trip to the Taj Mahal to buy one from the ticket office.
2. Do not take a backpack, bag, handbag (sorry ladies), man-bag (sorry men), food or anything other than a camera and a wallet. Do not take your camera case either. This will ensure a quick and smooth transition through the security checks.
3. Arrive at least one hour before the opening time. Chances are there will be a few other savvy travellers getting up as early as you are. Make sure you are there first by waking up at ‘stupid o’clock’ and taking an auto rickshaw to the Taj Mahal. While you’re waiting, grab a sugary and spiced chai masala from across the road to awaken the senses.
4. This one is simple, visit on a weekday and make sure it is not a religious or national day. Do your research online or simply ask someone at your accommodation.
5. When they start letting people in, make sure you maintain your spot at the front of the queue. You may find yourself a few people back from the front, but don’t worry too much.
6. Once you pass security it’s time to start running and passing all the people who are walking or faffing. Run straight and then take a right through the main arched entrance. Don’t stop when you see the Taj Mahal for the first time. Keep running until you hit the famous ‘Diana bench’ which is the bench up upon the raised platform, straight ahead of you.
7. You should now have a few minutes to yourself with a unique, unspoilt view of this magical monument. Take some photos and I highly recommend just sitting down for a minute or two and allowing yourself to absorb and appreciate the moment.
So that’s it, my 7 steps for the best experience of The Taj Mahal. I hope you have a great time and feel free to leave a comment on how it all went for you.
The Bearded Traveller