An impromptu road-trip to one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal.
The road-trip began at 4:45 AM from Gurgaon in a Maruti Baleno which is an automatic petrol hatch back. It took us 4 hours, 173 kms and 4 rest room breaks to get to our destination. It was a rather smooth drive and we chose comfortable jogger pants and a t shirt to travel comfortably. You can also go for
This was our first road trip to Agra and we had heard a lot about the Yamuna expressway as it is one of the best highways in North India. One road trip we recommend every one to take. It is by far the best road we have seen, managed traffic, straight road from Greater Noida to Taj Mahal. Kid you not, you could even put your car in sports mode and drive absolutely stress free.
Road to Agra ~ Yamuna Expressway
The first toll we paid was Rs 655 (two way) just outside Buddh international circuit and kept the receipt safe with us as we had to show it at two more tolls. The last toll was Rs 35 per side. The total cost of the travel back and forth was Rs 3725 including petrol and toll charge.
We stopped for breakfast just after the first toll at 5:30 AM and had the famous cheese Omlette and Tandoori Parantha. The best part about the Yamuna expressway is the public service that includes eating joints, petrol stations and rest rooms.
On reaching Agra, the Taj Mahal was just a few kms in and had proper directions put up along the road. We didn’t have to stop and ask for directions at any point. Then of-course, there’s the famous and most widely used google maps but we didn’t need that as the directions were quite clear.
All about the parking at Taj Mahal
The parking lot is a km from the Taj Mahal and costs Rs 100 for three hours. We took a rickshaw to the ticket counter which was not needed as there is a golf buggy made available by the ADA (Agra development Authority) at Rs 10 per passenger that takes you straight to the ticket counter.
Things you can take inside Taj Mahal :
1. You can carry your wallets
2. Mobile phones
4. Bottle of water (you will also get a free water bottle at the ticket counter so not needed)
Things not allowed inside:
At the ticket counter :
At the ticket counter, you will find two options – a Rs 50 ticket just to visit the surrounds of Taj Mahal and Rs 250 to visit the shrine and see the marble up close.
Free bottle & Shoe cover at the ticket counter :
Not to forget the free water bottle and shoe cover at the ticket counter.
Once you get the tickets, there is a small line to get in the premises. There is proper security check and bag check at the gate post which you will be able to find your way as everyone will be headed that way.
The best time to reach Taj Mahal:
The best time to reach is 6:30 AM as you will be able to get perfect clean shots early in the morning. As time passes, the crowd keeps increasing and you will get shots like this one below ~
Head over to the line to go inside the Taj Mahal:
Once you have the pictures from the outside, you can join the line that goes inside the Taj Mahal and don’t forget to cover your shoes with the shoe cover you took at the counter. You will see a long line but do not panic, it moves fast.
Once you reach up to the Taj Mahal, you will be able to take pictures from outside like the one below. The pictures you take here will capture the beauty of the marble and the patterns ingrained on it. Don’t forget to carry shades (sunglasses) as the sun shines bright over the Taj Mahal and it gets difficult to get a picture with eyes open.
To go look at the Shrine at the Taj Mahal
Photographs are prohibited in this area, you can go in and look at the shrine and the marble is it built with which is also known as Sangemarmar.
It is the famous Sangemarmar marble which has beautiful floral print ingrained in it. It’s one a kind and has a different feel to it.
We got some really good shots even with it being crowded at that time. We really hoped to reach early but got up late. Nonetheless, we did get some shots, hope you like them too.
The total cost of our one day road trip was Rs 5000 all inclusive.
Important things to keep in mind before planning to visit the Taj Mahal:
1. Open 6 days a week
2. Closed on Friday, only open for prayer
3. Night visit only open two days before full moon, on full moon and two days after full moon
4. Opens at 6:30 AM
Happy Travels! Do share your experience with us and shoot us any questions you have regarding planning a trip to the Taj Mahal