The red sandstone walls that surround the Taj Mahal ensure that you can’t see it from the outside and it means there’s an air of mystery about what’s on the other side of the wall. Of course, we all know exactly what the Taj Mahal looks like but it was still exciting!
Get there as early as possible. The tourist buses start rolling it at around 9am so anything before then is best to avoid the crowds. I arrived at 6.15am in time for the gates opening at 6.30. Even at 6am there was a queue!
Make the most of the chai tea sellers who walk up and down the queue.
You’re divided into queues of men and women because you’re searched when you enter so don’t take any lighters or anything sharp, flammable or any food.
They say that food and metal objects will be taken off you at security. In reality, I don’t think they’re that strict but it’s best it’s best to avoid having them to get through security quickly and easily.
Whatever time you go, it will be crowded so you need patience to get a good photo without someone standing in the way. Don’t give up, they’ll move eventually!
To get ‘the money shot’ of the Taj Mahal, you need to join an informal queue by the edge of the pond and place your camera on the ground. This will ensure you get the water and a great shot of the whole building and it will also be straight and without any people in the way. Take as many pictures as you possibly can before the snappy happy tourists behind you start to get rowdy.
For a second chance to see the Taj Mahal, head to the gardens across the river. You only pay 100 rupees to enter and I went at sunset for a crowd-free Taj experience.
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