Tips You Should Know Before Booking a Tour to the Taj Mahal
No trip to India is complete without a trip to the Taj Mahal. If you’re travelling to India for the first time, it’s fair to say that this wonder of the world is definitely on your itinerary…and so it should be!
It will no doubt be the highlight of your trip to India and we want to make sure that your trip is an unforgettable experience. Here are some tips that we think everyone should know before booking their Taj Mahal private tour.
Take a private tour of the Taj Mahal
First and foremost if you're not on a budget then a private guided Taj Mahal tour is recommended. The Taj Mahal is located in Agra, a 3 hours drive away from Dehli. Taking a bus is definitely an experience on its own - or any other forms of public transport in India for that matter - but with a private tour you can cut all of that out and save your much-needed energy for your trip ahead.
Your tour guides will usually have purchased tickets for you in advance (Trust us when we say this will help a lot!) and you will have the benefit of getting to the best place at the best time for your needs. An advantage of having a guide is that he knows the history, can share with you more intimate knowledge that you may seek, can tell you the best spots to take photographs and generally stop you from being harassed by local photographers/people and other opportunists trying to interrupt tour day.
The Taj is notorious for people posing as guides. The Taj Mahal actually has a very limited official guide service - yet over 3,000 people claim to offer theirs.
Pick your guide wisely!
Here are privatetour.com we pride ourselves on our guides with the highest of standards and credibility, our thousands of reviews from customers all over the world should give you satisfaction in knowing we are dedicated to your experience.
Get there early to avoid the crowds (and heat!)
The crowds at the Taj Mahal start at 6 am. Unless you're on a Sunrise tour, then we would suggest getting to the Taj as early as possible. Be realistic though - crowds are unavoidable and if you've been to India before, you will probably be used to them!
If you are with a guide, however, their inside knowledge will make sure all crowds are likely to be avoided as much as possible.
The best time to go to India is said to be October to March.
Again, this time also has the most crowds. April to August is said to be the hottest months, with the midday heat actually starting at around 9 am. Make sure you take lots of water and wear some sunscreen!
Men and Women separation in the Taj Mahal
It's the standard at all large attractions in India, including the transport systems like the metro and airports. Make sure you are joining the right line ahead of time, and also the correct line for foreigners. If you're travelling with the opposite sex, be prepared to lose them at some point and try and set up a meeting place on the other side of the checkpoint because it can get crowded pretty quickly.
You are also searched as you enter the mausoleum, be careful not take so much inside with you (Lockers are available to rent outside) Bags and purses will be scanned, so try not to take any food items, flammables or dangerous objects with you as this will only take up a lot of your time when trying to enter through the security checkpoints.
Even though there's no code enforced, we would recommend dressing in a modest fashion. The general rule in India for ladies is to have covered shoulders and something that covers their knees. Try to wear light clothing as it can get incredibly hot, especially when the shade is scarce and the sun is reflecting off the white marble surfaces.
You need to wear your complimentary booties or go barefoot to reach the top of the Taj Mahal in order to protect it from damage. You can choose to go barefoot and leave your shoes behind but be warned the marble can get very hot in the summer months.
The Taj Mahal is one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. Its white marble exterior makes for very popular pictures and we would recommend wearing something bright and colourful to make that beautiful contrast and truly make your perfect memorable picture of your trip!
Don’t be shy
Even though the Taj Mahal is visited by people all across the globe, you will find there are still crowds of Indian locals too!
Be prepared, as a foreigner, to be asked for your photo taken with them. It can get a little overwhelming when you are trying to take your own photos or avoid the crowds, just try to have a good attitude but at the same time if your being harassed then make sure you are firm with your answer.
If you’re on a private day tour with a guide it's likely you will avoid such instances.
Taking the perfect photo
Everyone wants that iconic shot of themselves at the Taj Mahal.
Have an image in mind before you get there and don't get overwhelmed by the crowds, you'll be much more at ease knowing where and how you want to capture your image beforehand.
Don’t be tempted into trying to take photos as soon as you enter - everyone else has that same idea!
Unless you are happy with people in your photo, try and be patient to really find that perfect place for your photo.
Remember that the Taj Mahal is also beautiful up close, why not try taking pictures of its intricate marble designs? Try and find a photo to differ from the ever so popular Taj images.
The Taj Mahal is said to be the most empowering gesture of true love ever known. It’s breathtaking views and its history and story are what makes this heritage site a unique experience.
If you’re thinking of travelling to India, don’t forget the Taj Mahal and don’t forget our tips to make your tour an unforgettable memory!