The sun’s not up yet, and the mist hangs heavy and thick in the air around you. You step through one dark red-brick arches that make up the entrance gate. You look up. It appears slowly, like a shipwreck deep beneath the ocean. The jewel in India’s crown. The Taj Mahal. Now you’ve seen it you can’t look away. There’s something magical about the Taj Mahal. Even the most experienced tourists, even those who reject the traditional tourist destinations, are drawn to it.
It’s everything you expected, and yet somehow, it’s more.
But the Taj isn’t everything the city of Agra has to offer. A muscular red brick mogul fort crouches on the hill overlooking the city, the marketplaces beg to be discovered, and forgotten gems lie around every corner.
Although a small city by India’s standards, Agra is noisy, boisterous, iconic, and so worth getting lost in.
Waking an hour before dawn, you’ll be shown to the Taj by your guide who will walk you past the queueing people and straight into the gardens. Then you can marvel as the sun begins to rise behind the marble mausoleum and watch how it changes the magical nature of the place. After sunrise, you’ll take a walk through the Taj gardens as your guide explains the fascinating story that led to the Taj’s construction.
You’ll then spend the day learning the ancient crafts of Zardozi and Panchikari.
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The Taj Mahal is the jewel in the crown of India. Built with white marble, it reflects the hews daylight and inspires all who look at it. Known as the “Monument of Love” it was constructed by Emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
Sunrise and sunset are the most magical times to gaze upon the Taj’s. You’ll see the pinks of the sky soften the skin of mausoleum before and after the daily crowds.
Book this on your first day in Agra. That way, your first sight of the Taj Mahal will be it appearing out of the dawn sky. It’s a magical sight that you’ll never forget. We’d also advise booking before you travel because “must-see” places like Taj Mahal book up incredibly fast.Book Now
Generally the best time to visit India is between October and March. The temperature is cooler, which makes it perfect for sightseeing. However, there is something great about seeing the Taj below the dramatic sky of the monsoon seasons from August to October.These months are warm, humid, but rainy.
Yes, Agra is a safe city to visit. The two main risks you’ll face are pickpockets and mad traffic. We advise keeping your valuables out of sight when you’re walking about and take time and care to check the roads carefully before you cross. Cars and bikes do not stop for tourists, only cows!
Agra is one of India’s main tourist destinations, so it can be more expensive than other parts of the country. That said, compared to the western travel destinations, it’s still a bargain. We advise booking your accommodation carefully and staying away from the main tourist areas .
You’ll need Indian Rupees to visit Agra. The Rupee is a closed currency which means there are restrictions on taking it into or out of India. For this reason, you won’t be able to get Rupees before you travel. We recommend exchanging some other currency for a small amount visit a local bank.