Tips for Visiting the Taj Mahal

taj mahalJust like you can’t visit China without visiting the Great Wall or Nepal without seeing the Himalayas, you just simply can’t visit India and pass up seeing the infamous Taj Mahal, meaning ‘crown of plalaces’. It is beyond breathtaking with its intricate details and sprawling garden grounds. Take note Jeremy, this is how you pay tribute to your wife! Granted it was just one of emperor Shah Jahan’s many wives (no thank you) and it was after she passed away while giving birth to their 14th child (ouch). Same same right? The gorgeous sites are enough to book a plane ticket on their own but what about the pictures? Here are some helpful tips for visiting the Taj Mahal and capturing photos that guarantee a hassle free visit plus are sure to get you drool worthy photos to guarantee friends and family back home a small dose of wanderlust.

Morning Fog. If you go during dry season, beware! If you’re not, you can skip to the next tip. During dry season there tends to be much more fog and clouds which doesn’t exactly condone the best views and pictures of the Taj Mahal. We decided to get up before dawn and get to the Taj Mahal around 6:30 in the morning. It was a little foggy but only grew worse as the morning went on. At one point we were standing literally right beside it and couldn’t see a thing because the fog was so thick. Thankfully the nice guards at the entrance let us re-enter later that day when the fog had lifted. Below you can see what a difference just a few hours can make. Even though there were far more crowds in the afternoon, the better views were well worth the trip back. Plan your timing according to the weather and check with the front desk for their opinion on what time you should go. early morning vs early afternoon picturestaj mahaltaj mahal grounds

Dress Appropriately. Thankfully we didn’t have any problem with this since it was fairly cold when we were there (not what I expected when visiting India!) But remember that you are in a very conservative country and should try to cover up as much as possible while visiting national and religious monuments. Granted, there is no enforced dress code at the Taj Mahal but out of respect I would recommend trying to cover your knees and cleavage if possible. Maxi skirts, long dresses and the popular loose thin trousers found in India are great choices. I also try to carry a scarf with me just in case I need to be even more covered up. If you want more ideas of what to wear in India check out this blog post.

Crowds. On the reverse, if there’s no fog (the fog usually goes away by the end of January) make sure to go early! By the afternoon, I’ve heard horror stories of the thousands of people in the complex. Not shocking seeing as how over 3 million people visit per year and about 15,000 people visit per day. Even by the time we left around 1pm we could see the warms starting to file in.

photo tips for the taj mahal

No Tripods. Yup, it’s true. There are no tripods allowed in the Taj Mahal or most public monuments in India. I’m not really sure of the reasoning behind it but it’s better to just leave it in the hotel room rather than have to go through the hassle of renting a locker for a few hours, even though that is a good option if you forget to leave it behind. But don’t worry, see all those friendly people with the really nice cameras? Wait till they’re done taking their photos and I’m sure they’d be more than happy to oblige in taking your photo for you.

Check Pinterest. Not exactly the traditional advice huh? Before a big trip I always like to check Pinterest and look for photos of a certain attraction we are going to. Often times you will find areas not well marked on a map, different angles to try out or inspire a completely different idea for really unique photos. Simply take a screen shot of the pictures you like so you can pull them up on your phone without wifi when you are there. And to go along with that, try playing around with different shadows, angles and areas. Even though the fog was a real bummer early in the morning I actually really like how some of them turned out because it added a whole other aspect to the building that I hadn’t seen before. You might be surprised what aspects you thought would be a negative actually make for a great photo.

photo tips for the taj mahal couple photos at the taj mahalMahtab Bagh. This is a place you can’t miss. Take a tuk tuk across the river from the Taj Mahal and to the Mahtab Bagh garden. Here you have one of two options. In front of the gate (not entering the garden) take a right and go all the way to the end of the street until you reach the river. This provides a great view of the Taj Mahal from the back side but you can’t get directly in front of it. If you want a better view, pay the $1.50 admission fee and enter the gardens and go directly to the back for a truly amazing view. We went at sunset and I would highly recommend the same time frame to snatch some pictures that are sure to be your favorites. photo tips for the taj mahal

  • http://www.lavacanza.in/ Surender Singh

    these are great tips! The Taj Mahal is one of the most breathtaking tourist attractions in India. http://www.lavacanza.in/agra-holiday/d42

    • jonah

      Magnificent Taj Mahal!

  • Duni Rana

    Hello we are tour operator in India by the name of Travel Force India, Any one planning to visit India, please do write to us, will plan the customised tour programme, we do have regular trip, one can visit at http://www.indiatajmahaltour.com or http://www.indianexperience;in or contact us at +91 9811171495 (also for WhatsAap) skype : travelindia1

  • http://www.tajdayjourney.com/ Emma Hill

    Great Information, Useful Tips to Visit (The Monument of Love) Taj Mahal…
    Book Your Taj Mahal Tour – http://www.tajdayjourney.com/same-day-agra-tour-by-car.php

  • http://indiangoldentriangletour.co.uk/ Ankur Jindal

    Taj Mahal is best seen at the Full Moon night but it is the most crowded day at TajMahal night at Tajmahal .

    We have organized Full Moon night trip to Tajmahal several times , they had a great experience of it .

    For more details on tajmahal visit : http://indiangoldentriangletour.co.uk/tajmahaltour.php

  • The Traveling Dyosa

    Great tips and beautiful pictures!!! It’s so dreamy like McDreamy! :)

    http://www.thetravelingdyosa.com

  • Shreeni Rao

    I heard that they don’t allow DSLR’s. Is it true ? I plan to be there in Dec and the only one I have is a Nikon D810 :(

    • http://lostintravelsblog.com/ Chelsea @ Lost in Travels

      good news! totally untrue. they definitely allow dslr’s into the temple grounds. what they absolutely do not allow however are tripods so leave it at home or they have lockers that you can store it in when you’re inside. have a great trip!

  • Diana Prince

    I’m going in about a month. I’m excited and doing my research. Thanks for the tips.

  • samdave69

    I came across this while researching on my impeding trip to India in a week and this was very informative. Trip to Delhi/Agra booked. Kudos!!!

  • racingcourne

    Thanks for these tips! I am planning on going to India soon but did not think too much about visiting the Taj Mahal – but it really is one of those “must” see so I think I am reconsidering.

  • Amy

    Are there any cultural events or festival that peaked your interest in India?

  • Manu Sood

    This is really great information for the tourists to visit one of the wonders of the world ie. Taj Mahal.These tips are very useful specially for the foreign visitors who want to make vacations in India.

    Himachal Travels

  • http://seotechniques.in/ Avnish Gautam

    Hey you covered all necessary points for visiting the Taj mahal in Agra Definitely it is fantastic way. You can plan your Agra tour with any well known tour operator with pre-planning of every important point. As per my knowledge http://www.Agratrippackage.com provides complete Taj Mahal Tour package including sightseeing.

  • http://www.fromtheretoheretheblog.com/ Jay

    I love the idea of checking Pinterest (or other for those of us who aren’t on Pinterest) for photography ideas. I hadn’t thought of that.

  • Casey C

    Totally playing catch-up with your blog today…and now I need to get myself to India! Gorgeous, gorgeous.

  • http://cutecoconut.com Rina Shelomita

    I stayed in India for 2 years and had visited Taj Mahal during my time there. I managed to pay only Rs 5 (if not mistaken – local price) because I could speak hindi (and I am asian) so they thought I was from North (Nepali) and didn’t have to pay the tourist price 😀

    http://www.cutecoconut.com

  • http://inkandadventure.blogspot.tw/ Jamie | ink + adventure

    amazing. even though it’s foggy, I think that last shot is my favorite.

  • http://www.hopeengaged.blogspot.com/ Katie Cook

    Absolutely GORGEOUS friend!!! love it!

  • http://shannonthemrs.blogspot.de/ Shannon

    Wow, just gorgeous! I love the Pinterest tip, I never would have thought of that!

  • http://belleandcompass.blogspot.com/ Isa // belle + compass

    Your photos are unreal! if there are any tips I’ll take when I get there it’s your photo-lighting-timing ones… I’d love to catch these.

    belle + compass

  • http://thebutterflyeditions.wordpress.com/ Christie

    These are great tips (and pictures!)! When I visited the Taj Mahal we never considered it might be foggy, it was so disappointing that we weren’t even able to get a photo that you could see the Taj Mahal in at all. I ended up going back for a day trip from Delhi a week later, because I couldn’t leave without seeing it in its full splendour! Looking back I wish I had spent more time there to take more creative photos. I was on my own so I took most photos of myself “selfie-style” and they are all a bit average. Oh well, just another reason to go back again! Great tip about Pinterest by the way, will definitely be doing that next time I visit any popular monument!

  • http://cloudscreator.blogspot.fr/ Clouds Creator

    Depuis que j’ai vu slumdog millionaire, j’ai peur que quelqu’un me vole mes chaussures au Taj Mahal !

    Since I seen slumdog millionaire, I am afraid that someone will steal my shoes at the Taj Mahal 😮

    http://cloudscreator.blogspot.fr/

  • http://www.kayliwanders.com/ Kayli Schattner

    Ah, what an incredible experience! I would love to visit the Taj Mahal someday :) great pics too!

  • Urska

    Nice photos! And I liked the pinterest advice! :)

  • http://clothesandcreativity.blogspot.in/ Clothes and Creativity

    I think you’ve covered most of the tips. Just wanted to ask if you visited Agra in Dec/Jan? Dec/Jan is the time when most of North India is under the winter spell, and the mornings (sometimes stretching to afternoons) are often foggy.

    I think the best time to visit the Taj Mahal is early September (crisp Spring weather) or Oct/Nov.

  • http://www.gutenblogyall.com/ Margo

    Great advice, that’s so odd about tripods though – I’m glad the strangers that helped you out with couple pictures did such a nice job! :)

  • http://www.MyBeautifulAdventures.com/ Andi Perullo de Ledesma

    One of my favorite places in the world! Great tips!!

  • http://somewhereyonder.blogspot.co.uk/ Claire (@Kurea_San)

    Be prepared to either take your shoes off (so wear nice socks) or put paper covers over them :) Love your sunset pic – gorgeous.
    Claire xx | somewhere… beyond the sea

  • http://www.sixteenthfloor.blogspot.com/ Leah S.

    This brings back great memories of our visit in October. Thanks for sharing, great tips.

  • http://www.piesandtravel.com/ Muriel

    Wow, these pictures are incredible!

  • http://www.bohemianjourneys.blogspot.com/ Cheyenne

    Beautiful photos and great tips!
    xx

  • http://www.travel-vanberry.blogspot.com/ Van Berry

    The last picture is my favourite but they’re all absolutely amazing!!

  • http://www.truecoloursblog.com Casey

    I love that we got so many similar pictures! Also a note on that fog, everyone told us in February that they actually had a ton of fog into late February this year, so weather patterns might be changing and that fog might be there to stay for longer in the year :(

  • Cassi Polzin

    Great tips! Your photos are incredible!

  • Mar

    Gorgeous photos! Its looks like a painting, so beautiful!