Glossy Ground

May 28, 2010

The Taj Mahal at sunrise is seen through the doors of the Jawab. - Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India - Daily Travel Photos
(Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India)
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The Taj Mahal at sunrise is seen through the doors of the Jawab. (From the archives, due to time restraints.)

If you can choose a day to go to the Taj Mahal, try to pick India's Heritage Day (which occurred last year on November 19). By sheer dumb luck, I happened to choose Heritage Day which allows free admission to every national site in India. Sure, the Taj Mahal is a bit overpriced but saving 700 rupees isn't exactly the point. The reason I was able to take so many photos - of sunrise, sunset, and mid-day - was the fact that I was allowed to stroll in and out as I pleased.

On any other day, you buy a ticket for one admission but if you leave, your ticket doesn't allow reentry on the same day. If you go at dawn, your hunger will force you to leave and most people tend to refuse to enter again at the cost of a second admission. On Heritage Day, when I needed lunch or a snack, I walked out then simply returned as I pleased. Bonus tip: be the first cutthroat in line at 5am (like me) and you may be lucky enough to snap some people-free photos like this. Extra bonus tip: early entry was via the west gate only! South and east gates are closed at dawn. Super-bonus tip: Friday is Muslim holiday. The Taj Mahal is closed every Friday.

taj mahal gate