What is it with the Taj Mahal??? We all have at least one miniature Taj Mahal our friends or relatives bought as a souvenir when they visited! We see it in movies all the time, we read about it in novels, poems, childhood literature and architecture lessons. Remember that street seller who used to sell Taj Mahal posters near beaches and parks? How about the Taj Mahal image on the cover page of our notebooks? We (millennials) also probably had the Taj Mahal as our desktop wallpaper.
Despite all this, we still long to see it in person at least once, witness one of the seven wonders of the world and see if all the poems we recited are up to the mark!
However when I first visited the Taj Mahal, the only line in my diary read was ‘’I visited the Taj Mahal and the Agra fort today’’. And that’s about it. Most of the people I know who visit the Taj Mahal say it’s just like ticking off something from the list. So the next time I visited, I decided to make some experiences instead of just buying an entrance ticket and bumping shoulders with hundreds of tourists.
Here are some great experiences and the places with best views of the Taj Mahal.
Enter the Taj Mahal Early Morning
Taj Mahal opens at 6:00 am in winters and 5:00 am in summers. Tourists are few during this time, giving you more space and peace to admire the white beauty at dawn and when the Moon sets.
Photography tip : Inside the Taj, photographs come really great from the mosques on either side of the Taj Mahal. I couldn’t stop clicking pictures from the arches.
This well-manicured garden is across the Yamuna river, behind the Taj Mahal, where the black Taj Mahal was supposed to have been built. It’s about 6-7 kms from the Taj. I went there on a sunny morning and I was the only person there apart from a few gardeners.
If you ask me Mehtab Bagh is possibly the best place to view the Taj Mahal and is most ideal to settle down somewhere in the garden with a book or to have a great picnic if you are with friends or family. If I had my gang there, I’d totally play a Bollywood Antakshari and get nostalgic.
Cafes and Hotels with best Taj Mahal view:
While the pictures in the booking websites and hotel sites say that they are the best Taj view hotel in Agra, I found that most of the claims are not true or they might have a Taj Mahal view from one or two rooms of their property. Here are a few places I’ve been to and can say that they have the best Taj Mahal view.
Saniya Palace: It has a great view of the Taj Mahal and good food. I went there for breakfast, they had a lot of amazing options to choose from. They have three different seating options, all of them are cafe style and have an amazing view of the Taj Mahal. There is a table on the rooftop, and if you are planning for a more private experience, then consider calling the hotel staff in advance and reserving a table.
Hotel Kamal: It’s a popular and old hotel with a great view of the Taj Mahal. This is also rooftop, The staff is very friendly, and the food is decent.
The thing with Saniya palace and Kamal hotel
Just keep in mind that summers are really hot in Agra and rooftop lunch plan might not be a good idea, so you can definitely visit for early morning breakfast or a quick evening tea.
Apart from these two places I visited, I heard Taj cafe, Joey’s hostel, and Sai palace also have a great view of the Taj mahal
If you are not a budget traveller, then Oberoi Amarvilas is one of the 5-star hotels in Agra with a great view of the Taj Mahal. People who have stayed there say that the bathtub with Taj view is an iconic signature. I couldn’t afford the price though (even if I could, I could not have afforded to wastewater for a bathtub in a dry region like Agra).
Also read: Hutlife@Sadhana forest
Experiences I wanted to have but kept it for next time:
Taj Mahal night view during the full moon
I can’t imagine how wonderful of an experience it will be to see the Taj Mahal night view that too on a full-moon day. The legend says that the monument changes its colour and shine dramatically during full moon days. The experience is open for five days a month, on a full moon night, two days before and after the full moon day.
The Taj Mahal t
Haathi ghat during the Dusk
Though it is one of the Ghats of the Yamuna river, I heard that there is hardly any water and one can see the sights of children playing, Dhobis collecting back the colourful dried clothes and a lot of mischievous monkeys. All my photographer friends loved clicking pictures here because it gives of the open sky and Taj Mahal backdrop. It can be magical especially during sunsets.
Enjoy your Visit! let me know about your Taj Mahal experiences 🙂