Query regarding visiting the Taj Mahal

#1 Sep 17th, 2018, 12:12
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  • ukdoctor is offline
#1
Planning to visit the Taj mahal next month and thought i will check if what I have understood is correct

1. From what I can see it looks as if it is best to visit early in the morning. Is 6 AM the earliest that one is allowed entry?.

2. When i tried to do a booking on the asi website and selected 6AM it said that the ticket is valid till 0430AM and I did not proceed .

Or is this some error and do they mean 1630 ??

3. Me and mrs.ukdoctor though technically foreign citizens are OCI's and may be able to get a reduced entry fee. We are visiting with parents who are Indian citizens (Senior citizens)
Is there any advantage in booking all 4 of us in the foreign category . I am aware that it is much more expensive but are the queues shorter in that group?

It is just that they have some health issues and I did not want them to be in a queue for a long time.
#2 Sep 17th, 2018, 12:27
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#2
If you actually reach the east gate at 6 am on a weekday, there is no queue. This was in nov'16. I booked online. My american colleague had also booked online. Our mobile phones were scanned - we didn't carry a printout of the ticket. I dont recall any such error, maybe clear the cache and try again.

The advantage of foreign category is indeed a shorter queue, and also the shoe covers plus water bottle, etc. I don't recall being offered those, so i asked, paid for the cover (much to the minder's chagrin) and went on the podium.

I'm not a fan of the Taj, so if the queue been any longer or the online option not available, I'd have stayed home.
#3 Sep 17th, 2018, 13:06
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I understand you can go into the lower level now. That way you can see the graffiti going back to the 1800s..
#4 Sep 17th, 2018, 13:07
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#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaibhav_arora View Post If you actually reach the east gate at 6 am on a weekday, there is no queue. This was in nov'16. I booked online. My american colleague had also booked online. Our mobile phones were scanned - we didn't carry a printout of the ticket. I dont recall any such error, maybe clear the cache and try again.

The advantage of foreign category is indeed a shorter queue, and also the shoe covers plus water bottle, etc. I don't recall being offered those, so i asked, paid for the cover (much to the minder's chagrin) and went on the podium.

I'm not a fan of the Taj, so if the queue been any longer or the online option not available, I'd have stayed home.
Same here. The last time I visited I was around 9 yrs old..I remember being in a queue for ages..Mrs.UK doctor has never seen the Taj and this is going to be a birthday treat*

* Hope it does not all go downhill.
#5 Sep 17th, 2018, 13:12
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#5
For your sake, please book a nice hotel.
#6 Sep 17th, 2018, 13:16
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#6
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Originally Posted by edwardseco View Post I understand you can go into the lower level now. That way you can see the graffiti going back to the 1800s..
Not sure of that. Went there in July this year and wasnt allowed
#7 Sep 17th, 2018, 13:36
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Bummer, even when I first went it took something extra from my father in law to get me up to the top level (attic). Still last trip boy had a good time hanging out with kids sharing his water sprayer fan on a hot day indeed. I actually preferred FS and the baby taj..
#8 Oct 9th, 2018, 23:27
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Update from my visit to the Taj yesterday.

https://www.tripsavvy.com/taj-mahal-...-guide-1539343

Was an excellent source of information.

1. I booked the tickets and carried printout.
2. My OCI was accepted for an Indian Fare.(Rs 45 online)
3. Followed the advice from the link above and reached there at 6 AM. Excellent advice and much more nicer to view the Taj with less sun and it was magical.
I had last seen it when i was 9 years old.
4. I entered via the east gate .Near the east gate entry point there is around a 1 km walk where vehicles are not allowed .
Agra tourism have electric carts which charge Rs 10 per person for the trip to the Taj east gate entry point.
NB: If you hold a foreigner ticket this ride is free.both ways .

Foodstuff including chocolate and even chewing gum and chocolate will.be confiscated at the entry point. Water bottles are allowed. There are many monkeys around who help themselves to this bounty and a policeman had a catapult with paper pellets to scare them off.

5. You can wear your shoes at the entry point and in the grounds it is only at the point where you actually enter the masoleum that you have to put the shoe cover on .

Again this is Rs 10 for indian tickets and is free for foreign category ticket holders.

Expect around a hundred touts to approach you on the way . A Firm no.will do the trick..
#9 Oct 10th, 2018, 06:46
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#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by ukdoctor View Post 3. Followed the advice from the link above and reached there at 6 AM. Excellent advice and much more nicer to view the Taj with less sun and it was magical.
I had last seen it when i was 9 years old.
.
Thanks for the update, ukdoctor.

I have been to Taj at least 30 times. I have seen it in moonlight, in full sun, in rain, in cloudy weather, in springtime, in winter, at sunset, the early morning is the best time to see it. With the sun coming up you get the light from right and the Taj changes many colours.

First time I visited Taj when I was 11 years old and was fascinated by the building. In those days you could take food and have a picnic on the lawns of Taj. I even have piece of Taj marble from when they were repairing the main building.

On my last visit on Christmas day in 2015, there were more than 250,000 visitors. The queues were long but it was around 11 in the morning.

Next visit again will be in the early morning.
#10 Oct 10th, 2018, 07:17
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#10
Glad you enjoyed the trip. The second time I went I thought I would not with all the restrictions. But, I did. They took a half empty bag of chips and left the rest. But, I didn't eat there..
#11 Oct 10th, 2018, 09:45
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#11


Photograph from my early AM visit on 8th October.

I did not use a guide but downloaded an app.The audiocompass app as mentioned in the link in my earlier post was not available on the play store for android


I decided to use
http://captivatour.com

Excellent and witty audio/visual guide to the Taj . There is a light version and a detailed version.
#12 Oct 10th, 2018, 09:49
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#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ukdoctor View Post Photograph from my early AM visit on 8th October.
So many people.
#13 Oct 10th, 2018, 10:01
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#13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Govindpuri View Post So many people.
This was at around 0630 hrs. By the time I left at around 9 there were around 10x more people inside.

When I first entered there were not that many people but I spent a good 10-15 minutes admiring the building and the forecourt and watching the optical illusion while walking through the gates .

(Did it a few times ) .

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