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  • Konrad Tillman

Seeing The Taj Mahal: What It's Really Like

Welcome to my 100th post on this blog. During my stay in India, I decided I wanted to go and see the Taj Mahal since I am on a quest to see beautiful landmarks worldwide. While it was an incredible time, there are some aspects you should be aware of before visiting.


How I Booked+ Location


I was able to book this tour through an independent contractor which came out to 150$ all in for the day. On paper, this might seem expensive, but the tour originated in Delhi, meaning 3.5 hours' drive each way. Everything was included in the tour, including a driver, an English-speaking guide, and entrance tickets to the Taj Mahal.


The day started at 5 am, after my flight onboard Singapore Airlines the day before (https://www.jettoajet.com/post/review-singapore-first-class-suites-from-singapore-to-delhi-on-the-a380) was rough, to say the least. A driver was waiting for me in the lobby, and we made the 4-hour trek to Agra, arriving at 9 am.



We proceeded to take a TukTuk that was included at the front gate of the Taj Mahal, as cars are not allowed.


Know What You Can Bring In


My guide mentioned that there were only certain items I was allowed to bring in, which confused me. For starters, small earbuds are allowed, but my new AirPods maxes were not allowed. Laptops, cigarettes, E-cigarettes, and big bags are not allowed either. There are some other items but these are the main ones that stood out to me. Don't worry, you can bring your camera in😜. There is a security screening, exactly like in an airport.



All my worries disappeared once I saw this view.


It's Busy & There Are Rules


Thankfully, I went on a day that wasn't too busy. However, keep in mind that 35-40000 people visit this attraction daily. This means you have to prepare to wait in line to see these different parts. While I did it quickly, it still took me 3 hours from entering to when I left.



Throughout the 3 hours I spent at the Taj Mahal, I saw a couple of instances where the police got involved. I asked the guide why and he responded that they were dancing. Certain regulations are surrounding what you can and cannot do. If you are respectful and courteous, like we should always be, you will have no problem.


People Will Ask To Take Pictures If You Are Foreign


In a total of 3 hours, I had 9 people ask to take a picture with me. While the guide told me I shouldn't say yes since it meant more people would ask, I did allow them to. Apparently, if you are foreign this is something that happens quite frequently.



My guide, Syed, was a fantastic photographer, even on the camera before it died 😂.


It Is A Surreal Place


If you are planning on a visit, it is truly a special place to see. The history is remarkable, and you must go there to feel the energy. Also understand that since there are so many people a day, it does feel very commercialized, unlike Angkor Wat (https://www.jettoajet.com/post/visiting-angkor-wat-the-surrounding-temples). While I am extremely happy I was able to visit, it probably isn't on my bucket list to go back for this sole reason.



As I mentioned, it is overcrowded, even on a day when it was quiet🙂.



Heading Back To Delhi


Thankfully, we didn't hit traffic on the way back to Delhi which meant I got back to the Roseate House at about 5 o'clock, just in time for sunset (https://www.jettoajet.com/post/review-roseate-house-new-delhi).



We stopped off at sort of a halfway house to use the restroom, where I experienced my first "spicy pizza"😂 from a food vendor. Eventually, we did make it back to the hotel and I bid farewell to the driver who was lovely the whole day.



If you are interested in booking this tour feel free to email me konradtillman@icloud.com. I don't get a commission or anything like that, just want to help you out.


Final Thoughts


Even though the Taj Mahal is overcrowded, has plenty of rules, and is far away from New Delhi, I am beyond happy that I decided to make the trek down to Agra. From the deep-rooted history to the energy of the place, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I am grateful for. I was extremely happy that my adopted father recommended me this guide, who was superb from start to finish.

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