Taj Mahal is one of seven wonders of the world, a symbol of love and a must see if you’re headed to India. Located in the heart of Agra, on the right bank of the Yamuna River- the Taj Mahal was built in the early 1600’s by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahān in memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is known as the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage. For my friends who love getting that perfect Instagram picture, today’s blog is all about you guys! I’ll be sharing some of the best “insta-worthy” spots of the Taj Mahal and add some of my tips for visiting.
1. The boat from Yamuna River
This was one of my favorite and most unexpected spots. Gopi and I were actually looking for a different spot and we were told this boat could take us there until we realized we misunderstood. If you leave out of the Eastern gate, take a left and walk that path all the way down to the water. It’s about 800M or so, not a very long walk at all. Once you get there, you’ll see the boat and you’ll have to haggle a bit with the men there but I believe they took us out for about 300 rupees. It’s definitely worth the money to see the Taj from that perspective!
2. The Taj Mahal Garden
So this is probably one of the most famous shots of the Taj Mahal simply because it’s one of the first spots you’ll see when you walk through the gate. This should be your first photo, which was our mistake. We had to use a lot of patience to get this photo, as there were already a ton of people around 8am trying to get our same shot.
3. Kau Ban Mosque
I know most people think this photo is taken at the front gate but it’s literally impossible to take a good photo with no one in it, even if you get there first thing in the morning. The red sandstone mosque forms an essential part to the Taj Mahal’s unique symmetrical complex. When we went, the one on the right was closed for construction but the one on the left was up for grabs! Get there early and claim your spot!
4. Anywhere in Charbagh Garden
The Charbagh Garden is the entire garden or court yard inside the Taj Mahal complex. We snapped this shot early morning with no bystanders and it turned out to be one of my favorites!
5. The Chhatri on Private Property
This place was a little tricky to find, there’s a little privately owned fort next to Taj Mahal a few miles down the road. We had to bribe someone to take us there, then bribe the owner to let us take pictures. This place is well known with local photographers so it wasn’t empty but it’s not very crowded either. Definitely a cool place to check out.
These were my favorite places to take pictures of the Taj Mahal inside and outside of the complex. Please note, I really wanted to take photos at the Mehtab Bagh but the day we planned to shoot there it was raining. I definitely recommend a visit to Mehtab Bagh, it’s on the opposite side of the river to the Taj Mahal. Remember to get to the Taj Mahal early, before sunrise so you can be one of the first inside the complex. Buy your tickets online, it’s 1250 rupees (about $18) for entry or get there even earlier if you plan to buy your tickets at the gate. Tripods and food are not allowed, this is part of the reason I collaborated with a photographer. They’re actually quite strict and their security process to get inside is very thorough, make sure to read what is allowed inside. The photographer who took all of my Delhi and Agra photos in India is Gopi Thodupuniri, his Instagram is @gopithodupuniri. The Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays so plan your visit accordingly. Plan to spend quite a few hours at the Taj Mahal, especially if you’re trying to hit all of these photo spots. You’ll need about an hour to explore the Taj Mahal itself and then another few to explore each of these insta-worthy spots. We arrived around 520/530, got inside around 6 and didn’t get back to the hotel until around 10am. Overall, if you want that perfect insta-shot of the Taj Mahal then this is the perfect guide for you. Until my next post, inshalla.