How to get tickets for the Taj Mahal
While travelling through India, one of the must see sights is the famous and breathtaking Taj Mahal. For those of you who like to plan ahead or only have a limited time and want to make the most out of the trip, here are various ways you can get your tickets for the Taj.
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As you may often find while travelling, prices for tourists are often different to what locals are handing over and The Taj Mahal is no exception. For Indian Nationals, entrance costs Rs. 20/- which is about £.20 while foreigners will have to dish out around Rs. 750/- or roughly £8. Rs. 250 /- of that fee goes towards the entry tax while Rs. 500/- is for the Toll Tax. Luckily for the kids, there is no entry fee for under 15s. For night time tickets, the price is the same for tourists, but nationals need to pay more for this privilege.
There are a few ways to get tickets for the Taj Mahal. The most common way is to simply wait in line at one of the gates, any one of the three of them. The Western gate near Saheli Burj is the main gate and is open from sunrise to sunset. This is the most popular gate and therefore it tends to have the longest queues. The Southern gate is the most common entrance for backpackers as it is closest to the budget accommodation.
You can purchase your ticket at Taj Ganj anytime between 8am and 5pm and there will most likely be shorter lines there than the western entrance. Your other option is to head to the Eastern Gate and this will have the shortest lines mainly due to the 1km detour you will have to take to get to the ticket office in Shilpgram. You can purchase tickets here anytime from sunrise to sunset.
Another option is to see if the hotel you are staying with can book your ticket for you. Often, you will have an option to purchase a combo ticket granting you access to the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort. You can also buy tickets online which may be convenient if you want to see the Taj Mahal at dawn. The ideal time to visit the Taj is during sunrise or sunset as the colours change magnificently during these golden hours.
If you are planning to buy your tickets at the entrance, try and get there around 40 minutes before the gates open. Your ticket will come with a free mini bottle of water and shoe coverings for when you walk around inside. Before purchasing the tickets remember that there are never ticket sales nor is the Taj Mahal itself open to the public on Fridays unless you are attending prayers.