We arrived at the New Delhi Railway Sation (NDLS) in Paharganj for our trip going to the city of Agra. Known to be the busiest and the main railway of Delhi, the station is huge and it has 16 platforms packed with passengers. It was 0500 o’clock and you can see people squatting and sleeping on the floor, covered with blankets, slumbered as they wait for their trains. Also, huge warning signs are posted on the station walls for tourist to be alert of touts.
Our train was scheduled at 0600 o’clock and took the Bhopal Shatabdi Express train. Fortunately, our air-conditioned train served local breakfast and a nice view along the way.
Finally, after a two-hour train ride from Delhi, we have finally reached the city of Agra.
The Taj Mahal
Just like everyone who travels to Agra, Taj Mahal is one of the main destinations. The ivory-white marble mausoleum is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site and iconic to be a “must-see” when traveling to India.
The perfect symmetry of the design and the detailed architecture up-close is what attracts me the most. Also, the interior and exterior decorations is an artwork of perfection. It will leave you speechless of its beauty the moment you walked in from the entrance gate. My words are not enough to describe the beauty of Taj Mahal, instead here are some photos taken during the trip.
“There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who have seen the Taj Mahal and love it, and those who have not seen the Taj Mahal and love it. I would like people to watch the Taj Mahal and fall in love with it.” – Bill Clinton
Built in the 17th century by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his beloved wife – Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj is a symbol of India’s rich history. And believe me, it’s really a wonder of the earth.
The Taj Mahal complex is open from sunrise to sunset, except on Friday (closed for prayer). It is best seen early and during sunset. For tickets, check the official site.
To control overcrowding and preserve the historic site, starting this April of 2018, visitors are only allowed to three hours to see the whole complex. Going over the time limit is allowed but a certain extra payment will be collected.
An estimated average of 50,000 people visits the Taj Mahal every day but doubles on weekends and on holidays. In that case, you must be prepared to hustle with the crowds in taking videos and pictures.