January 04, 2012

Two nodes of the Golden Triangle (Part-VIII) (Agra Day 2)

We reserved the second day at Agra for a detailed viewing of Taj and the Agra fort along with a morning walk in Taj Nature Walk which is a very large forest area with lot of birds, dancing peacocks, gardens, lake and fresh air. It is situated on the road of East gate to Taj and worth a visit in early morning, If you are staying on East gate side of taj. Entry fee to this costs INR 10 per person. We visited this place from 0700 to 0830 without our kids as they refused to an early rise. I could not take any photos inside as my camera battery was not ready for the shoot.

Entrance gate of Taj Nature Walk
The next thing to explore after our breakfast of hot stuffed paranthas and curd in the chilled morning of Agra, was again the Taj Mahal. 
It is open from Sunrise to Sunset. Friday closed (open for offering prayer in the mosque between 12 Noon to 2 PM).
Entrance Fee: for Citizens of India and visitors of SAARC (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Maldives and Afghanistan) and BIMSTEC Countries (Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar) - INR. 10 per head. INR 10 per head as Toll Tax (Agra Development Authority) Others: INR. 250 per head.  INR 500  per head as Toll Tax (Agra Development Authority) INR 500 ticket of ADA is purchased at Taj is valid for the monuments of Agra Fort, Itimad-ud-daula, Akbar’s Tomb, Sikandara and Fatehpur Sikri (Free entry to children up to 15 years).Tickets on east gate entry are sold only at shilpgram.

Important notice for viewing the Taj
Notice about night viewing of Taj
Battery operated cabs from Shilpgram to Taj east gate (INR 10 per person)
Battery operated cabs at Hotel Taj Khema for back to parking at shilpgram
Introduction stone of Taj
Plan of the Taj Complex
The Taj is the most photographed thing in the world. We took a lot of photographs almost from all angles and corners but some typical shots, which are a kind of cliche shots, are being shown below. Actually you are so much mesmerized as you enter the premises that you lose all your creativity for shooting the Taj.

Following picture shows the famous 'Lover's bench' or 'VIP bench' or 'Diana bench' as it is popularly known. It is one of the most crowded spot inside the Taj and is surrounded by lot of photographers and their tourist clients. These photographers won't let you take possession of the bench for self photography and you may keep on waiting for your turn to come. We could get that seat after a lot of efforts and time as at that time the place was filled with a lot of people and their photographers. If you are there at early hours you may get it easily.

A pair of parrot on a tree in the monument of love

We stayed at Taj till 1300 hrs, enjoyed its beauty and charm from all points, also visited a museum on the left court after main entrance and came out of the complex from Taj West gate for visiting the Agra Fort or Red Fort. 

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