For many, visiting the Taj Mahal is at the very top of a bucket
list of life experiences. And we can attest that seeing this iconic
landmark - which was famously described as "a teardrop on the cheek
of eternity" by poet Rabindranath Tagore - in real life is every
bit as extraordinary as you would expect.
And yet, there's more than one way to admire this World Heritage
site. For travellers looking for a different perspective on the
white marble beauty, we have a few suggestions for new ways to
explore the Taj Mahal. From moonlit visits to luxury hotel vistas,
no matter how you choose to discover it, you're certain to come
away with lasting memories.
The Mughal-era Mehtab Bagh
offers perfect Taj Mahal views © powerofforever/iStock
Though the Mehtab Bagh - a beautiful garden complex located just
across the Yamuna River from the Taj Mahal - was built well before
Shah Jahan's mausoleum was constructed, it's now one of the finest
places to drink in views of the landmark. The Shah himself was said
to have singled out the 16th century, Mughal-era gardens
as the perfect viewing location. Be sure to linger amidst the
fountains and flowerbeds, which, after extensive restorations in
the 1990s, have now been returned to their antique glory.
A Moonlit Visit
Seeing the Taj Mahal by
moonlight is a once-in-a-lifetime experience © AlexSava/iStock
The Taj Mahal is stunningly picturesque by day. And by night?
Let's just say that its white marble façade is flattered by
moonlight. Though the site is normally closed in the evenings, at
times when the moon is full, visitors are granted rare access to
explore the Taj Mahal between the hours of 8:30 pm and 12:30 am.
It's only in recent years that travellers have been able to drop in
after dark, so if your visit coincides with a full moon, don't miss
this rare opportunity.
The Agra Fort
Visitors to the Agra Fort can
enjoy views of both landmarks at once © tunart/iStock
It's not uncommon for visitors to Agra to overlook the city's
other landmarks in favour of the Taj Mahal - but in the case of the
Agra Fort, that decision would be a mistake. The gorgeous fort,
famous for its red sandstone exterior and ornate architecture,
isn't only a well-preserved relic of the region's Mughal past -
it's also a UNESCO World Heritage site, and an absolute must for
visitors to the city. Additionally, it's worth knowing that the
Agra Fort, built on the banks of the Yamuna River, is just adjacent
to the Taj Mahal…and that lucky visitors can enjoy views of both at
Guests at the Oberoi Amarvilas
have views of the Taj wherever they go © Oberoi Hotels and
Looking for a place to stay while visiting Agra? You can't do
much better than the splendid
Oberoi Amarvilas, one of the city's most opulent hotels. The
five-star stay features an open-air swimming pool, sprawling spa,
and plush rooms that are ideal for post-touring relaxation. And
given that the Oberoi Amarvilas is also located a mere 600 metres
from the Taj Mahal, guests can also look forward to uninterrupted
views of the landmark from each of the guestrooms, as well as from
the private dining terrace.