Agra has always been the famous tourist spot for not just the Indians but also for the foreigners. You will find ‘N’ numbers of tourists in Agra visiting one of the Seven Wonders of the World – the beautiful Taj Mahal. To Read more about Agra and Taj Mahal, visit my earlier blog on Agra – The Romance-land.
In this blog, I will only talk about the moon and stars adding their shine to the majestic Taj Mahal at the midnight on full moon day. In general Taj Mahal is open for public viewing from 9 in the morning to 6 in the evening. After that it is closed for visitors. Only twice every year they open for people to view it in the night when the moon is full in the sky, commonly known as Sharadpurnima in Hindu lunar month (Full Moon Day). During this time, the moon is right next to Taj Mahal and shed its light on Taj. Since it happens only during Sharad Purnima, it is a very rare occasion to see something so peaceful. The night viewing has different ticketing process and they are costly compared to normal tickets. You need to purchase it days in advance to get a chance to see. There is half an hour slot allotted to visitor for viewing the Taj Mahal. The night view starts from 9 pm and last slot of night is at 11:30 pm. We happen to be in Agra during full moon and thought of experiencing the Night View of Taj Mahal. My viewing slot was at 10:30 pm. It was informed to us that we will have to reach an hour before our viewing time. Once we reached, there was a security check. The security check for the Night view was strict and lengthy. They didn’t even allow mobile phones to take with us inside. Only cameras were ok to carry during the visit. The bag and all the other items needed to be deposited in a locker or to be left in your car/hotel.
Taj Mahal at Night
Once we got the ticket, we were taken towards the Entrance to Taj Mahal. At the entrance, there was another security check and finally we headed towards the Taj Mahal. Normally during day time, you go all the way to the monument and also go inside to see the tomb. But during night view, they took us only to the main gate and from main gate you will have to view the Taj Mahal. We were not allowed to go all the way inside and the area was marked off with the barracks. From the main gate we got 30 minutes to see the Taj Mahal, click pictures, spend some time admiring the beauty and in a brief moment, our 30 minutes was over and they took us back.
The entire process is well disciplined and high level of security measures is taken. The best part which I cherished the most in this tour was less crowd, rather no crowd as only 20 people at a time were taken per slot. Since we went a day prior to Purnima (Full Moon), the moon was not next to Taj Mahal, but in front of it. Also for many people who came, found it difficult to click pictures of Taj in the night as it was pitch dark and point and shoot camera were not able to capture the beauty. Those who have DSLR, can click amazing picture with slow shutter speed advantage. The experience of viewing Taj Mahal at night is just mesmerizing. Many people demotivated us by saying that the view is not great, you won’t go near Taj, it’s dark, not worth the cost and much more. However, these opinions proved false when we witnessed it live.
The night view is for those who loves art and understand it. It’s not about going closer to the monument or able to capture in mobile or a selfie with Taj at night, it’s about standing bright in the middle of a dark and shine brightest amongst all.
Thanks to dslr I managed to capture Taj Mahal at night