Visit Taj Mahal with kids
We knew that a visit to India would not be complete with a trip to one of the 7 wonders of the world but you need to plan your visit to the Taj mahal with kids. There’s not many kids that I know which can look at a building for 2 hours and say wow!
So for us, we prepared then beforehand and gathered a list of fun facts for kids to discuss as we walked around, to try and engage their interest.
We also set them a challenge to take the most iconic picture while there (this was well received). And finally we agreed they could have a run around the gardens area (away from crowds when we were finished).
With rules defined, we hoped we could get a couple of hours exploring with them before the novelty wore off!
Arriving at the Taj Mahal
We entered through West gate. This is the main entrance (and also where lockers are situated). You aren’t dropped directly at the door.
Instead you have to walk from the exterior gate for about 10 minutes to the ticket office. It’s an easy walk but there are lots of touts offering a shuttle ride. You shouldn’t really need this, as there’s not a huge amount of walking to do.
Tickets are Rs1100 for foreign tourists. Kids under 15 are free. The cost of your ticket includes a free bottle of water and shoe covers.
Although we tended to remove our sites and walk barefoot. The marble was quite refreshing and cool, especially in the morning.
When to go
The ticket open at 5.30am and gates open half an hour before sunrise and close 1 hour after sunset.
We’ve been before (pre-kids) and we agreed that sunrise was by far the best time. Note: Don’t be under any illusions that because you arrive early that you’ll be the only ones there’s. There’s still crowds but these grow as the tour groups start to arrive!
Choosing to arrive at sunrise was perfect. Not only due to the lower crowds but also the pleasant temperatures. If it gets too hot the boys just aren’t interested in anything.
After you purchase your ticket head over to the security area. As we were early there wasn’t much of a queue but the area looks like it’s set up for lots of people!
Note: men and women need to queue separately.
As mentioned in my other post there is strict criteria regarding bags and contents. You are not allowed to bring backpacks or larger bags into the site. Ladies handbags are allowed.
- No food or water (expect the water bottle you get free with your entry)
- No tripods or drones
- No sharp implements
- No headphones
- No phone chargers
- No electrical items (other than cameras – phones must be on silent)
The security is painfully slow so be prepared for a wait, even when the queue is short!
Once done, you walk through a garden area before turning into the main archway leading to the Taj Mahal. Have your camera’s ready as you may want to capture your first glimpse of the white marble structure.
I have to admit, even on my second visit, the vastness blows me away. It’s very beautiful.
There’s a lot of jostling for the ‘perfect position’. I mean who doesn’t want the perfect shot of the Taj Mahal with shimmering reflection in the water feature. I even got the chance to have my Princess shot!
But you need to wait or dive in when you see the opportunity. Indians are not very good at waiting!!
Walking around Taj Mahal
We slowly wandered around, letting the kids judge the pace so as to keep them engaged.
They quite enjoyed it. As we reacted the Taj Mahal itself we headed to the left side as this meant the sun was rising behind the structure.
The boys managed to get some pretty awesome shots (as did we!).
After waiting for sun to rise we wandered inside the tomb itself. You have to keep moving and no photos are allowed (although some people chose to ignore this!). So it’s a quick passage through.
We sat in the gardens for a little too have a drink and a rest. There were parakeets flying around and squirrels climbing trees. It is a very tranquil place to sit and watch the crowds milling by.
After about 2 hours, we were done. We’d taken 1 or 2 pictures and meandered around taking in one of the 7 wonders of the world.
You don’t need to plan a whole day, just a few hours is more than enough, especially if you have kids. A thoroughly enjoyable and pleasant morning.