Last Updated: December 6, 2021

Best Time To Visit Taj Mahal

Planning to visit the Taj Mahal? It’s one of the most famous landmarks in India, and most popular tourist attractions in the world!. It’s definitely  something everyone should see at least once in their lives.

But the quality of your visit will depend on when you travel to India, so you’re certainly in the right place if you want to know when the best time to visit the Taj Mahal is!

I’ll tell you the pros and cons of each season, as well as the best day of the week and time of day to go to the Taj Mahal. I’ll also cover some other facts that tourists need to be aware of, such as things you’re not allowed to take inside the monument and people you should stay away from.

Read on to learn when the ideal time to visit the Taj Mahal is, and what you should expect from the different seasons!

Answer: Winter Season

Taj Mahal One

Taj Mahal is the same no matter when you visit but the weather is not. The winter season has the best weather with very little rain, no snow, and mild-high temperatures. There are a few arguments against a winter visit, but the pros outweigh the cons by a lot.

Summers in India are extremely hot with average highs in the 100s, so it’s not a smart idea to visit the Taj Mahal in the summer. Also, summer is the wet season in the area and the last few summer months are the Monsoon season.  

Spring is pretty much non-existent in the area. The average highs are in the 90s from as early as March, so you can forget about nice mild weather. There are only three seasons here – winter, summer, and Monsoon season.

Read on to learn more about why winter is the ideal season for a Taj Mahal visit, as well as other things you need to know before visiting the Taj Mahal!

Summer (March-July)

Taj Mahal Two

Summer is a very popular season at the Taj Mahal, but I wouldn’t consider it a great time to visit. For one, there are big crowds and the queues are very long. On top of that, the heat is simply unbearable. The average highs in the area during the summer months are around 100 degrees Fahrenheit. And that’s just the average – the temperatures are often much higher.

It’s not just that you’ll be uncomfortable and sweat a lot, but there’s a real possibility of heat illness or a heat stroke, which could really put a big cloud over the whole experience. And you’re only allowed one water bottle inside Taj Mahal – unless it’s a water cooler jug, it’s certainly not going to be enough to help you deal with the insane heat.

May and June are the hottest months of the year and you should stay away from India during this period. Even the average lows are in the 80s, while the highs go well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Unless you’re immune to the heat, it’s not going to be a fun experience.

The wet season at Taj Mahal starts in June, but the Monsoon season doesn’t start until August. That’s the wettest month of the year, and the Monsoon season often lasts until mid-October.

Monsoon Season (August – October)

Taj Mahal Three

August through mid-October is the Monsoon season in the area. It’s certainly not ideal weather for a nice trip, but there’s something charming about the Taj Mahal under the Monsoon rain. The grey skies can make your photos look a bit dull, but you can also get some spectacular shots of the monument in the rain.

The temperatures are lower than during the dry summer months but it’s still pretty hot in the area. The average highs are in the 90s while the lows are often in the high-70s. October is the coldest month of the Monsoon season, with average lows in the mid-60s. But, even October sees average highs in the 90s, so you’ll want to pack for both the extreme heat and the chilly nights.  

Rain is the main argument against a visit during the Monsoon season. If you don’t mind the wet weather, you can still have a great time at the Taj Mahal during the rainy season, so don’t dismiss this as an option just yet. In any case, it’s better to deal with a little bit of rain than to walk around when it’s more than 110 degrees outside.

Winter (November – February)

Taj Mahal River

There’s a bit of a debate when it comes to visiting the Taj Mahal in the winter. Some people think that this is the best season to visit the iconic Indian monument, while others strongly disagree.

The pros of a winter visit are slightly smaller crowds and generally mild, dry weather. Taj Mahal is busy on any day of the year, so there will be a lot of people there no matter when you visit. But the crowds are generally smaller between November and February, so there’s that.

You will have very pleasant weather if you visit in the winter though. It’s still pretty warm during the day, but you will need a lightweight jacket in the mornings and evenings. The average highs are in the 70s and 80s, which is still very warm for winter. The lows are in the 40s and 50s, so winter is probably not the ideal season for you if you were planning to catch a night viewing of the Taj Mahal.  

The main argument against a winter visit is frequent fog. It’s common in the mornings, and it can pretty much hide the entire monument. Taj Mahal is barely visible on foggy days, so you won’t be able to get good photos of the monument. But you can still enjoy the visit and explore the grounds – does it really matter if you can’t get a great photo of the Taj Mahal?

I’m inclined to agree with the people who think that winter is the best season to visit the Taj Mahal. The weather is great, there are fewer people around, and the monument is just as beautiful as it is in the summer or spring. Plus, if your photo turns out foggy there are other ways to capture a scenic Taj Mahal vista. Just head to the bank of the Yamuna River once the fog lifts and you’ll capture a phenomenal photograph of the Taj Mahal without having to pay the entrance fee again.

Which Entrance Gate To Use?

Taj Mahal Gate

It’s possible to enter the Taj Mahal through three different gates and the quality of your experience will depend on the gate you choose to enter through.

The West Gate is generally the most popular, especially with the local Indian visitors. It has the longest queues and it’s usually best to avoid using the West gate with one exception – sunrise visit. Early morning visits usually see the longest lines at the East Gate, so the West gate is actually the better option if you’re there for a magical Taj Mahal sunrise.

The East Gate is very popular among foreigners since it’s closest to the most popular hotels in the area. The lines at the East gate are generally not that long, except for sunrise visits. This is when most larger groups arrive, and the lines to buy tickets tend to be very long. If you bought your tickets in advance, the East gate remains the best entry point to the Taj Mahal.

The South Gate is the least popular entry point. It doesn’t open until 8 AM, so it’s entirely useless if you’re planning a sunrise visit to the Taj Mahal. Also, the South gate is closest to all the cheap hotels in the area, making it popular among budget travelers. There is a busy market near the South gate as well, and the chances of being targeted by pickpockets are much higher in this area.

Best (Time Of) Day To Visit Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal Sunrise

Taj Mahal is open from 6 AM to 7 PM except for Fridays when it’s closed for prayers. It’s also possible to view the Taj Mahal at night for about five days surrounding a full moon. It’s worth noting that night viewing is suspended during Ramadan, so keep that in mind while you’re planning your visit.

So, when should you get up to see the Taj Mahal? You’ll love the answer if you’re a morning person – sunrise is the ideal time of day to visit the Taj Mahal and for a few different reasons. You’ll avoid larger crowds and you’ll get to see the monument change colors as the sun rises, which is absolutely phenomenal. Just keep in mind that the ticket sales start at 6 AM and there will be a queue, so you’ll want to be there a bit earlier.

A night viewing is also a great idea if you’re in the area during a full moon. There’s just something magical about the Taj Mahal at night and it’s worth experiencing.

Things You Can’t Bring Inside Taj Mahal

There’s a pretty long list of things you can’t bring inside the Taj Mahal and it’s best to leave those items in your hotel room. There are lockers on-site that you can use to store the things you bring accidentally, so don’t worry too much if you leave some of the restricted items in your bag.

You’re not allowed to bring any food or drink inside the Taj Mahal, except for the bottle of water that’s included with the ticket. It’s also forbidden to have cigarettes and anything else related to smoking, including chewing tobacco. You can’t have headphones, wires, chargers, knives, arms (and ammunition), or any electric goods, except for still cameras. Video cameras and extra batteries are not allowed inside the Taj Mahal.

Drones are strictly forbidden, and photography is entirely forbidden inside the main mausoleum. Also, it’s worth noting that all visitors are required to remain silent inside the main mausoleum.

You can have your phone on you, but it must be turned off or switched to silent mode. Additionally, it’s recommended that you avoid carrying big bags and books – they’re not forbidden but having these will increase the time you spend at security checks.

Another thing worth noting is that all tourists are required to wear shoe coverings. Touching and scratching the walls is also forbidden. 

Beware The Scammers

Taj Mahal Tourists

Taj Mahal is one of the Eight Wonders of the World and one of the most popular tourist attractions on the entire planet. It’s only natural that such a high number of visitors attracts a lot of scammers. A lot of people will try to take advantage of you, whether it’s the taxi driver who takes you to the most popular gate with overpriced horse carriage rides, or the touts who present themselves as experienced guides.

There are around 50-60 approved guides at the Taj Mahal, and several thousand touts who often pose are guides or photographers. If you want a guided tour, it’s highly recommended to go through official channels and book something before your visit.

Scammers can also ask you to pose for photographs, and then they’ll try to sell you those photos at ridiculous prices or some 20,000 rupees. If your guide is also a scammer, they’ll encourage you to buy the photos because they’re in on the scam. Actual Taj Mahal photographers charge $1 per photo, so keep that in mind during your visit.

Also, beware of selfie seekers. There’s a trend in India that makes it popular to take selfies with foreigners and upload them to social media. This is particularly common with locals who live in some less popular regions that don’t see that many foreign visitors, and it’s best not to encourage selfie seekers at all.

Sure, some are just people who want a selfie with a stranger, but there are also people with criminal intentions. White-skinned women are the most often target of these scammers, and the younger they are the better. It’s worth noting that there is a police station at Taj Mahal, and there are lots of police officers in plain clothes who can keep you safe from scammers.  

Free Entrance Days

You can visit the Taj Mahal without paying an entrance fee during World Heritage Week. It usually starts in November, which happens to be one of the best times to visit the Taj Mahal! It can get quite busy during this period though, so be prepared for big crowds.

It’s worth noting that the entrance fee is much higher for foreigners than for Indian nationals. It’s about $15 for tourists, plus some $3 to go inside the main mausoleum.  On the other hand, Indian nationals must pay just 45 rupees ($0.6) to go inside the Taj Mahal, so it’s a pretty big difference. But this is because the standard of life in India is very low for the average person, and it just makes sense. Honestly, does $15 seem like too much money to see one of the Eight Wonders? I didn’t think so.

About the Author Anna Timbrook

Anna is the co-owner of expert world travel and can't wait to share her travel experience with the world. With over 54 countries under her belt she has a lot to write about! Including those insane encounters with black bears in Canada.

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