Taj Mahal now reopens to travelers. From February 14, 2022, all travelers can enter India without quarantine or nucleic acid test as long as you're fully vaccinated.
The best time to visit the Taj Mahal can be a little hard to figure out due to all the conflicting information out there. The truth is the Taj Mahal can be visited at any time of year and at any time of day. When you choose to visit depends on the type of experience you want.
For most people, the best time to see the Taj Mahal is at sunrise during the winter months from November to February. The Taj Mahal can also be visited during sunset or at night during the full moon. While winter is the most comfortable time to see the Taj, during December and January the monument is sometimes crowded and shrouded in fog.
Keep reading to learn about the advantages and disadvantages of visiting the Taj Mahal by season, by month, and by the time of day.
Because of COVID-19 concerns, the Taj Mahal is currently closed to visitors and isn't expected to open until the end of March 2020 or later.
Taj Mahal Restoration 2020
Since 2019, the Taj Mahal has been undergoing restoration and the cleaning of its white marble surfaces. To not damage this famous World Wonder, the marble is cleaned using a special type of mud that is packed onto the stones then washed off.
During 2019, most of the outer walls and towers of the Taj were cleaned and restored to their brilliant white shine.
In 2020, the main dome is scheduled to undergo cleaning and restoration starting in February and ending in September before the high season. This restoration may mean that the main dome of the monument will be covered in iron scaffolding.
In order to get the best photos of the Taj, it's a good idea to avoid visiting until November 2020.
Best Season to Visit the Taj Mahal
There is no definite best time to visit the Taj Mahal, but most people choose to visit during the winter (November to February) because that"s when Agra experiences the coolest and most comfortable weather.
During the winter months, travelers will be comfortable wearing pants and long-sleeved shirts during the day and may need a sweater at night.
Winter at the Taj Mahal tends to draw the most crowds, so it's a good idea to visit in the early morning and catch the sunrise before the crowds arrive.
The Taj Mahal can also be visited during the hot season (March to May). During this time, the crowds at the monument are much smaller so you can get better photos. Hotel prices are also more affordable, although you will have to put up with Agra"s extreme heat.
In the summer, temperatures can get up around 40°C causing discomfort and dehydration. During the hot season, we recommend only visiting in the early morning or evening.
The monsoon season (June to September) is the best time to visit the Taj Mahal for photographers who want to get photos of the monument without having to get people out of the way. The monsoon rains in Agra are not as bad as they are in other areas of India, but the weather is still likely to be humid and hot at this time.
Photos of the Taj are particularly beautiful after the monsoon rains while the marble is shining and there are fluffy white clouds in the sky. During the monsoons in Agra, it often rains for an hour or so every day. When it will rain is difficult to predict.
Best Time of Day to Visit the Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal is open every day from 6 am to 7 pm except on Fridays when it is closed for prayers. If you want to see the Taj Mahal at sunrise, it"s best to arrive at the East or West Gate around 5:30 am to get your tickets before a large line starts to form.
Taj Mahal at Sunrise
Sunrise is the best time to visit the Taj Mahal for smaller crowds. When you go in the early morning, you can also witness the orange light reflecting off the surface of the monument which makes for incredible photos. The earlier you get up and get your tickets, the more likely you are to have the Taj Mahal to yourself, especially during the offseason.
In the winter months, it can be pretty foggy in the early morning especially in December and January. On foggy days, you may need to wait until around 10 am to see the Taj Mahal clearly.
Taj Mahal at Sunset
Sunset is also a beautiful time to visit but is more crowded than sunrise so you will need more patience to get good photos. Sunset turns the Taj Mahal a soft yellow and pinkish color and if you wait until dusk you'll see the marble turn shades of purple and blue.
The sun typically sets around 6:30 pm in Agra and the Taj Mahal closes at 7 pm. If you want to get great views of the Taj at dusk, you can take a boat ride on the Yamuna River to see the other side of the monument.
Both small rowboats and dinner cruises are available. Rowboats leave from the nearby Krishna temple and dinner cruises can be booked through your hotel or travel company.
Taj Mahal During the Full Moon
The Taj Mahal is also open to visitors from 8:30 pm to 12:30 am on full moon nights. Seeing the Taj Mahal glowing under the shining moon is the stuff of fairytales.
The changing colors of the Taj Mahal are said to represent the feelings of Emperor Shah Jahan during his time with his wife Mumtaz Mahal. During the day the colors change from the rosy orange of new love at sunrise to the yellow happiness of a life together at sunset and the dark glow of life without her under the full moon.
The Taj Mahal is typically open for 5 nights during the full moon. You can participate in the night viewing 2 nights before the full moon, on the night of the full moon, and for two nights after.
Here is the schedule of full moons in 2020:
When to Visit the Taj Mahal by Month
Agra has a semi-arid and subtropical climate meaning that in the hot season it is extremely dry with temperatures reaching above 40°C (104°F). The monsoon season brings showers making the weather very hot and humid. In the winter, temperatures cool to around 23°C (73°F) during the day.
The two months with the best weather and clearest skies in Agra are February and November.
January is the coolest month of the year at the Taj Mahal with average highs around 21°C (70°F) and lows around 7°C (45°F), making it a comfortable time to travel in India.
The only problem with seeing the Taj Mahal in January is that there is usually a heavy fog in the mornings. The fog is often so thick that you can"t see the Taj at all. Most travelers will need to skip the sunrise viewing and wait until around 1 pm for the fog to clear.
February is the last month of winter and the temperatures start getting slightly warmer. This month experiences highs of 25°C (77°F) and lows of 10°C (50°F). February mornings can still be foggy, but some days will be clear.
If you want to see the Taj Mahal during sunrise in February, you may want to stay in Agra for a few days to make sure you have enough time to get a clear morning. The closer your visit is to March, the more likely it is that sunrise will be clear.
March is the first month of the hot season and while temperatures are still manageable, they start rising quickly at this time. Typical highs in March are around 32°C (90°F) and lows are around 15°C (59°F).
The morning fog is gone by March making it a good time to view the sunrise. Visiting at sunrise or sunset can also help you avoid the spring heat.
April is in the middle of the hot season when the high temperatures and dry weather are in full swing. This month sees highs around 38°C (100°F) and lows around 21°C (70°F).
During April, you should only visit the Taj in the early morning or at dusk to avoid the worst of the hot weather. Make sure to wear socks because you may be required to remove your shoes inside and the marble floors are often incredibly hot from sitting in the sun all day.
Foreigners also receive shoe covers with their tickets. These shoe covers can be placed over your footwear so that you don"t have to remove your shoes when walking on the hot marble.
May is the hottest month of the year with daily highs around 41°C (106°F) and lows around 26°C (79°F). Just like in April, if you visit the Taj Mahal during this month, you should only go in the early morning or late evenings to avoid the intense heat of midday.
Also, make sure to protect your feet from the hot marble floors either with socks or shoe covers.
During May, dehydration and heat stroke are major issues for travelers visiting Agra so make sure to bring plenty of water with you and consider carrying electrolytes.
June is the first month of the monsoon season and is characterized by hot and humid weather. This month sees daily highs of 40°C (104°F) with lows around 28°C (82°F). June is the dryest of the monsoon months with an average rainfall of 51 mm (2 inches).
June is probably the least popular time for travelers to visit the Taj Mahal due to high temperatures and humidity. If you are willing to face the heat and risk the showers, then this is probably one of the best times to photograph the Taj Mahal because so few people visit.
The rains also bring down air pollution and make for beautiful blue skies with fluffy white clouds.
In July the monsoon rains are in full swing with an average of 207 mm (8 inches) of rainfall. July is a little cooler than June with highs around 34°C (93°F) and lows around 26°C (79°F). July is also quite humid, but the humidity drop after the rains.
Rains usually strike in the mornings or afternoons. The evenings are often less humid and cooler making them a good time to visit the Taj. During the monsoons, it normally rains once a day for an average of about 40 minutes.
August is the wettest month of the monsoon season with an average of 272 mm (11 inches) of rain. Similar to July, during August you can expect high humidity and daily showers that last around 40 minutes.
August temperatures are similar to those of July with highs around 34°C (93°F) and lows around 26°C (79°F). In August, the rain usually falls in the late morning or afternoon so sunrise or sunset is a good time to see the Taj Mahal.
September is the last month of the rainy season and the rains are usually done by mid-September. Average rainfall during the month is 127 mm (5 inches) and the levels of humidity start to drop as the rains become less frequent. Daily highs in September are usually around 34°C (93°F) and lows around 24°C (75°F).
The last two weeks of September are still a part of the low season and offer good hotel rates and tour prices. If you are willing to risk a few showers, then it"s a more affordable and less crowded time to travel in India.
October is the first month of the high season and most hotels and tour companies raise their rates back to normal on October 1st. Temperatures start to cool slightly in this month with highs around 34°C (93°F) and lows around 18°C (64°F).
October is part of the post-monsoon season meaning that there may still be a few rainy days, but the month is overall quite dry.
November is the first month of winter in Agra and when the temperatures start to really cool after the hot season and monsoons. Daily highs in November are typically around 29°C (84°F) with lows around 8°C (46°F).
November mornings are often clear and pleasant without the fog that comes in December and January.
The one issue with visiting in November is the possibility of high levels of air pollution. India has struggled with increasing air pollution for many years and November is often the worst month because of the impact of the burning of coal to stay warm and Diwali fireworks and firecrackers.
December is one of the coolest months of the year with daily highs around 23°C (73°F) and lows around 8°C (46°F). Early mornings are quite foggy which can make it difficult to see the Taj Mahal during sunrise.
December fog in Agra normally clears around 10 am meaning that the afternoon and sunset are often good times to visit. December is one of the most popular months of the year to visit India, so be prepared for crowds and long lines to enter the Taj Mahal.
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