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Ways to See the Taj Mahal

Ways to See the Taj Mahal

By LauraUpdated Oct. 14, 2022

It may surprise you that there are many ways to see the Taj Mahal in Agra besides just visiting the Taj Mahal complex itself. If you want to learn about every way you can catch of glimpse of this world wonder from the most luxurious to the most affordable, then this is the perfect page for you.

Some of the most luxurious ways to see the Taj include staying at the incredible Oberoi Amarvilas, taking a helicopter tour, and taking a cruise down the Yamuna River.

If you are looking for something that is more budget-friendly you can view this incredible mausoleum from the Mehtab Bagh gardens, a rooftop restaurant, or a nearby temple. 

Every way to see the Taj Mahal, Taj Mahal from Mehtab Bagh

How to Visit the Taj Mahal Itself

The Taj is absolutely incredible to see in person with its soaring marble towers and intricate craftsmanship. This is India's most iconic monument and was created by Emperor Shah Jahan as a final resting place for his wife Mumtaz Mahal. We recommend entering the Taj Mahal complex at least once while you are in Agra.

The Taj is located on the banks of the Yamuna River and is open every day from 6 am to 7 pm except for Fridays when it is closed for prayer. It also opens 5 nights a month for night viewing under the full moon.

You can learn everything you need to know about visiting the Taj Mahal in this guide including ticket prices, what to bring, what not to bring, and when to go. 

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1. Experience the Luxury View at the Oberoi Amarvilas

The most luxurious way to see the Taj Mahal is to stay at the Oberoi Amarvilas. The Oberoi Amarvilas is a 5-star hotel that has consistently won the award for the “Best Hotel in India” and it's easy to see why. 

Located only 600 meters (0.5 miles) from the Taj, this hotel offers stunning views of the monument from each of its 102 rooms. The Oberoi Amarvilas has hosted royalty and celebrities who come to take in the view of the Taj from their balconies while sipping champagne.

The Oberoi Amarvilas sits on nine acres of pools, pavilions, and terraced gardens. The hotel itself is also beautiful with architecture inspired by the Taj Mahal's design and symmetry. 

The Oberoi Amarvilas truly makes guests feel like royalty by offering rare private balcony views of the world wonder. The hotel also contains one of the most luxurious spas in India and Agra's top fine dining restaurant.

Price: 700 to 900 USD a night during the high season

More guides about seeking the best places for night views of the Taj 

2. Take a Helicopter Ride From Delhi

Another incredible way to see the Taj Mahal is from the air in a helicopter. Agra and the Taj Mahal are only a short flight from Delhi, the capital of India. On the way, the helicopter will take you over the most incredible monuments in both Delhi and Agra including the Red Fort, the Agra Fort, and the Taj Mahal. 

Witness this world wonder in all its glory from the air where you can take in sweeping views of the entire garden complex and the Yamuna River below.

Once you have seen all these iconic monuments from the helicopter, land in Agra where you will get into a private car and visit the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort in person.

Luxury private helicopter tours also include lunch, refreshments, and a private guide.

Price: around 3000 USD per person

3. Cruise Down the Yamuna River

Taj Mahal cruise Taj Mahal cruise

Besides seeing the Taj Mahal from the Oberoi Amarvilas or a helicopter, taking in the views of this Mughal monument from the Yamuna River is the next best thing. This iconic symbol of India is located right on the banks of the river and as the boat passes by, you"ll be treated to wonderful up-close views of the monument without the crowds. 

Most Yamuna River cruises start in New Delhi where travelers can explore important heritage sites like the Red Fort and Jama Masjid. The boat then travels down the Yamuna which is one of India"s major waterways and is surrounded by farms, cities, and villages.

Avalon Waterways offers a Ganges River cruise that stops in many major cities to see all the great monuments of India and includes a segment down the Yamuna to see the Taj Mahal. 

Price: Yamuna and Ganges River cruises range in price from around 3000 to 8000 USD a person

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4. Book a Hotel with a View

Although the Oberoi Amarvilas luxury hotel has unbeatable balcony views, there are other hotels in Agra that offer views of the Taj from their rooftops. These hotels include 5-star options as well as some mid-range choices. 

The DoubleTree by Hilton is located only a few miles away from the Taj Mahal and offers nice views of the monument from its deck along where you can relax with a beverage. Hotel Clarks Shiraz is another great 5-star option that includes onsite restaurants, swimming pools, and a sauna. 

Travelers who are looking for more affordable hotels can try the famous Saniya Palace hotel which is located on the southern side of the Taj and has very basic low-cost rooms available. The star of this hotel is the terrace restaurant. 

Price: around 100 USD per night for the DoubleTree by Hilton

5. View the Taj Mahal from Mehtab Bagh

Taj Mahal Mehtab Bagh Taj Mahal Mehtab Bagh

Mehtab Bagh is a Mughal garden located just across the river from the Taj Mahal. This is one of the best places in the city to go at sunset. The Mehtab Bagh garden itself is also beautiful containing lawns and trees that line up perfectly with the Taj Mahal creating the classic shot of the monument.

Mehtab Bagh was constructed long before the Taj Mahal by Emperor Babur. This garden follows the principles of Islamic gardens of paradise which are often perfectly symmetrical and split into four sections. 

The ticket office for the garden closes around 30 minutes before sunset so make sure to get there early enough to get inside and snap the perfect photo. Mehtab Bagh can get a little crowded at sunset and you may need to be patient to find a good photo spot.

Price: entrance to the park costs 300 rupees (4 USD) for foreigners 

6. Grab a Bite to Eat at a Hotel with a Rooftop Restaurant

Taj Mahal from a rooftop restaurant in Taj Ganj Taj Mahal from a rooftop restaurant in Taj Ganj

Taj Ganj, the area on the south side of the Taj Mahal, contains many restaurants that offer views of the monument from their rooftops. Many of the views will only show the top portion of the Taj and may also have other buildings in the way, but it is still a great place to relax during lunch or dinner.

The Saniya Palace is not just a hotel but is also a restaurant with terrace views of the nearby world wonder. This is a great place to go for a quick snack and coffee during the day. You can also try out the rooftop restaurant at Hotel Kamal which is slightly farther away from the Taj than Saniya Palace. 

The Shanti Lodge is another option for an inexpensive hotel with a nice terrace restaurant. 

Price: depends on what you order (It's okay just to get a coffee or beer)

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7. Take in the Views from the Banks of the Yamuna River

Along the eastern wall of the Taj Mahal complex, is a pathway that leads down to the Yamuna River where there is a small Krishna temple. This temple is often used by locals and offers a unique view of the nearby world wonder. 

From here, you can also book a small rowboat to take you out into the middle of the river for a better view. These boats do not have tourist permits and are not officially allowed to carry travelers, so you can get one at your own risk. 

Price: the view from the temple is free and the boat ride will cost around 250 to 1000 rupees depending on your bartering skills and the size of your camera

8. Experience Shah Jahan"s View of the Taj From the Agra Fort

Agra Fort Taj Mahal Agra Fort Taj Mahal

The Agra Fort is another of the city"s UNESCO World Heritage Sites and was built by various Mughal emperors including Shah Jahan, the builder of the Taj Mahal.

Inside the fort, you"ll find various palaces and royal structures as well as the room where Shah Jahan was imprisoned for the later part of his life with a view of the Taj Mahal, the final resting place of his wife, in the distance.

The Taj Mahal is decently far from the Agra Fort so you will need a really good zoom lens to get a nice photo of the monument. If you do have a zoom lens and go to the Agra Fort at sunrise, you can capture the moment that the sun emerges between the monument"s two minarets. 

Price: the entrance fee to the Agra Fort is 550 rupees (7 USD)

9. Take a Taj Nature Walk

 Taj Mahal Taj Mahal

The Taj Nature Walk is a park that is located near the Taj Mahal. From here you can get nice views of the top of the monument peaking over the trees while also appreciating a peaceful and quiet escape from the bustling streets of Agra. 

The Nature Walk is mainly used by locals and includes multiple paths from which you can glimpse local wildlife like kingfishers, 46 varieties of flowers, and jackals. The park also includes several mounds and watchtowers to help visitors see the Taj Mahal. 

Price: entrance costs 100 rupees (1.30 USD) for foreigners

10. Climb a Nearby Abandoned Watchtower

On the eastern side of the Taj Mahal across a sandy field, there is an abandoned watchtower that makes a great place to view the monument at sunset. To reach the tower, take the road from the east gate and then take a right at the fork. 

You may be able to enter the tower for free, but it is likely you will need to pay the guard around 50 rupees to get in.

Price: 50 rupees  

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