The Archaeological Survey of India has decided that Taj Mahal will remain closed on Fridays for the public except for those who go for afternoon prayers in the mosque next to the 17th century monument. The monument, which attracts thousands of visitors every day, previously remained closed on Mondays.
The Taj will remain open from 6 am-7 pm everyday except Fridays. Entry costs Rs 970 for Foreigners and for indians during the sunrise and sunset entry costs Rs 110 and during the daytime Rs 20/-. On Fridays, people will be allowed to go for the customary prayers between 1200 hrs 1400 hrs at the mosque in the Taj Mahal complex.
Described by the Indian classical poet Tagore as a "tear on the face of eternity", the Taj Mahal is undoubtedly the zenith of Moghul architecture and quite simply one of the world's most marvellous buildings. Volumes have been written on it s perfection, and its image adorns countless glossy brochures and guide books; nonetheless, the reality never fails to overwhelm all who see it, and few words can do it justice.
Play of Light
The glory of the monument is strangely undiminished by the crowds of tourists who visit each day, as small and insignificant as ants in the face of this immense and captivating monument. That said, the Taj is at its most alluring in the relative quiet of early morning, shrouded in mists and bathed with a soft red glow. As its vast marble surfaces fall into shadow or reflect the sun, its colour changes, from soft grey and yellow to pearly cream and dazzling white; it's well worth visiting at different times. This play of light is an important decorative device, symbolically implying the presence of Allah, who is never represented in anthropomorphic form.
Times of Day
The Taj Mahal shows a different aspect of beauty at different times of the day. The sight of the Taj awash with the subtle pinks of dawn is an unforgettable sight. Sunsets stain the Taj an exotic shade of orange. But nothing beats the poignant beauty of the Taj seen when the cool white marble is bathed in the soft silver light of the moon. Even in the bright light of the day, this wonder of the world shines with an awe-inspiring loveliness.
There's no time limit on visits to the Taj, and some people spend most of the day here, sitting, reading, dozing or picnicking in the beautifully kept gardens. Hawkers and salesmen are not allowed in, and official guides are not available on site, but can usually be provided by hotels, and always accompany organized tours. The ticket office, just outside the western gate, is rarely blocked by long queues, except between 4 and 5 pm before the admission fee increases; bring the right amount of money as the ticket booth attendants rarely have change and tend to pocket the difference.