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The Taj Mahal is located in Agra. It is open from sunrise to sunset, so timings vary around the year.
Entry Ticket Cost (Nov 2012)
Official Website http://tajmahal.gov.in/
The Taj Mahal is closed on Fridays and when VVIP's visit (normally for 3 hours).
Agra is 204 kms from Delhi, 235 kms from Jaipur and 125 kms from Gwalior - these three places are the main tourism hubs surrounding Agra. The most popular method of reaching Agra from Delhi is by train (2 to 3 hours) and road (4 to 5 hours), from Jaipur by road (5 to 6 hours) and train (4 hours), and Gwalior (train 1 hour) and road (2 hours).
Normally Jaipur and Agra are clubbed together as the famous Indian Golden Triangle Tour, and this journey is popularly undertaken by road when organised by tour operators (being most cost effective) and independently by either train or bus - both which have good and reliable services between Agra, Gwalior, Jaipur or Delhi.
Khajuraho and Gwalior as wholesome add-ons (3 to 4 days) while visiting Agra. Circuit: Delhi (2 nights) - Jaipur (2 nights) - Agra (1 night) - Gwalior (1 night) - Khajuraho (1 night) - Delhi or vice versa, the number of nights shown is the minimum required for basic well-paced sight-seeing.
To reach Agra by road you can hire a "Taxi" Car or Bus; or use Public scheduled transport.
A Taxi is a commercially registered vehicle that must conform to set road-worthiness standards and must be driven by a driver holding a commercial license. A commercial vehicle is bound to carry a First Aid Kit and the driver is First Aid trained, normally by the Red Cross Society or St. Johns' Ambulance. Passengers in a Taxi vehicle are legally insured as passengers. A private vehicle will be cheaper, but at least now you know what you will NOT get when you hire a private vehicle (anywhere in India).
There is a new Express Way to Agra from Delhi, which connects in 2 hours BUT the access points at each end in Agra or Delhi can take 30 to 60 minutes to reach, depending on which part of town you start from and the traffic conditions at that hour - this Expressway is best suited to early morning departures, say 0700 hrs latest. The regular roads from Agra to Delhi, Jaipur and Gwalior are is good shape - though maintenance work appears unscheduled from time to time.
State Transport Departments, such as UP Roadways, the Delhi Transport Corporation and Rajasthan Roadways, plus State Tourism Departments and private Transporters offer journeys to and from Agra.
The advantage of taking a Taxi from Delhi or Agra or vice versa is that you can visit Sikandra and Mathura and Vrindhavan enroute, between Agra and Jaipur visit Fatehpur Sikri, Bharatpur and Abhneri and between Agra and Gwalior stop at the scenic Chambal river that flows through the amazing geographical feature called the "Ravines".
By railway, the quickest is the Shatabdi Express, which takes 2 hours, leaving Delhi at 6am and reaching at 8am, and on the return leg leaving Agra at 8:30pm and reaching Delhi at 10:30pm (check exact timings online from the Indian Railways website). The Shatabdi Express goes on via Gwalior, Jhansi (for Orchha and Khajuraho) onto Bhopal (for Mandu and Maheshwar). There is the original Taj Express that takes 3 hours and now goes upto Jhansi. There is the convenient daily Udaipur Khajuraho Express (Train nos. 12965/12966), which connect Agra to Khajuraho, Jhansi, Datia, Bharatpur, Jaipur, Ajmer, Chittaurgarh and Udaipur. Research the Indian Railways website for train options.
There are no scheduled flights to Agra, however the airport is functional. Early November 2012 the Instrument Landing System (ILS), that facilitates low visibility aircraft operations, was made operational at Agra.
If you have deep pockets you can charter a flight to Agra. Air Taxi Operators are licensed by the Director General of Civil Aviation. Delhi will allow for a wider selection of aircraft as most Air Taxi Operators use Delhi as a hub. The choice in Jaipur is very limited and Agra perhaps nonexistent, the airport also being a military airbase. The flight to Agra from Delhi, Gwalior or Jaipur takes about 30 minutes (flying time). It takes about 45 minutes on average to reach the city center from any airport, plus time at the airports themselves, so the investment in time is around 2 hours 30 minutes on an average.
Fog conditions, normally between mid-December to end January can delay any form of transportation by hours, so be aware.