Life Full Of Stories

Taj Mahal on a full moon night!

ताज महल की ख़ूबसूरती चाँदनी रात में देखती ही बनती है….

I read this line in my Hindi NCERT textbook in a chapter on Taj Mahal around 10-15 years back and it got stuck in my head and sitting in my bucket-list since then! Taj Mahal on a full moon night!

Not many people know that, Taj Mahal which is otherwise open to public everyday barring Fridays, is open for night viewing on 5 days every month. On every full moon night, 2 nights before the full moon night and 2 nights after that taj mahal can be officially viewed during the night between 20:30 hrs. to 00.30 hrs., except Fridays again. There are 8 slots of half hour each in which 50 people are allowed in every slot. You have to pre-book your tickets (at least a day in advance). Until a while ago tickets could only be booked from the counter but now online booking option has been made available on the official website of the monument.

My Story

As I was logging off on a Friday it occurred to me that next 5 days, Taj Mahal is gonna be open for night viewing. I called on the the ASI number given on the official website but learnt that tickets were not available online and could be booked at the counter which meant going to Agra a day in advance. After a lot of calling I got in touch with an Agra based travel agent who would get the tickets. Co-incidentally only 5 tickets were available and I needed exactly 5! He got the tickets booked and sent me on my phone number.

We were given 10:30-11 pm slot and we reached just 5 minutes early at the Shilpgram entry point. From there we were rushed to the the entry gate of Taj Mahal by e-rickshaws and e-busses. After a bit of walking we reached the red sandstone bench at arch from which the Taj is visible. This is the most you are allowed to go while viewing the monument at night.

My experience was a mixed one. Although I was delighted to tick off a decade long item from the bucket-list as I saw Taj Mahal glimmering in the moonlight (without a single artificial light on), I was a tad disappointed too, to view it from a distance. Nevertheless, a once-in-a-lifetime experience as they say….

इक शहंशाह ने बनवा के हसीन ताज-महल
सारी दुनिया को मोहब्बत की निशानी दी है

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