see + do
Taj Mahal, Agra
Tel: 91 56 2233 0498
Concierge.com's insider take:
The Taj Mahal, built in the 17th century by the emperor Shah Jahan to honor the memory of his wife, is one of man's rare creations that is as awe-inspiring in reality as it is in the imagination. To truly appreciate its beauty, the best time of the day to visit is at the opening hour, 6 am, when few other people will be there to watch the rising sun paint the white marble constantly changing shades of pink. The same effect occurs at closing time, 7 pm, except that you'll witness it with a crowd. The most unique time to visit is during the five nights a month, on and around the full moon, when the monument is open in the evening, and bathed in pale light that makes the white marble dome almost glow. For security reasons, though, nighttime visitors can't get as close as people can during the day, and they must buy their ticket in advance. If you decide to stay overnight rather than catch the train back to Delhi, the Oberoi Amarvilas is located less than half a mile, or about a five-minute walk, from the entrance to the monument, and all 102 rooms look out upon that most recognizable of domes.—Bob Payne
Open Saturdays through Mondays from 6 am to 7 pm, and from 8:30 pm to 12:30 am two days before and after each full moon.