Tips on photographing the Taj Mahal

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The Taj Mahal is one of the most iconic buildings in the world. It was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a mausoleum for his wife after she died during childbirth. There’s a reason it’s one of the Seven Wonders of the World – it’s absolutely exquisite.

I was a little dubious before visiting because I’d heard mixed reviews about what visiting it is like. Some people had told me that it’s no longer that great whereas others had been completely blown away. I was definitely more in agreement with the latter, I thought it was incredible. I’m very snap happy anyway but as soon as you see it, it’s photograph overload and you just can’t stop, every aspect is so beautiful.

So I thought I’d compile my tips for photographing the Taj Mahal and making sure you don’t miss out on anything. All the photos in this post were shot on my iPhone 6. I’ve been finding that it often takes better photos than my camera, so don’t underestimate the quality it can provide!

Taj Mahal

1. Get there early

I cannot stress this enough! If you want a picture with no other visitors in then you’ve gotta be up there in the front of the queue! We arrived at 5.15am, forty-five minutes before they open. And yes, we were at the very front. But don’t you reckon a photo like the one above is totally worth the early morning? You may only be there once in your life so why not make the most of it and view this beautiful piece of architecture with as few people as possible! Sunrise is also the most beautiful time of day because the colours and light are exquisite.

Taj Mahal

2. Lie on the ground

You may be thinking, um what? But seriously, you’ll get such great perspectives and images from down there. And yes, I’m fairly sure many of the other visitors thought I had lost the plot. But did they get a photo like this? I think not. Just make sure you bring some hand sanitiser for afterwards and prepared to get a couple of weird looks.

Taj Mahal

3. Get up close

While some of the most stunning images are shot of the whole mausoleum from afar, some of my favourite photos from the trip there are of the building from different closer perspectives. Don’t just restrict yourself to the whole building, take time to appreciate the way the light reflects off of all the different sides and the ornate details that are so intricate it’ll make you question how long it took someone to do that.

Taj Mahal

4. Wear bright colours

If you want some really stand out photos then you definitely need to think about that outfit. I’m not usually someone that thinks in that greater detail about this kind of thing but I thought for the Taj Mahal it would definitely be worth it! By the time we visited we had already purchased some beautiful silky dresses so I decided to wear the brightest one I could find, which is the vivid purple you can see. The mausoleum is so white so the bright colours stand out even more and colour also adds a new focal point and dimension to the picture. If only I could have got rid of all the other little people around…

Taj Mahal

 5. The back door view

There’s a sneaky (or not so sneaky now that I’ve told you!) place to view the Taj in all it’s glory from an entirely different perspective. If you ask your tuk tuk driver to take you to Mehtab Bagh then you’ll not only have a very pretty walk through the Mughal Garden but you’ll also get to see the Taj Mahal from a slightly different perspective. I loved seeing it from here because you’re standing in a more rural setting which makes the mausoleum appear even more exquisite in comparison.

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    March 19, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    Wonderful tips an great photographs.

    Cest La Vibe
    November 16, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    These close up pictures are stunning! Never realized that the building was this detailed and intricate. I would definitely go early if it means shots like these.

    November 11, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    Very Good Info Awesome! I visit the Taj Mehal next time.

    November 9, 2015 at 8:47 pm

    These pictures are truly stunning! Thank you for the tips, I am going myself in a few weeks and I cannot wait to use some of your ideas. Wearing bright colours… genius!
    Love meg xox

    Kerjan | Backpack Babe
    November 9, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    LOVE the tip to wear bright colors! That’s such a smart idea. These pics are breathtaking 🙂

    November 9, 2015 at 5:36 am

    These pictures look like paintings! I’m in love!! Amazing job!


    November 7, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    I can’t believe you managed to get a photo without anyone else in it. How amazing!

    The Taj always seems to me like it would be one of those places that is extraordinarily beautiful but almost crap to visit because of the swarms of tourists that ruin everything for you. But I guess the secret is to get there early (as seems to be the case with any big tourist attraction in the world)

    Ása Steinarsdóttir - From Ice To Spice
    November 6, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    Haha…”Lie on the ground” If that doesn’t get the Indian people to take photos of foreigners then I don’t know what will! I really agree on going early, as soon as the crowd comes a lot of your time will just go in posing on photos for the Indians! 🙂 Also the sunrise is just stunning!
    Thanks for great tips!

    Anca | Globaloud
    November 4, 2015 at 2:02 am

    I’m not sure I could wake up at 4 o’clock even for this special occasion. It just seems too early for me. But I could always go there after party 🙂

    November 3, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    It would be a dream to visit the Taj Mahal in real life. It is like one of those places you can’t imagine to ever see!

    Omkar Sawant
    November 3, 2015 at 12:53 am

    In the last picture, Are you standing on barbed wire ??

    Sunsets & Bubbles
    November 2, 2015 at 10:04 am

    This is definitely handy! Going there in January, got me excited, amazing shots! 🙂

    November 2, 2015 at 7:06 am

    Beautiful photography!

    November 1, 2015 at 10:28 pm

    Beautiful pics of stunning Building:
    I love and know Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world in spite of its tragic history
    You have a interesting blog. I hope you will like mine
    many kisses

    November 1, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    Now thats some help I loved wearing bright colours. btw i live nearly 40 miles away and haven’t seen it yet, going soon. Thanks!

    November 1, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    The Taj Mahal looks absolutely fabulous! Wearing bright colours is such a great idea, and a very unique tip. Thank you 🙂

    November 1, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    Thanks for the great advice! I’m going to India in January and I can’t wait to see the Taj Mahal, I am so so excited!!

    November 1, 2015 at 6:54 pm

    I think the Taj Mahal is just stunning. I would love to see that building in reality. I probably go to India next year, so maybe then?

    November 1, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    I think the Taj Mahal is just stunning. Would love to see that building in reality! Next year I probably go to India, so maybe then?

    November 1, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    I’m from India, have visited Taj innumerable times but never went to Mehtab Bagh, thank you so much for sharing your lil secret, shall definitely have a walk there on my next visit to Agra.


    Kristin @ Camels & Chocolate
    November 1, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    Those photos are dreamy! Well done *slow clap*

    November 1, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    Wow.. this is awesome… india and the taj mahal are on my list to do … thankyou for sharing this

    November 1, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    Wow, it looks so amazing and exquisite! Thanks for the tips, you definitely took amazing pictures that captures the beauty of Taj Mahal!

    November 1, 2015 at 11:11 am

    How gorgeous! I’d love to go there sometime!

    November 1, 2015 at 10:00 am

    Wearing bright colors is such a good idea, and really makes the photo special! I always try to pick my outfits to go with the settings, although sometimes it ends up with me having way too many clothes.

    I love that last photo, especially because of the green in your pants and the background.

    November 1, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Wow you shared some great tips!! Had never thought of most of them!! 😮 they work for any photoshoot! Haha 🙂
    Thanks for sharing

    Xoxo Jessy