Taj Mahotsav is a regional Festival of Agra, which takes place for ten days. This festival is focused on recreating the art, culture, craft and the essence of Mughal reign in India. Starting from elephant processions to cultural performances, you will be experiencing every page in Indian cultural beauty during this festival.
History of the Taj Mahotsav
The festival is celebrated since 1992 and each year, a specific theme is selected to create the decorations and style of celebration. 2020 marks the 29th year of celebration of this festival. This festival was introduced by the tourism department to impart a stage for the artisans to showcase their art and craft to prevent them from vanishing from society. This festival stands for every cultural element built by the ancient rulers of the region.
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What to Experience in Taj Mahotsav?
Art and Craft
More than 400 artisans from around the country get a platform to showcase their art, craft, and masterpieces. You can find arrays of artworks starting bamboo articles to hand-made carpets. Some of these items are exclusively made for this festival. If you are looking to buy authentic souvenirs, this is the right place. Some of the top souvenirs to buy from the craft stalls are brass items, Gujarati carpets, Kantha silk, hand-printed fabrics, marble articles, zardozi embroideries, wooden articles, pottery items, and others.
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Dance and Music
Beyond shopping, this Mahotsav is the stage for cultural beauties. You can find numerous cultural entertainments like dance, music, instruments, puppet shows, stage shows and so on. Top performances to catch are Brij Mhumi dance, Sufi singers, celebrity performances, folk performances, Shayari (reciting of poetry), Nautanki (Stage drama) and so on.
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If you are traveling with your kids, you need not worry about boring them out with performances. The fairground is filled with rides and fiesta games starting from Ferris Wheels to train rides. Every year, the type of rides and activities changes and increases. Thus, you can spend a considerable amount of time in this festival ground.
The stalls around the festival region is the best place to enjoy local cuisine. You can find all the traditional dishes of Uttar Pradesh during this festival.
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Location and Time
This festival is celebrated in Shilpgram district, Agra from 18th February to 27th February, every year. This festival is celebrated at the Eastern Gates of the Taj Mahal.
Adult – INR 50 per head
Children below 5 years – free
Kids between 5 and 10 years – INR 10 per head
Foreign tourists – free
The tickets are available in counters, which can be found at all entry gates. The ticket you purchase includes all performances and programs inside the ground. The ticket rate change from time to time. Rates of the 2020 festival are not yet announced.
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Top Activities to Enjoy during this Festival
- Camel and elephant rides
- Train rides, roller coaster, and other thriller rides for kids
- Enjoying delicious cuisines of the land and watch many dishes being made
- Dance and music performances, classical art forms and other stage shows
- Starting from wooden dolls to silk articles, you can buy numerous items in the stalls
- Watch the procession of musicians, dancers, and animals. This procession represents the royalty of Mughal reign.
- If you are into photography, this is the best place to get some cultural shots.
- You can find locals in their traditional attires and lifestyle during this festival
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How to Reach the Taj Mahotsav Festival?
As mentioned before, this festival takes place in the Eastern gate region of the Taj Mahal. The closest railway station to the monument is Agra Cantt and you can find trains from numerous parts of the country like Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi and others to Agra, every day. From the railway station, you can find autos, cabs, buses and other road transportation to reach the monument. You can also reach Agra via other railway stations like Agra Fort railway station, Raja ki Mandi and Idgah railway station.
Either, you can take the luxury trains Palace on Wheels which starts their journey from Delhi. On Day 7, the train will reach the last destination Agra.
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The closest airport is located right outside Agra. Kheria Airport is 13 km away from the festival site. This airport is frequented by quite a few flights but, tourists usually prefer to fly to Delhi (international airport) and catch train or cab from Delhi to Agra. The best option to travel from Delhi to Agra is the Yamuna Express roadway, which will take you to Agra in just three hours.
If hiring a cab driver is too high for your budget, you can find buses from Anand Vihar terminal of New Delhi to Agra. There is a bus every hour and the rate starts from INR 700. If you are choosing buses, the closest bus stand to the monument is the Idgah bus stand, which is 8 km away from the monument. You can also find buses from Delhi to ISBT, which is 12 km away.You can also fly from Delhi to Agra but, it is an expensive option.
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