ADD ON / side trip to Taj Mahal


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#1
Hawaii
336 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
We are considering taking the side trip from QM2 from Cochin India, to the Taj Mahal.
This would be in April, 2018.
Its about 3 days/ nights long, and you re-join the ship at Muscat, Oman. We'd love to hear from others who have done this, with both the pros + cons. THKS in advance
#2
Vale of Glamorgan
4,390 Posts
Joined Aug 2007
This thread is from a few years ago

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show....php?t=2090797
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#3
Hawaii
336 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
Thanks, Hattie------ I wonder if there are any folks who have more recent experiences? The ones on the link you shared are from 2014.
#4
Oakland, CA USA
2,199 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
I did not go to the Taj from a ship. I traveled with a car and driver from New Delhi. The roads were bad and the ride was uncomfortable, but it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life simply because the Taj Mahal is one of the most spectacular sites in the world, far far exceeding my expectations. Truly transcending. So whatever it takes to get there...do it!
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#5
858 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
It's already years ago that I have been to Jaipur, New Delhi and Agra and I commented the tour, which was very well organised by Cunard and went smooth without the slightest problem, which is remarkable when one thinks of travelling in India. I would like to add that you should be sure to arrive at the main gate of the Taj Mahal at dawn, before it all begins, to watch peoples' normal daily life in all its colours.
Having seen the Taj Mahal is something that one never forgets.
#6
Norfolk UK
797 Posts
Joined Aug 2010
The only slight snag at the moment is the ongoing renovation work. I know at times that lots of the building has been covered in scaffolding recently. Might be worth checking in advance.

Fodor's Travel guide has included the Taj Mahal on its list of places not to visit this year. "Unless your dream Taj Mahal visit involves being photographed standing in front of a mud-caked and be-scaffolded dome, maybe give it until 2019 at the earliest," the guide recommends.

That said, I know there are periods in between work when it's not too bad
#7
Oslo, Norway
910 Posts
Joined Oct 2001
The Taj Mahal is beautiful however it's also big crowded tourist trap.
I toured in India two years ago and I found the Taj Mahal experience the least impressive. Flights from Cochin to Delhi is already over 3 hours, Delhi to Abi Dhabi is 4 hours minimum. Once in Delhi you need to take a train/transfer to Agra which is 4/5 hours minimum. Sounds pretty exhausting, for just one crowded tourist destination. Southern India is pretty nice as well
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#8
Hawaii
336 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
milamber--thank you for alerting me ( us) about the renovation, and the FODOR advice.
Oslo Dutch --also thanks for your perspective...most of my 'hesitation' is based on the tiring aspect of getting there,
**an awful lot of discomfort for a small amt of benefit**
#9
New York City
164 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Hi,
I did the tour in 2016 from QE when we docked at Cochin. It was superb in every way. The flights were well organized, the guides were excellent and the hotels spectacular. The Taj itself is overwhelming in its beauty and technical intricacies; one’s respect for the ancient artisans and builders rises sharply. One sees a great deal of a much more vast country on the bus trips -some of it dismaying but nevertheless fascinating. India is so very complex and diverse that this organized tour is well worth it. There was a pre-tour gathering on the ship where the entire tour was described (refreshments and champagne are served) and any concerns raised and answered. We we taken to a firm where young men are being taught in the same astonishing artistic techniques used by the Persian artisans who were brought in by Shah Jihan to decorate the Taj. Of course they will sell you decorated items ranging from small boxes to very large tables -I have a beautiful table top from them.

I realized before her refit that QM2 had a magnificent long panel of the same inlay technique in the King’s Court-it’s gone and I hope it’s been preserved somewhere. ENJOY YOUR TOUR!
#10
Earth
20 Posts
Joined Jan 2018
While I haven't visited the Taj from a cruise, or with a Cunard package, I did live five years in India and have visited the Taj numerous times.

My most valuable suggestion is to arrive as early as possible, you will have a headstart on both the crowds and the heat.

Be prepared to remove your shoes at various places. The pavement will be hot, so bring a pair of socks to wear.

Carry only a small bag, you can not bring in a day-pack and finding a place to check a bag may be difficult. (On my last visit, a year ago, I left mybag with a shopkeeper near the entrance. This worked out well, but, I confess to being a bit nervous about it.)

All that said, I have never been disappointed by the Taj. I still stand in quiet awe and appreciation each time I enter and survey the grace and beauty of the building and its garden.

Enjoy your journey and experience.