Taj Mahal in a wheelchair

Saturday, August 27, 2011

 

I visited the Taj Mahal a little over two years ago and since then have wanted to share my experience. I am happy that finally I am doing so.

I had gone to Agra with my husband to attend the wedding of my first cousin. Since we were going to be there for two days a visit to the Taj was necessary.

The best time to visit the monument according to me is early morning before the sun is out, because the marble becomes very hot during the day and you are supposed to walk bare feet. I was of course on my wheelchair so the floor temperature had little meaning for me.
The parking is located about 1 km away from the Taj complex entrance. There are eco-friendly battery operated vehicles; rickshaws and tanga’s that are used by visitors to negotiate this 1 km distance. None of these vehicles are accessible to people using wheelchairs. Therefore the biggest challenge is actually wheeling this long distance on a manual wheelchair. I wish I had gone to the Taj on my motorized wheelchair it would have been far easier to wheel the long distance.

As a wheelchair users, it was good to see that the Taj Mahal authorities had put up wooden ramps throughout. The ramp gradient was not to bad either. This was a great improvement from the last I had visited the Taj about five years ago. At that time they had placed wooden planks in the name of ramps so I was pleasantly surprised to see these improved ramps.



Out of the three entrances to the Taj only the East gate has a ramp for a wheelchair user. The other entrances have steps. One can wheel all round the compound without a problem. Only thing being that the ramps are provided at the extreme end of the complex, therefore as a wheelchair user I had to take the longest route possible. The toilets are inaccessible even if one finds a cubicle in the gents section signposted as accessible toilet.

The main mausoleum has 22 steps and is not accessible. But in spite of not being able to see the main mausoleum the visit to the Taj Mahal was amazing and not to be missed for anything.

My quick tip for a wheelchair users who visit the Taj is -- visit the monument on your electric wheelchair. If you do go in a manual wheelchair then I strongly recommend you hire a rickshaw puller at the parking to push your wheelchair as there is a lot of wheeling to be done.

A review of the accessibility at the Taj Mahal:

Area
Accessible?
Parking
ý
Access Route to the Taj
þ
Entrance to the Complex
þ(only from East Gate)
Ticket Counter
ý
Locker & other Facilities
ý
Main Gate
þ
Toilet
ý
Drinking Water Facility
ý
Accessible route to the Taj Mahal
þ (very long route)
Central Pavilion
ý
The Mosque & The Meeting Room
ý
The Taj Mahal
ý

 

written by Shivani Gupta

Back to top