I visited the Taj Mahal and the soldier who searched our bags found that I was carrying a book about Africa. She flicked through it and then said that it was not allowed in. Indeed, we noticed (too late!) that there are signs at both the Taj Mahal and Agra fort specifically prohibiting books.

However, I was not able to find out why this is. The website only says that "big books and bags" are prohibited, but this book was a small paperback.

Also, the guard at Agra Fort found the book but allowed it in, although they seem to have the same list of prohibitions.

I wonder whether it is something to do with the Taj Mahal being Islamic (the book had pictures) or is there a different reason?

  • 5
    Someone on Trip Advisor reckon that Novels, newspapers, magazines or books other then guide books are not allowed. My guess is to spare the time checking every page of every book, they simply disallow them. Aug 28, 2022 at 9:17
  • @WeatherVane yeah, everything I could find only says it's about security check taking longer, didn't find anything why they ban books in general. Aug 28, 2022 at 13:30
  • 1
    @ShadowTheKidWizard it isn't books per se that they don't like, but a possibility of (perhaps unwittingly) bringing what they might consider to be disrespectful or offensive material into a Islamic site. Even stricter rules apply to the mausoleum itself. No printed material - job done. Aug 28, 2022 at 13:47
  • 1
    It's weird, I've viewed 7 separate sites so far, none have mentioned books not being allowed, and in fact, two recommend taking guide books along during your visit....
    – CGCampbell
    Aug 31, 2022 at 11:36
  • @CGCampbell Books are not allowed, the only thing allowed that is a book is the guide book
    – DialFrost
    Sep 8, 2022 at 8:10

1 Answer 1


Possible reasons:

  • Bringing books may result in longer security check time as suggested by this website. A lot of stuff can be hidden in books. Assuming this, they obviously would want to check the books, but is unlikely that the content of the book will interfere with whether or not you can bring that book in or not. If so, I have found nothing online about it.
  • Basically they don't want you to waste your time:

Bring as little as possible with you. Ideally your phone, your money and your camera, nothing more! If you have a bag, you’ll have to go to the lockers room. You’ll waste a lot of time, because you’ll have to do so after getting in. Don’t bring any books, notebooks, papers… Otherwise after getting in, they’ll ask you to go to the lockers room which is outside… And then wait again to get in… I saw a French girl in a fury because she didn’t know and they asked her to put her bag in the lockers room, outside of the Taj Mahal… Visiting Taj Mahal tips

Some websites even say:

To be honest, don't bring anything with you

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