Craig Ferguson , Aug 03, 2006; 08:25 p.m.
It's about 10 years since I was there, and a fair bit has changed. What I do know however is -
1)No tripods of any size allowed. You can apply can a special tripod permit from the government officials in Delhi, however this takes months to process. Sorry, I don't know which govt department is currently handling this.
2)I can't see why not.
3)You can take a camera bag in - but you have to pay extra for a camera. It's quite cheap though - not sure exactly what it is, as the price has changed a couple of times in the past 10 years.
4)I think it's 500rupees - which is about $US12. You check be able to find out easily with a google search.
5)Agra is a pretty awful city - I think the accom is probably just as bad. Can't help you there.
7)Morning (less people too), but shoot at both. I believe the entrance ticket is good for the whole day, so you can leave and come back (at least it used to be.)
8)Best alternative is to stay in Agra for the night.
9)English is no problem.
You might also want to check out Agra Fort, which is nearby (and has good views of the Taj), and Fatehpur Sikri, which is a UNESCO world heritage site nearby that was the capital of the Mughal Empire for a few years, and has one of the largest mosques in India. It's quite close to Agra.