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“Definitely one to miss” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Kalakriti Cultural & Convention Center

Kalakriti Cultural & Convention Center
41/142, A/1 VIP Road to Taj Mahal, Fatehabad Road, Agra 282001, India
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Ranked #18 of 67 Attractions in Agra
Type: Convention Centers, Cultural
Attraction details
Marlborough, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
153 reviews 153 reviews
100 attraction reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
324 helpful votes 324 helpful votes
“Definitely one to miss”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2013

In the first place we were told that this show advertised itself as a Taj Mahal Sound & Light show so we thought great, that sounds good. However, we were fooled, it turns out to be nothing more than a bad 80 minute or so melodrama and dance performance in a theatre with a 5 minute section at the end where they move a few lights around a copy of the Taj Mahal on stage. When we arrived we found hordes of tour buses with plenty of people there so thought OK, maybe this could be interesting if there were that many people there. Nope, nothing of the sort.. The large numbers of people says more about the dearth of things to do in Agra in the evening than any reflection on the quality of the performance.
The performance is a combination of conversations between a few people on stage, about 6 dances with larger numbers of people and some scenes mixed with photos or video projected onto screens. The performance is in Hindi but the problem is that the Hindi sound is blasted out across the auditorium at nearly full volume. Headsets are proved for the audience with translations in 10 languages I think but even with the headset volume control cranked up to full one could hardly hear the English translation above the Hindi. Plus of course at top output not surprisingly the sound from the headsets became extremely crackly so it was anyway quite difficult to hear. Mind you after a few minutes it became apparent that the scriptwriter should have been shot as the writing was just awful, I was embarrassed for the actors having to spout such rubbish though I think they were lip syncing anyway so perhaps they didn't care! The story was meant to tell of the building of the Taj but instead was just a soap opera about the intrigues between the different members of the Royal Family at that time. The dances were little better, very stiff and boring. The programme announced that they had specially hired a Bollywood choreographer to arrange the dances but it can't have been a choreographer of any standing as I am sure even I could have done better and I'm no dancer. Only one of the dances, the last one, had any sense of style or interest, though that was only compared to the other ones.
The only half-way decent aspect of the whole evening was that the performers costumes were colourful. We were told that they were accurate reproductions of local costumes and whilst that may be the case they certainly didn't seem to be accurate copies of Court dress for the period, far too stiff and heavy and closed up. I'm not an expert by any means but to me the costumes just didn't seem right for the Royal Court.
The organisers seemed especially proud of the large model of the Taj which appears on the stage at the very end and which was meant to have taken years to make and is they say a faithful reproduction of the Taj Mahal in the same marble. Well, maybe it is, but when you are seeing the model from the middle of an auditorium you just can't see any of the fine details, it really might as well be made out of extruded plastic for all one could see, so really is pretty pointless. Nor is it a 'sound and light show', just a few laser like lights moving back and forth.
Also the seats were not particularly comfortable being quite narrow though the one good thing was that they did provide a bottle of water per person by the armrest. Furthermore. the staff were not friendly and seemed quite surly. I do appreciate that dealing with hundreds of tourists is not likely to put you in a good mood, but still... Last but not least, the ticket prices were outrageous, at least for India, at I think 2,500 for the most expensive seats – which were about half the seats in the theatre, so even when one paid all that money for a 'best' seat one was still sitting halfway down the theatre! No photography allowed inside the theatre though I managed to snap a few outside and in the hallway.
Thirty years ago this might have seemed like an excellent show but nowadays with so many better entertainments available, no, a complete waste of time I'm afraid.

Visited March 2013
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132 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Sao Paulo, SP
Top Contributor
88 reviews 88 reviews
42 attraction reviews
Reviews in 33 cities Reviews in 33 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Canned cruise-like dancing show. Stay away !!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2013 via mobile

I was sold a storytelling about the Taj Mahal history with live actors. Let me tell you what I've got:
- Almost no history. The 80 minute play will have over 40 minutes of cruise-like dancing in disco-powder covered not-authentic customs.
- 10 minutes of showing off their Taj scale replica, so you fill atempted to take pictures with it (for a fee, of course)
- a building filled with aggressive people asking for tips for every interaction the have with you. Asked where is the restroom ? They will demand (yes, demand, not ask) a tip
- The few acting moments have all sound recorded and actors don't speak. Most of the acting is a recorded movie projected on a screen on the stage
All this and the cheapes seats will cost you 750 rupies - and for something that is not worth 75.
Bottom line: stay away ! Major tourist trap !

Visited April 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Top Contributor
431 reviews 431 reviews
180 attraction reviews
Reviews in 66 cities Reviews in 66 cities
147 helpful votes 147 helpful votes
“Taj Mahal show and artefact showroom”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 9, 2013

The Taj Mahal show is more Bollywood than actual artistry - but it will give you a great overview of the story of the construction of Taj Mahal. The model of Taj used at the conclusion of the show is a scale model, built specifically for this performance. The theatre foyer has some beautiful art pieces but the showroom has nothing special.

Visited March 2013
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Taipei, Taipei, Taiwan
20 reviews 20 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“It is ok to see but not a must”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2013

The show is not too bad but the Chinese translation was very terrible. It is very difficult for me to understand. I believe other languages are the same situation.

Visited April 2013
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Dublin, Ireland
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Fantastic Musical of Taj Love Story”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 4, 2013

After visiting the Taj Mahal in Agra there's a "Bollywood" style musical of the Shah Jahan and Mumtaz love story that is a "must see". Its the Kalakriti Taj Musical, bookable in advance. If you did not know the full story before, you will learn much more about both characters: that she was a wise counsellor to him and he was a visionary leader, who had a passion for architecture. He had an artistic eye and tore up many submitted drawing for the Taj Mahal before agreeing the final design.

Headsets set to your language are provided as the show itself is in Hindi. Sound is good quality and we also appreciated the complimentary bottle of water provided at our seat. The show is breathtakingly colourful when all the beautiful dancers are onstage, and the story is acted with great conviction. When Mumtaz dies half the audience were in tears, like me!

After the show, the main characters stand in front of the huge scale model of the Taj and one can have a professional photo taken which is printed immediately and is a lovely souvenir. The model is a wonderful thing in itself: a perfect replica weighing tons. It is made of the same Malakari white marble as the real Taj Mahal and inlaid with semi precious stones.

The show is a perfect conclusion to a wonderful day visiting probably the Red Fort/Jahangir Palace, then the lovely Taj Mahal. Another great day in India!

Visited February 2013
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