Wednesday, 7 March 2018

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Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Famous places to visit in Agra

Famous places to visit in Agra

01 Taj Mahal

One of the Seven Wonders of the World, Taj Mahal is showpiece architecture of fine Mughal craftsmanship. It was built under the aegis of Shah Jahan as a memorial for his beloved wife Arjumand Bano Begum. Her body is enshrined in the tomb at the Taj Mahal.
The designs of this structure incorporate Persian and Mughal architecture. The highlight of the structure is the tomb which is a large structure made completely of marble. There is a dome made of marble that surmounts this region. It is spectacularly designed.
The exterior decorations are as impressive as the interiors and are consistent with the surface area and the proportionality of the designs is meticulously planned and executed. Paint was the chief constituent for the decorations.
In accordance with the Islamic doctrine prohibition, there are no anthropomorphic forms anywhere in the design scheme. There are multiple verses from the Qur’an used inside the complex.
The interior chamber is impressively decorated with precious and semiprecious gemstones. Geometrically shaped as an octagon, this space has multiple entry points. After you have visited the interiors, experience the salubrious gardens of the Taj Mahal when on a tour of places to see in Agra.
The complex is surrounded by well-kept gardens and there is a marble water tank in the middle. You can find neatly lined avenues of trees. There are plenty of fountains that are lined in order as well.
Located in Agra, the magnificent monument is open from sunrise to sunset and closed to the public on Fridays. The mosque inside the Taj is open for prayers though. Visiting this place is a beautiful and romantic experience.
02 Agra Fort

Also called the Red Fort, this structure dates back to the 16th century. It is situated near the gardens of the Taj Mahal. Made of red sandstone, Agra Fort has walls that surround for at least two kilometers and more. Inside are many splendid palaces such as Jahangir Palace and Khas Palace. It is over here that you will find the grand hall of audiences called Diwan-i-Khas. Also on location are a couple of magnificent mosques.
The Red Fort, like the Taj Mahal, is an ode to the rich legacy of the Mughals. These structures indicate the glorious past that existed during the medieval period, and must form part of any itinerary of places to visit in Agra.
The Agra Fort was built in 1565 under the aegis of Akbar. Situated on the right bank of the Yamuna River, this fort and the Taj form a unity of monuments. Both structures complement each other given that they are in the same vicinity. You can enter the fort through the Delhi or Amar Singh Gates. The bigger entrance is the former. As you go in the fort complex through the Delhi gate, you approach the inner portal. Also called the Hathi Pol this entrance is a magnificent one.
Inside the tower, you would be amazed at the Muhammad Burj which is an octagonal spire. The Shish Mahal is in this complex where you see some splendid reception rooms. The complex is beautifully constructed and palatial. The two mosques within this mosque are built of white marble.
The Moti Masjid and Nagina Masjid are the two mosques that leave you spellbound with their structural beauty. These mosques were built under the aegis of Aurangzeb. The whole complex has intricate carvings and most structures inside are made of pure marble. The influence of Indo-Muslim art is strong in these surroundings.
03 Jama Masjid

Of places to visit in Agra, the Jama Masjid is a magnificent structure. The original name of this construct was Masjid Jahan Numa. Built by Shah Jahan, the very best of artisans, sculptors, engineers and thousands of labourers were used in the construction effort.
For six years, all these people toiled continuously to build the Jama Masjid. The cost of construction of this structure was a million rupees. It is believed that several stones and construction items were gifted by nobles. The verses of the Holy Quran were recited before consecrating and laying down of each stone.
The Jama Masjid is essentially a mosque situated in bustling market of Chandni Chowk. The design is simple yet extremely artistic. At any given point of time the mosque can accommodate more than 25,000 people.
The mosque in total has four towers and there are three gateways to this place of worship. You can see two tall minarets of about 40 metres in height flanking the structure. The Agra Fort is on the Eastern side of the mosque.
The main prayer hall is articulately laid and the entrance to this space is decorated with high arches with cusps adorning them. You must visit the courtyard during special ceremonies, it is packed with devotees. You will be amazed at the strength of the congregation in one of the most beautiful mosques in the world.
Although you don’t pay for entrance, you have to pay for taking photographs. Visit the cupboard encloses ancient relics in the mosque that lies in the vicinity of the North Gate. Apart from artefacts see verses of the Holy Quran inscribed on deer skin. The Jama Masjid is located in Chandni Chowk area of Delhi. It is open on all days of the week except on Fridays.
04 Fatehpur Sikri

This is a historic city among the places to visit near Agra. The city was founded by Akbar who was a powerful Mughal emperor. Fatehpur Sikri was the capital city of the Mughal Empire for many years before Agra took this position. Akbar was instrumental in envisioning the city. He commissioned the building of gardens, harems, planned roads, mosques, and utility structures.
05 Itmad-ud-Daulah’s Tomb

This is a Mughal mausoleum known for its monumental architecture. The tomb has been built with red sandstone. This is one of the famous tourist places in Agra which is located in Uttar Pradesh.
Sometimes this structure is called Baby Taj colloquially. The interiors of the Itmad-ud-Daulah’s tomb have many facets that resemble the interiors of the Taj Mahal. Along with the main building, there are several buildings outside the complex. There are beautiful gardens that dot the landscape as well.
In the initial phase of its construction, the designs were made on marble based concrete. The subsequent phases incorporated the design characteristics of the Taj Mahal. Nur Jahan oversaw the building of the mausoleum. She was the better half of the Mughal ruler Jahangir. The tomb was for her father Mirz? Ghiy?s Beg.
The tomb is located on the banks of the Yamuna River. The structure is surrounded by a garden. There are water courses and walkways in the vicinity. Hexagonal towers flank the structure on its corners. The white marble used in construction has been procured from Rajasthan.
The designs are elaborate and intricate. The inside of the tomb is well-lit by natural light. Jail screens allow light to pass through. Not just Nur Jahan’s father, but many of her relatives have been buried here.
Itmad-ud-Daulah is remembered to this date for its architecture. It represents a glorious chapter of India’s history when the Mughals ruled the land. Their sense of aesthetics and architecture is astounding. Overlooking the Yamuna River, this mausoleum is an architectural marvel. It befits the tag of being called the miniature version of the Taj Mahal.
When you visit this place, walk around the tranquil gardens. Experience the freshness of these verdant settings in one of the most picturesque places to visit in Agra. Feel like you are living in a bygone era.
06 Akbar’s Tomb

This tomb is yet another masterpiece from the Mughal period. Akbar’s Tomb resides in more than 119 acres of land. Located in the grounds of Sikandra, Akbar himself started this construction 1600. As per the Tartary custom, it was a practice during that time to commission the construction of one’s tomb when alive. The construction of the tomb was completed by this son Jahangir.
Located in the suburbs of Agra, the tomb is only a stone’s throw away from Mariam’s tomb. Surrounded by high walls, the building is four-tiered and pyramidical in shape. The top of the tomb is made of marble. This is the false tomb as the real one is at the basement. The false tomb is essentially a marble pavilion.
The entry is through the South gate and is flanked by four minarets. These white minarets are similar to the ones found in the Taj Mahal. The structure is constructed using red sandstone. The deep red variety has been used and this aspect of the sandstone material gives a unique texture to the structure.
The panels that have been inlaid into the tomb are decorated with intricate carvings. The designs of the panel have different geometric shapes with some of the being floral. Some parts of the design have calligraphic designs.
There is a scheme behind the construction of this tomb amongst interesting tourist places in Agra. The Charbagh area is segregated into quadrant shaped spaces. Watercourses make this separation. This aspect replicates the Behistan concept in which the tomb is placed at the centre of the garden. The gallery is supported by massive pillars.
07 Moti Masjid

Built by Shah Jahan, the Moti Masjid is also called the Pearl Mosque. It is one of the architectural wonders in Agra. The reason it is called the Pearl Mosque is that it radiates like a pearl especially when the sun is shining bright. The mosque was exclusively built by the emperor for his royal court members. The mosque was built between the years 1648 and 1654. It stands on a sloping ground.
The pearly white insides of the mosque are enthralling to the eye. In the centre of the court is situated a marble tank. There is also a sundial made of a marble pillar and octagonal shaped in the vicinity. The main entrance is located to the East of the structure. It is huge and opens up to a better view of the mosque than the other gates.
The large prayer chamber is flanked by multiple arches. There are 21 bays inside the prayer chamber and some of them have vaulted soffits. The Western wall is the one that intrigues the most. The beautiful carvings on this wall leave you spellbound. There are even prayer halls for women at the Moti Masjid. This space is separated from the main hall. A marble screen separates the women’s prayer chamber from the rest.
Some people are of the opinion that some architectural aspects of this mosque resemble that of Moscow’s St Basils Cathedral. Located on the banks of the Yamuna River, the view from this mosque is simply amazing and is one of the best views amongst places to visit in Agra. To the right of this mosque is the famous Diwan-e-Aam.
08 Sikandra Fort

The tomb of Akbar is located inside the Sikandra Fort. A beautifully architected structure, it is made of deep red sandstone. The richness of the look and feel never fades away and is timeless. The tomb is located in Agra in a place called Sikandra. The fort and the tomb are excellent expositions of the combination of Hindu and Muslim architecture.
The fort stands amidst a lush garden which is enclosed in four high walls. Each side of the wall has a colossal gate. The garden is portioned into four distinct spaces. This is in accordance with the Charbagh plan that existed during that time to landscape gardens. The garden has plenty of fountains. There are numerous water channels passing through the garden. Paved causeways provide visitors a unique pathway to walk and experience the excellence of architecture all around.
Sikandra Fort is well-preserved and is among the top tourist places in Agra. When you visit this place you cannot deny the richness of the artistry on display. It is said that Akbar personally designed this fort. Many if not all elements of the fort’s design are a reflection of his personality and his taste in architecture.
The tomb resides on an elevated pyramid. This structure is five storeyed. The internal carvings are intricate and a tribute to great craftsmanship. The marble work inlaid into the tomb’s complex is perfectly exquisite.
The gateways of the fort are magnificent as well. These gates are made of sandstone and there are four of them. All gates lead to the complex and the Southern gate is the one that leads to Akbar’s mausoleum. This place is abuzz with visitors who enjoy the views around. Visiting this tomb complex once is not enough to detail the complete craftsmanship that exists here.

Other places to visit

09 Jodha Bai ka Rauza
This is the palace of one of Akbar’s queens who was his favourite. Also called Jodha Bai’s Palace it is a simple yet sophisticated building. It is situated in the vicinity of the Jahangiri Mahal.
Inside the palace, there are slits in the wall. You can see the Taj Mahal through these small openings in the wall. The architectural design of this palace incorporated Rajasthani and Gujarati designs. Located in Fatehpur Sikri, this palace is yet another example of Akbar’s strong taste and talent in architecture.
There are some aspects of the Jodha Bai ka Rauza that have resemblances to Hindu architecture. In fact many facets of this structure combined the finest details of Hindu and Muslim architectural designs. This place is guarded by a portal. Here were the residences of Akbar’s favourite queen. It is said that Jodha Bai was the third queen of the emperor.
Also called the Marium Uz Zamani Palace, the queen was actually a Rajput princess. The design of the spaces here has been made in keeping with the taste of ladies. Hence you find that the designs here are simple and elegant. When you peer up, you see the triangular shaped ceiling.
There are plenty of mural designs such as peacocks, elephants, lotus, and ghant mala. All these are Hindu designs. This indicates the religious harmony that existed in Akbar’s period and how people appreciated each other’s culture.
There are plenty of hotels around this palace for tourists looking for places to visit in Agra. You can find hotels suiting various economies here. Jodha Bai’s Palace is an important monument in the imperial harem regime of the Mughals.
It showcased their taste in aesthetics and how they treated their ladies. The architectural style of this palace combines several architectures. The fusion of multiple designs makes this palace an exciting structure to view and photograph.
10 Mehtab Bagh
This is a garden complex located in the vicnity of the Taj Mahal and Agra Fort. Located in Agra and on the banks of the Yamuna River, Mehtab Bagh is a Charbagh planned garden. The spaces inside the garden are equally portioned into separations. The square shaped picturesque land measures exactly 300 x 300 metres.
There were several gardens built on the banks of the river during the Mughal regime in all the places to visit in Agra. This one was the last of them. It is believed that this garden was built under the aegis of Babur.
The garden was first envisioned by Shah Jahan. He selected an ideal spot for viewing the Yamuna River. He wanted a pleasure garden lit by the soft rays of the moon. Hence he named this garden Mehtab Bagh. There are plenty of pools and pavillions in the garden. The walkways are covered with white plaster. There are plenty of fruit trees here.
The garden was made as an extension of the gardens in the Taj Mahal. The idea here was to make a moonlit garden. At night the pools here reflect the view of the Taj Mahal. When Shah Jahan wanted the Mehtab Bagh, he wanted the garden exclusively for himself. He wanted to watch the reflections of the Taj in the water pools and also enjoy the view of the Yamuna River.
The garden is now a horticultural delight. There are scores of plant species here. The Mehtab Bagh has been periodically restored by the Archaeological Survey. You can reach this garden on either side of the river. You can take a ferry ride for a few minutes from the Taj Mahal’s Eastern side to reach this garden. Experience a wonderful creation of imagination put into reality at the Mehtab Bagh.
11 Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity
Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of CharitySend Enquiry
The Missionaries of Charity centre in Agra is a branch of the Missionaries of Charity in Kolkata. Mother Teresa is one of the prominent saints who devoted her life to charity and the development of under-privileged sections of the society.
Be it the sick, orphaned or the diseased, such helpless people always received a helping hand from her. At the time of her passing away, her charity foundation was spread across more than a hundred countries. As part of the charity initiative, several hospitals, schools, nursing homes and counselling programs were set up.
The Agra centre also espouses this collective ideology and is one of the places to visit in Agra. When you visit the centre here you have an opportunity to do God’s work. You can adopt a child, provide education to someone, or simply lend a helping hand to solve someone’s pain. The mission relies on donations made by people. It is a non-profit organisation and a noble one. It is truly a great thing to know that this mission is located in Agra.
12 Wildlife SOS
This is an animal rescue and development organisation located in Agra. Established in 1995, Wildlife SOS actively works towards conservation of wildlife and protecting the natural habitat of wild animals. The organisation also conducts research in preserving biodiversity and creating livelihood means for poachers who rely on killing animals to make a living.
This organisation came at a time when India’s wildlife was under threat due to rapid urbanisation. It covers all type of wild animals including elephants and sloth bears, to the majestic tiger. Given that this is a non-profit charity organisation, Wildlife SOS relies on donations from the public.
If you are an animal lover, you can visit this place to make a difference. Your patronage is appreciated and you will be in the company of like-minded people when visiting places to see in Agra.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

16 Tourist Places In Delhi That Everyone Must Visit

16 Tourist Places In Delhi That Everyone Must Visit

All you have to do is figure out what you like, and choose from our list of famous tourist places to visit in Delhi across different categories.
1. The grand ‘Red Fort’

The Red Fort is an epitome of the Mughal era in India and is the face of tourist attractions in Delhi. Built in 1638, it is an outstanding marvel of Mughal architecture made of red sand stone. Within its magnanimous walls, the chhata bazaar and an every evening sound and light show are special attractions.
Entry fee: Free for children under 15, INR 10 for Indians, and INR 250 for foreigners
Opening hours: 9 am to 6 pm. Closed on Mondays
Must visit: Digambar Jain Mandir, Sis Ganj Gurudwara and Paranthe wali Gali nearby
2. The glorious ‘India Gate’
India Gate is one monument that defines Delhi or India for that matter. It was built in 1931 as a memorial for martyrs of World War I and war in Afghanistan. At Rajpath, the structure looks amazing in evening lights. The gardens that line the structure are a must visit among the sightseeing places in Delhi.
Entry fee: Free
Opening hours: Always open
Must visit: National Gallery of Modern Art
3. The architectural beauty called ‘Rashtrapati Bhawan’

On the opposite of the Rajpath is residence of the President of India. Not among the typical tourist places in Delhi, access to this grand piece of architecture is restricted. With four floors and 340 rooms in a floor area of 200,000 square feet, it has a huge presidential gardens (Mughal Gardens), large open spaces, residences of bodyguards and staff, stables, other offices and utilities within its perimeter walls. Just a walk past the monument will give you the idea of how grand the monument is.
Opening hours: 9 am till late evening. For an inside visit, one can pre book at the official Rashtrapati Bhawan website.
Must visit: Stroll through the road and you will get a glimpse of Parliament House, National Secretariat and Defence Headquarters
4. The mysterious ruins of ‘Qutub Minar’

Among the other places to visit in Delhi, Qutub Minar stands tall with its 73 meter tall brick minaret. Built by Qutub-ud-din Aibak, the structure has five stories abundant with chiseled carvings and scriptures.
Entry fee: Free for children under 15, INR 10 for Indians INR 250 for foreigners
Opening hours: Sunrise until sunset, Closed on Mondays
Must visit: Chhatarpur Temple
5. The equinoctial sundial called ‘Jantar Mantar’

Constructed in 1724 by Maharaja Jai Singh of Jaipur, Jantar Mantar is an astronomical observatory. Fascinating for their ingenuity, the instruments at Jantar Mantar can no longer be used accurately because of the tall buildings around. However, a visit to admire the science of Indian astronomy makes it one of the most visited tourist attractions in Delhi.
Entry fee: INR 5
Opening hours: Sunrise to sunset
Must visit: Central Park in Connaught Place and get a selfie with the largest Tiranga
6. The first garden-tomb of the Indian subcontinent: ‘Humayun’s Tomb’

A world heritage site under UNESCO, the Humayun’s Tomb was built in 1570 by Humayun’s wife Haji Begum. It is unarguably one of the most amazing works of Mughal Architecture to which Taj Mahal owes its design.
Entry fee: INR 10 for domestic and SAARC Visitors, INR 250 for others
Opening hours: Daily, up till sunset. Best viewed in the morning or a full moon evening.
Must visit: If on Thursday, walk to the Dargaah of Nizam-ud-din Auliya for a spiritual qawwali evening
7. The wonderful Swaminarayan ‘Akshardham Temple’

While sightseeing in Delhi, a visit is necessarily suggested to Swaminarayan Akshardham – one of the largest Hindu temples in the world. Built by the BAPS spiritual organization, it’s a stunning architectural work made of the pink stone and white marble.
Entry fee: Free, separate fee to view exhibitions
Opening hours: 9.30 am to 6.30 pm, Closed on Mondays
8. ‘Chattarpur Temple’ for its wonderful architecture

Set amid the beautiful surroundings of South Delhi, Chattarpur is a popular temple founded in the 1970s by Sant Shree Nagpal Baba. This divine temple has an incredible architecture and it’s a perfect blend of north and south. There are beautiful statues of Shiv-Parvati, Ram-Darbar, Maa Katyayani, Radha-Krishna, Lord Ganesha, Goddess Laxmi, and Lord Hanuman.
Opening hours: 4:00 am – 11:00 pm
9. The stunning ‘ISKON Temple’

ISKCON is a spiritual institution founded by His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada in 1966. You can see the beautiful visual presentations of Bhagavad Gita with colourful lights that create wonderful effect on the huge screen. They also organize beautiful robotics and Mahabharata show during the evenings. There’s a simple Govinda’s restaurant inside the temple premises, where you get veg food.
10. A remarkable landmark of Delhi: ‘Lotus (Bahai) Temple’

Famously known as the Lotus temple in the list of famous tourist places in Delhi, Lotus in the Bahai Temple symbolizes four religions namely Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Islam. This temple belongs to the Bahai faith which proclaims that all people and religions are united. Worshippers of every religion are welcomed here.
Entry fee: Free
Opening hours: Rrom 9 am till sunset
Must visit: Kalkaji and ISKCON Temple nearby
11. One of the largest mosques in India called ‘Jama Masjid’

Among the other tourist attractions in Delhi is the largest mosque in India–Jama Masjid. It can hold 25000 devotees at a time. It was Shah Jahan’s first architectural marvel. The mosque has four towers and the southern tower gives a stunning view of the city. You’ve to be dressed appropriately to enter the mosque. If not, rent an attire provided by the mosque authority.
Entry fee: Free, but videography fee is INR 300
Opening hours: Daily, 7 am-12 pm: 1:30 pm-6:30 pm. It is closed during prayers and the timings depends upon the direction of the moon
Must visit: Try Changezi chicken at Karim’s Hotel nearby
12. One of the oldest forts in Delhi: ‘Old Fort’ (Purana Quila)

In the list of places to visit in Delhi, Purana Quila is one of the most ancient grandeurs of the city. With rectangular dimensions, it spreads over a circuit of nearly 2 kilometers. Boating in the lake nearby and a sound and light show in the evening are special attractions.
Entry fee: INR 5 for domestic, INR 100 for foreigners
Opening hours: 7 am to 5 pm
Must visit: National Zoo and Supreme Court Museum nearby
13. The holy ‘Bangla Sahib Gurudwara’

With the gurgling sarovar inside its complex, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib was first built as a small temple by Sikh General, Sardar Bhagel Singh in 1783. The complex also houses a higher secondary school, Baba Baghel Singh Museum, a library and a hospital.
Entry Fee: Free
Opening hours: Everyday
Must visit: Rakab Ganj Gurudwara, Birla Mandir and St Cathedral Church nearby if you are on a sightseeing in Delhi
14. A memorial dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi: ‘Raj Ghat’

Gandhi Smriti shows you the exact location where Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated. The room is exactly how Gandhiji left it and that’s where he built his abode for 144 days until his time of death. The room where he slept and the prayer ground is open to the public. It also has a display of paintings, sculptures, etc. On the other side of the road is Raj Ghat.
Entry fee: Free
Opening hours: 10 am to 5 pm, Closed on Mondays
Must visit: Feroz Shah Kotla fort
15. The gorgeous ruins of ‘Hauz Khas Fort’ and the happening village

The Hauz Khas Fort Complex rests amidst the splendid beauty of a lake and is a 10 pointer among the very famous tourist places in Delhi. Firoz Shah Tughlaq re–excavated the silted tank and cleared the channels to give shape to what is a famous recreational spot in South Delhi. Built in the 13th century, is a hub of activities, a bird-watcher’s delight and a favored picnic spot for the locals.
Entry fee: Free
Opening hours: Sunrise to sunset
Must visit: Green Park (attached to the fort)
16. The haunted ‘Agrasen Ki Baoli’

Agrasen Ki Baoli, which is also known as Ugrasen Ki Baoli, became quite popular after Amir Khan’s PK movie. It’s infamous for its haunted activities at night. This 60-meter long and 15-meter wide step well in Connaught Place attracts many. You must pay a visit to this place while exploring the lanes of CP.
Opening hours: 9:00 am to 5:30 pm

History of TAJ MAHAL

History of TAJ MAHAL

Commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the remains of his cherished wife, the Taj Mahal stands on the southern bank of the Yamuna River in Agra, India. The famed mausoleum complex, built over more than 20 years, is one of the most outstanding examples of Mughal architecture, which combined Indian, Persian and Islamic influences. At its center is the Taj Mahal itself, built of shimmering white marble that seems to change color depending on the sunlight or moonlight hitting its surface. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983, it remains one of the world’s most celebrated structures and a stunning symbol of India’s rich history.
Shah Jahan was a member of the Mughal dynasty that ruled most of northern India from the early 16th to the mid 18th-century. After the death of his father, King Jahangir, in 1627, Shah Jahan emerged the victor of a bitter power struggle with his brothers, and crowned himself emperor at Agra in 1628. At his side was Arjumand Banu Begum, better known as Mumtaz Mahal (“Chosen One of the Palace”), whom he married in 1612 and cherished as the favorite of his three queens.
In 1631, Mumtaz Mahal died after giving birth to the couple’s 14th child. The grieving Shah Jahan, known for commissioning a number of impressive structures throughout his reign, ordered the building of a magnificent mausoleum across the Yamuna River from his own royal palace at Agra. Construction began around 1632 and would continue for the next two decades. The chief architect was probably Ustad Ahmad Lahouri, an Indian of Persian descent who would later be credited with designing the Red Fort at Delhi. In all, more than 20,000 workers from India, Persia, Europe and the Ottoman Empire, along with some 1,000 elephants, were brought in to build the mausoleum complex.
Named the Taj Mahal in honor of Mumtaz Mahal, the mausoleum was constructed of white marble inlaid with semi-precious stones (including jade, crystal, lapis lazuli, amethyst and turquoise) forming intricate designs in a technique known as pietra dura. Its central dome reached a height of 240 feet (73 meters) and was surrounded by four smaller domes; four slender towers, or minarets, stood at the corners. In accordance with Islamic tradition, verses from the Quran were inscribed in calligraphy on the arched entrances to the mausoleum, in addition to numerous other sections of the complex. Inside the mausoleum, an octagonal marble chamber adorned with carvings and semi-precious stones housed the cenotaph, or false tomb, of Mumtaz Mahal. The real sarcophagus containing her actual remains lay below, at garden level.
The rest of the Taj Mahal complex included a main gateway of red sandstone and a square garden divided into quarters by long pools of water, as well as a red sandstone mosque and an identical building called a jawab (or “mirror”) directly across from the mosque. Traditional Mughal building practice would allow no future alterations to be made to the complex. As the story goes, Shah Jahan intended to build a second grand mausoleum across the Yamuna River from the Taj Mahal, where his own remains would be buried when he died; the two structures were to have been connected by a bridge. In fact, Aurangzeb (Shah Jahan’s third son with Mumtaz Mahal) deposed his ailing father in 1658 and took power himself. Shah Jahan lived out the last years of his life under house arrest in a tower of the Red Fort at Agra, with a view of the majestic resting place he had constructed for his wife; when he died in 1666, he was buried next to her.
Under Aurangzeb’s long rule (1658-1707), the Mughal empire reached the height of its strength. However, his militant Muslim policies, including the destruction of many Hindu temples and shrines, undermined the enduring strength of the empire and led to its demise by the mid-18th century. Even as Mughal power crumbled, the Taj Mahal suffered from neglect and disrepair in the two centuries after Shah Jahan’s death. Near the turn of the 19th century, Lord Curzon, then British viceroy of India, ordered a major restoration of the mausoleum complex as part of a colonial effort to preserve India’s artistic and cultural heritage.
Today, some 3 million people a year (or around 45,000 a day during peak tourist season) visit the Taj Mahal. Air pollution from nearby factories and automobiles poses a continual threat to the mausoleum’s gleaming white marble façade, and in 1998, India’s Supreme Court ordered a number of anti-pollution measures to protect the building from deterioration. Some factories were closed, while vehicular traffic was banned from the immediate vicinity of the complex.

Friday, 29 July 2016

Things to Know: 10 Interesting Facts About Jaipur

Things to Know: 10 Interesting Facts About Jaipur

Jaipur is the capital and the one of the largest city of the Rajasthan state of India. It is the beautiful and magnetic city of India that attracts a number of tourists every year.It is the city that has the population of almost 6.66 million and is the 10th most populated city of India. It is the major tourism destination in India with the numerous cultural and traditional places.

Consider the following facts about Jaipur that you might not know.

1. The Pink City

Jaipur is called the Pink City because of the fact that the major structures and buildings of Jaipur are made from the specific pink color stones that embellishes the whole city with the signature pink color.

2. Hawa Mahal

The Palace of winds or Hawa Mahal is also located in the city of Jaipur. The Palace was built by the Maharaja Swai Parpat Singh. The design of this Mahal is like the crown of the god Krishna. The palace is made unique with the 5 stories like honeycomb maize with its 953 windows.

3. Jal Mahal

Another miraculous palace of the Jaipur is the Jal Mahal that is situated in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake. The Jal Mahal was renovated in the 18th century by Maharaja Jai Singh.

4. Cultures

Jaipur is the true representative of the traditions and culture of Indians. It is cultural lively city that has the combination of the true blend of traditional and modern colors.

5. Ghewar

The one of the popular sweet dish from Jaipur is the Ghewar. The sweet is associated with the Teej festival. It is a disc shaped sweet which is made with the traditional Jaipur ingredients. It is very popular sweet even outside the Jaipur.

6. The courteous Hosts

The people of Jaipur are the courteous hosts that meet and greet their guests with their majestic courtesy. They have been proved to be the best host even since the times of royal kings. They are famous for their true affection and compassion.

7. Folk Music

The Rajasthani music is yet still traditional and is rich in the flavor of Sufism. These folk music suits the needs and the moods of every person at every time.

8. The Elephant Festival

The festival of elephants is the colorful festival that is celebrated in the Jaipur. It is celebrated in the Chaugan stadium in the season of Holi. Festival includes the royal processions, elephant polo matches and races. And also the traditional folk musics and dance performances are the part of this festival.

9. Traditional Turbans

The people of Jaipur are recognized by the traditional turbans that are cotton candy colored. These turbans represent the impression of Rajasthan with the camels and deserts.

10. Ghagra & Choli

The women of the Rajasthan and especially from the tribes of the Jaipur wear the traditional vibrant colored Ghagra and Choli that are the long skirts with the short blouses. These Ghagra and Choli represent the rich typical tradition of Rajasthan.

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Thursday, 28 July 2016

New Delhi Facts

New Delhi Facts

Interesting Facts about New Delhi

Green Facts:

1. Delhi is one of the 'greenest' cities in the world with a green cover of almost 20%.

2. The entire public transport of the city runs on environment friendly Compressed Natural Gas.

Interesting Facts:

3. Qutub Minar in Delhi is the world's tallest brick minaret.

4. The walled city of Delhi originally had fourteen gates. Five are still standing. Here's the provenance behind their names. Ajmeri Gate: Facing Ajmer in Rajasthan; Lahori Gate: Facing Lahore in Pakistan. Kashmiri Gate: Pointing North to Kashmir. Delhi Gate: Road to earlier cities of Delhi Turkman Gate: Named after pious saint Hazrat Shah Turkam.

5. In between the rubble of the fifth city of delhi – Freoze shah Kotla stands the 3 century B.C. Ashokan Pillar. Emperor Feroz Shah Tughlaq brought this 27 tonne pillar to Delhi from Topar in Ambala, where the great Emperor Ashoka erected it.

Weird Fact:

6. Delhi has an International Toilet museum.

Spicy Fact:

7. Khari Baoli is the Asia's largest wholesale spice market. A must visit for the once-in-a-lifetime overdose of a spice cocktail high.

Random Facts:

8. Traffic in Delhi is like traffic in London. Drivers sit on the right side of the car.

9. Three-wheeled contraptions called Autos are a great way to see the city over short distances. And test your faith in God.

10. Delhi has not always been the capital of India. Under the British, Kolkotta had the honor for a long time till Delhi was reinstated in 1912.

11. Delhi has a rail museum with steam-age behemoths.

Fun fact:

12. Every Delhite is ever ready to help you out with directions. They will direct you even when they do not know what you are talking about. So check, crosscheck. And check again.
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Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Jagdish Temple, Udaipur

Jagdish Temple, Udaipur

Jagdish Temple is a large Hindu temple in the middle of Udaipur in Rajasthan. A big tourist attraction, the temple was originally called the temple of Jagannath Rai but is now called Jagdish-ji. It is a major monument in Udaipur. The Jagdish Temple is raised on a tall terrace and was completed in 1651. It attaches a double-storey Mandapa (hall) to a double-storey saandhara (with a covered ambulatory) sanctum. The mandapa has another storey tucked within its pyramidal samavarna (bellroof) while the hollow clustered spire over the sanctum contains two more, nonfunctional stories.

Lanes taking off from many of the sheharpanah (city wall) converge on the Jagdish Temple. It was built by Maharana Jagat Singh in 1651. It is an example of Māru-Gurjara Architecture.
We #specialize in #tours in and around #DelhiTour, world famous #TajMahalTour, the most #famousand popular #GoldenTriangleTour, The colorful state of #RajasthanTour, and the #Heritage and#culturetour in North #India.With us you can experience the real India, its life, people, culture and history with excellent prices. #letsgoindiatours
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