Istalif lies north of Kabul in the Koh Daman - a valley ringed by barren hills dotted with villages nestled within green orchards. It is one the largest, most ancient and loveliest of them all. Istalif is famous for its green and blue pottery and its picturesque bazar. A visit to this place combines beautiful scenery with an introduction to Afghan village life.
The mausoleum stands in the center of Kabul in Zarnegar ("Adorned with Gold") Park. A long inscription beside the main entrance relates the story of how the stucture was first built by Amir Abdur Rahman (1880-1901) as a small private palace. The building has a bulbous red dome atop a whitewashed drum, and fussy decorative minarets. The cupola and minarets were added by his son, Amir Habibullah (1901-1919) constructed the mosque beside the mausoleum. The mausoleum itself is closed to visitors. On the opposite side of the park a huge new mosque was under construction when we visited, named for its private benefactor - confusingly called Haji Abdul Rahman
Laid out by Babur, the founder of the Mogul Dynasty, in the middle of the 16th Century, the gardens include a summer pavilion added by Amir Abdur Rahman, a commemorative mosque built by Emperor Shah Jahan and the tomb of Babur himself. Babur died in Agra in 1530 but he so loved these gardens that he asked to be buried here, a wish was fulfilled by his Afghan wife "Bibi Mobaraka".
Big Almaty Lake is located 28.5km south of Almaty up a gorge of the Bolshaya Almatinka River, 2,511m above sea level. The lake is within the Alatau – Eliy National park and both the Gorge and the lake are an attraction for visitors using Almaty as their base. The lake is used for both hydro electric power, and the water supply for the city, but this does not detract from the magnificent mountain scenery.
The mountains, Sovetov to the southeast, Ozyorny to the south and Tourism to the southwest form a backdrop on all sides to the lake, producing some spectacular reflections, changing colour throughout the seasons. All three mountains are around the 4,000 metres high, with a glacial water running down towards the lake.
The lake itself is about 1 km wide and 1.6 km long, with a depth of about 40 mtrs. It can be accessed by road or by foot, although a bus ride to the beginning of the assent, places you directly into the scenic area.
A beautiful and open place to enjoy the culture of Almaty: The Republic Square in Almaty is the home to the Akimat House, the Monument of Independence, The Presidential Residence, The Foundation of the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The Central State Museum of the Republic of Kazakhstan is right nearby.
The history of Kazakhstan from prehistoric times to the present day is collected within the walls of this museum. Mammoth skeletons, national costumes and horse harness, guns from the Second World War - each exhibit in the museum has its own special history and is ready to open it to grateful listeners with the help of experienced guides. You may find over 300 thousand items in the collection of the fund.
The area of the Museum building is about 20 thousand square meters, while the spectator-accessible exhibition part is only 7000 sq. m. This museum is the most visited in the Republic. Every year it is visited by 130 thousand people, the museum's directorate holds about 100 lectures on various topics a year, holds more than 30 exhibitions, special offers and cultural and educational programs.
The hill the mast stands on is the highest point of the city of Almaty at 1100 metres and the mast itself is 350 meters tall. The viewpoint from Kok-tobe is well worth a visit with panoramic views of the city in all directions. A cable car ride is a really good way to the top of Kok-tobe Hill and see the view of surrounding mountains, the start of which is located close to the Hotel Kazakhstan. The cable car goes over some of the oldest parts of Almaty and it’s interesting to see the old fruit growing gardens.
There is a charge for both the cable car and also, if you chose to walk up it.
A new Ferris wheel was also installed to the park. Generally, a good place for a family day out or walk with a view. A really good place also to go in the evening to view the city lights.
Also, known as the ‘Zenkov Cathedral’, Ascension Cathedral is one of the most beautiful, magnificent and architectural monument of the city of Almaty with the height of 56 meters and is located in the green Panfilov Park of Almaty. A. Zenkov had supervised the construction of this cathedral in the early 19th century and legend goes that it was built without a single nail. But unfortunately, it’s not true. Although the design is remarkably unique but it’s because of the advanced technological expertise of that time. They used the construction concept of Semi ruche which meant using of reinforced concrete, timber preservation and ventilation.
The Ascension Cathedral is entirely built in wood with intricate detailing and connected with iron bolts. The chief architect Zenkov ensured that it had a ‘flexible construction’. The external view of the cathedral boasts of some bright walls and multi coloured domes which is similar to the architecture of St. Petersburg. After many ups and downs in the restoration and religious upheavals, orthodox services began again in the cathedral and ever since it’s a pilgrimage for many Christians and a colourful attraction for all the Non-Christians.
Panfilovets’ Park is located in central-east Almaty in the area surrounding Zenkov Cathedral. The park is dedicated and named after the Panfilov Heroes. The memorial in the park is in memory of the 28 soldiers of an Almaty infantry unit who died fighting the Nazis outside Moscow. Ivan Panfilov was the name of the General commanding the 316 division who, in spite of suffering heavy casualties, managed to significantly delay the enemy’s advance on the capital, buying time for the defenders of the city.
An eternal flame commemorating the fallen of 1917-20 (the Civil War) and 1941-45 (WWII), burns in front of the giant black monument of soldiers from all 15 Soviet republics.
The Park itself is a very popular local green area within the city of Almaty. A good place to sit, rest and contemplate the sights of the city.
The Medeo outdoor ice skating ring is designed as a huge speed skating and Bandy area. Bandy is a team winter sport played on ice, in which skaters use sticks to direct a ball into the opposing team’s goal.
The Medeo rink was constructed in 1949, and the first competition took place at the stadium on the February 4th, 1951. To begin with it was naturally frozen by its location, but, to control its use, it now has a normal refrigerated
The statistics of the ring are really impressive. It is located on the eastern outskirts of Almaty at an altitude of 1,69o metres and has an area of 10.5 thousand square meters of ice. The altitude has made the ring the highest skating ring in the world.
The Shymbulak Ski Resort is located 25 km outside Almaty city. There are three ski lifts at the resort with the highest going to 3200 meters above sea level. There is also a Hotel located at the Resort, enabling those wishing to ski during the day, have a place to stay at night.
The resort is located in the upper part of the Medeu Valley in the Zaiilisky Alatau mountain range. It is popular for its mild climate, large quantity of sunny days and great amount of snow through the winter (from November till May).
Almaty hosted the 2011 Asian Winter Games, bid for 2014 Winter Olympics, considered a bid for 2018 Winter Olympics, but decided to bid for 2022 Winter Olympics instead; Shymbulak was a venue for the Alpine Skiing events (both speed and technical), and would have been for the latter.
The international border between India and Pakistan. The pomp and pageantry of the Beating Retreat and the Change of Guard within handshaking distance of the Indian and Pakistani forces makes for a most charming spectacle.
The Partition of India was one of the most defining events in the history of the subcontinent. It remains till date the largest mass migration in human history. Yet, despite the extensive loss to life and property, almost 70 years later there existed a severe lacuna that no museum or memorial existed anywhere in the world to remember all those millions.
With the support of hundreds of people, who donated their time, family objects, funds, and skills, the Partition Museum worked towards opening the entire Museum in time to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Partition. The opening date for all fourteen galleries was decided as 17 August to mark the day that the Radcliffe award was announced. On 17 August 2017, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Punjab, Shri Amarinder Singh, dedicated the Partition Museum to the nation. It was marked as Partition Remembrance Day in tribute to the millions impacted.
Since then over a hundred thousand visitors have come to the Partition Museum. It continues to build its collections and archives and welcomes support in its continued quest to document and remember the history of the millions impacted at the time of the Partition.
Sri Harmandir Sahib, also known as Sri Darbar Sahib or Golden Temple, (on account of its scenic beauty and golden coating for English speaking world), is named after Hari (God) the temple of God. The Sikhs all over the world, daily wish to pay a visit to Sri Amritsar and to pay obeisance at Sri Harmandir Sahib in their Ardas.
Guru Arjan Sahib, the Fifth Nanak, conceived the idea of creating a central place of worship for the Sikhs and he himself designed the architecture of Sri Harmandir Sahib. Earlier the planning to excavate the holy tank (Amritsar or Amrit Sarovar) was chalked out by Guru Amardas Sahib, the Third Nanak, but it was executed by Guru Ramdas Sahib under the supervision of Baba Budha ji. The land for the site was acquired by the earlier Guru Sahibs on payment or free of cost from the Zamindars (landlords) of native villages. The plan to establish a town settlement was also made. Therefore, the construction work on the Sarovar (the tank) and the town started simultaneously in 1570. The work on both projects completed in 1577 A.D.
The memorial at this site commemorates the 2000 Indians who were killed or wounded, shot indiscriminately by the British under the command of Gen Michael O"Dyer on April13, 1919 while participating in a peaceful public meeting.
Chandigarh War Memorial perhaps the largest War Memorial of the country, with nearly 8459 names of the Deceased Soldiers since 1947 from Army Air Force and Navy stands located in the serene and beautiful Bougainvillea garden of Chandigarh and was inaugurated by H’ble President of India Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam on 17th August, 2006.
The Government Museum and Art Gallery in Sector 10 of Chandigarh has a fine collection of stone sculptures of the Gandhara period. The museum is the place to see the prehistoric fossils and artifacts along with modern art and miniature paintings. T
Chandigarh has the distinction of having a unique world acclaimed Rock Garden. It Consist of art object, fashioned from industrial and urban waste. It is situated between the capital complex and Sukhna lake in Sector1.
Laxmi Niwas Palace was the residence of the king of Bikaner, Maharaja Ganga Singh. Built between 1898 and 1902 by British architect Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob, this structure displays an Indo-Saracenic architectural style. It is now a luxury hotel.
It is one of the oldest temples in Dehradun, dedicated to lord Shiva, it is at the distance of 5.5 km from city bus-stand and well connected by road. A fair is organized every year on the occasion of Shivratri.
Malsi Deer Park is situated in the beautiful city of Dehradun and is a heaven for nature lovers. One gets to explore the wilderness and unparalleled beauty here like never before. The park is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna and offers to be a great relaxing point when one wishes to take a break from the humdrums of city life.
Junagarh is an impregnable bastion that holds the distinction of having never been captured. It was constructed in 1588 AD by Raja Rai Singh, one of Emperor Akbar’s most distinguished generals. The fort complex houses some magnificent palaces constructed in red sandstone and marble and visitors can feast their eyes on an attractive assortment of courtyards, balconies, kiosks and windows.
This place has historical significance from the time of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. The Sikh guru Ram Rai ji, the eldest son of the Seventh Sikh Guru Har Rai Ji, stayed here in 1676 and now it has changed into pilgrimage place for Sikhs.
The Red sandstone walls of the massive Red Fort (Lal Qila) rise 33-m above the clamour of Old Delhi as a reminder of the magnificent power and pomp of the Mughal emperors. The walls, built in 1638, were designed to keep out invaders, now they mainly keep out the noise and confusion of the city.
This great mosque of Old Delhi is the largest in India, with a courtyard capable of holding 25,000 devotees. It was begun in 1644 and ended up being the final architectural extravagance of Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor who built the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort.
The highly decorative mosque has three great gates, four towers and two 40 m-high minarets constructed of strips of red sandstone and
white marble. Travellers can hire robes at the northern gate. This may be the only time you get to dress like a local without feeling like an outsider so make the most of it.
Rashtrapati Bhavan, home to the President of the world’s largest democracy, is emblematic of Indian democracy and its secular, plural and inclusive traditions. It was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker and stands on a 330-acre estate. It took seventeen years to build this presidential palace which was completed in the year 1929. Almost seven hundred million bricks and three million cubic feet of stone were used in building this architectural marvel that has 2.5 kilometres of corridors and 190 acres of garden area. The main building covers an area of 5 acres and has 340 rooms spread over four floors. The famous Mughal Gardens of the Rashtrapati Bhavan cover an area of 15 acres and have 159 celebrated varieties of roses, 60 varieties of bougainvillaea and many other verities of flowers. The Estate also has a state-of-the-art Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum Complex (RBMC) comprising the Clock Tower, the Stables and the Garages showcasing past as well as current presidencies, the regal ceremonies, and the rich flora and fauna of Rashtrapati Bhavan, amongst other things. The RBMC was inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee on 25th July 2016.
At the centre of New Delhi stands the 42 m high India Gate, an "Arc-de-Triomphe" like archway in the middle of a crossroad. Almost similar to its French counterpart, it commemorates the 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the British Army during the World War I. The memorial bears the names of more than 13,516 British and Indian soldiers killed in the Northwestern Frontier in the Afghan war of 1919.
The foundation stone of India Gate was laid by His Royal Highness, the Duke of Connaught in 1921 and it was designed by Edwin Lutyens. The monument was dedicated to the nation 10 years later by the then Viceroy, Lord Irwin. Another memorial, Amar Jawan Jyoti was added much later, after India got its independence. The eternal flame burns day and night under the arch to remind the nation of soldiers who laid down their lives in the Indo-Pakistan War of December 1971.
During nightfall, India Gate is dramatically floodlit while the fountains nearby make a lovely display with coloured lights. India Gate stands at one end of Rajpath, and the area surrounding it is generally referred to as 'India Gate'.
Surrounding the imposing structure is a large expanse of lush green lawns, which is a popular picnic spot. One can see hoards of people moving about the brightly lit area and on the lawns on summer evenings.
One of the top places to see in Delhi, the Purana Qila or the Old Fort has a lot in store for its visitors. It was built under Sher Shah Suri and is considered to be the capital of the Pandavas. Stretched across two kilometers in length, the huge red sandstone ramparts of the fort emphasize on the historical valor and aura of the times the fort must have witnessed.
This tomb, built in 1570, is of particular cultural significance as it was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent. It inspired several major architectural innovations, culminating in the construction of the Taj Mahal.
Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi is the first of the grand dynastic mausoleums that were to become synonyms of Mughal architecture with the architectural style reaching its zenith 80 years later at the later Taj Mahal. Humayun’s Tomb stands within a complex of 27.04 ha. that includes other contemporary, 16th century Mughal garden-tombs such as Nila Gumbad, Isa Khan, Bu Halima, Afsarwala, Barber’s Tomb and the complex where the craftsmen employed for the Building of Humayun’s Tomb stayed, the Arab Serai.
Humayun’s Tomb was built in the 1560’s, with the patronage of Humayun’s son, the great Emperor Akbar. Persian and Indian craftsmen worked together to build the garden-tomb, far grander than any tomb built before in the Islamic world. Humayun’s garden-tomb is an example of the charbagh (a four quadrant garden with the four rivers of Quranic paradise represented), with pools joined by channels. The garden is entered from lofty gateways on the south and from the west with pavilions located in the centre of the eastern and northern walls.
Built in the early 13th century a few kilometres south of Delhi, the red sandstone tower of Qutb Minar is 72.5 m high, tapering from 2.75 m in diameter at its peak to 14.32 m at its base, and alternating angular and rounded flutings. The surrounding archaeological area contains funerary buildings, notably the magnificent Alai-Darwaza Gate, the masterpiece of Indo-Muslim art (built in 1311), and two mosques, including the Quwwatu'l-Islam, the oldest in northern India, built of materials reused from some 20 Brahman temples.
Its one of the most visited attractions of India, it has been recorded that this place has daily 10000 visitors and almost 4 millions of tourists have visited Lotus Temple!
Being a central highlight of Delhi, Lotus Temple is one of those religious attractions that bring all the religions together as its chief philosophy accepts every religion with an open heart. This monument was accomplished in 1986 and is a foremost site to visit in Delhi. It is built in the shape of a lotus and is stunning in its architecture and structural design which can blow anyone’s mind!
Lotus Temple is ideal to visit during the winter and springtime of October to March as the scorching heat of summers is not idyllic for traveling in Delhi.