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
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Osian is an ancient town located in the middle of the Thar Desert. Often known as the "Khajuraho of Rajasthan", Ossian is famous as the home to a cluster of ruined Brahmanical and Jain temples dating from the 8th to 11th centuries. One can enjoy the view of 18 shrines, out of which Surya or Sun Temple, the later Kali temple, Sachiya Mata Temple and the main Jain temple dedicated to Mahavira stand for their grace and architecture.
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.
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.
This white marbled architecture is a memorial site of a Rajput clan. This cenotaph was built in the 19th century by Maharaja Sardar Singh in the memory of his father, Maharaja Jaswant Singh II, the 33rd Rathore ruler of Jodhpur.
One should visit this memorial, which has a temple like architecture, on their tour to Jodhpur. Jaswant Thada is a perfect example of architectural brilliance. The architecture is made of white marbles which are so fine that the outer surface of the whole building emits a warm glow during sunlight. Currently it exhibits a variety of paintings and portraits of Jodhpur rulers.
Mehrangarh Fort holds the pride of place in Jodhpur because of its splendid architecture and the diverse history associated with it. Considered as one of the most formidable and magnificent forts of Rajasthan, Mehrangarh fort was built by Rao Jodha in the year 1459. The fort is spread over an area of 5 km and is built on 125 m high hill in the outskirts of Jodhpur city.
There are seven gates, which can be used to enter the Mehrangarh fort. These 7 gates are made by different rulers, and are built in honour of victory over Bikaner and Jaipur armies.
One can see the panoramic view of the Jodhpur city from this fort, which seems like a blue carpet laid at the foot of a hill. Every ruler of Jodhpur has contributed in the making of this fort. Within the fort one can see the magnificent palaces. The main palaces located in the Mehrangarh Fort are Moti Mahal, Phool Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Zenana Dude, Takht Vilas and Jhanki Mahal. There are also two temples located inside the fort - Chamundi Devi Mandir and Nagnechiaji Mandir, dedicated to Goddess Durga and the Kuldevi respectively.
Chamunda Mataji was Rao Jodha’s favourite goddess and so her idol was bought to the Mehrangarh Fort. Thus, the fort became a place of worship and was turned into a temple. Since then, locals have followed the culture of worshipping Chamunda Mata.
The clock tower is a popular landmark in the old city. The vibrant Sardar Market is close to the tower, and narrow alleys lead from here to a bazaar selling vegetables, spices, Indian sweets, textiles, silver and handicrafts. It is a great place to ramble around at leisure.
Peak into the history of Jodhpur, and witness its lavish culture at the Government Museum. It is located inside Umaid public gardens and was built in 1909. The museum was constructed under the reign of Maharaja Umed Signhji, and was built by Henry Vaughan Lanchester.
The Government Museum houses around 400 sculptures, 10 ancient inscriptions, thousands of miniature paintings, terracotta artwork, ancient coins, metallic objects, arms, stuff toys, stone sculptures, inscriptions and other miscellaneous objects which are simply astonishing. Within the museum vicinity there is a well stocked library and zoo. There is a separate history section for military memorabilia which exhibits tools, weapons, memorials, brass and wooden models.
Umaid Bhawan Palace is the largest private residence in the world. There are 372 rooms, wood-panelled library, private museum, indoor swimming pool, billiards room, tennis courts and unique marble squash courts. All these things make Umaid Bhawan Palace one of the most magnificent structures in the city.
The palace was built with a purpose to employ the farmers of Jodhpur. It was made between 1928 and 1943 under the reign of Maharaja Umaid Singh. The Umaid Bhwan Palace was designed by the renowned architecture, Henry Lanchester, and shows a blend of eastern and western architectural influences. Its majestic 105 - foot high cupola is influenced by the Renaissance, while the towers draw inspiration from Rajput tradition.
The main attractions of Umaid Bhawan includes a collection of vintage cars, clocks and banners gifted by Queen Victoria, artefacts belonging to the royals, cutleries, trophies and weapons.
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.
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.
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.
Located 85 kilometres from the main city, the 400-year old Khejarla Fort is situated in a rural setting. The stunning red sandstone monument, now a hotel, is an example of Rajput architecture. Visitors will be mesmerised by the fort's picturesque settings, latticework friezes and intricate Jharokas.
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.
Amber (pronounced Amer) is at a distance of about 11 kilometres from Jaipur. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it was the bastion of the Kachwahas of Amber, until the capital was moved to the plains, to what is today Jaipur. The palace, located in craggy hills, is a beautiful melange of Hindu and Mughal styles.
Located deep within the walled city, the City Palace Complex was conceived and built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder of Jaipur. A beautiful fusion of Mughal and Rajput architecture, the palace is still home to the last ruling royal family which lives in a private section of the palace.
Hawa Mahal, literally the Palace of Winds, was built in 1799 by the poet king Sawai Pratap Singh as a summer retreat for him and his family. It also served as a place where the ladies of the royal household could observe everyday life without being seen themselves. This unique five-storey structure is a blend of Hindu and Islamic architecture, and the exterior, with its small latticed windows (called jharokhas), resembles the crown of Lord Krishna.