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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fatehpur Sikri was the imperial city of the Mughal dynasty between 1571 and 1584. Built by the Mughal emperor Akbar, this royal city is one of a kind. The architectural grandeur of this deserted city cannot be described in words and one can only experience the aura of its magnificent edifices by seeing them.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Akbar's tomb at Sikandra is an excellent example of assimilation of different styles of architecture and it represents a significant departure from the earlier Mughal buildings. The tomb carries the characteristic flavor of the airy tiered pavilions of the Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri.
India is a place inhabited by the people of different sects and religions. Radha Swami is also a faith followed by many people in India. Dayal Bagh is 15 km from Agra. It is a place, which houses the Samadhi of the founder of the Radha Swami, "Swamiji Maharaj.
The main structure is a magnificent building of 110 feet in height, built in pure white marble. One can find pietra- dura inlaid marble work actually being worked on. The building here is under construction since last 100 years and here it is a belief that construction should never stop.
The city of Agra is world famous for the Taj Mahal, built by the Mughal emperor Shahjahan in memory of his beloved wife. However, it is also famous for the Agra Fort, which is a veritable treasure trove of the Mughal architectural tradition. The various buildings within this sprawling fort complex represent the assimilation of different cultures, which was the mark of the Mughal period. Jahangiri Mahal (Jahangir's Palace),
Itmad-ud-Daulah's tomb is a highly ornate edifice, which is looked upon as an imminent precursor of the Taj Mahal as far as elaborate carvings and inlay work are concerned. The tomb marks a significant departure from the tombs of the Mughal dynasty built before its construction.
The tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah is as interesting as the life of the person for whom it was built. Mirza Ghiyas-ud-din or Ghiyas Beg (later known as Itmad-ud-Daulah) was a poor merchant and lived in Persia (modern-day Iran). While on his way to India for business, his wife gave birth to a baby girl. As the family was extremely poor and had nothing to eat, the parents decided to abandon the child. However, the wails of the baby girl forced the parents to come back and take her with them. The baby girl brought a stroke of good luck to her parents, for Ghiyas Beg found a caravan that straightaway took him to the court of the great Mughal Emperor, Akbar. In the course of time, Ghiyas Beg rose to become a minister and a trusted treasurer in Akbar's court. After Akbar's death in 1605, his son Jahangir became the Mughal emperor, who made Ghiyas Beg his chief minister or Wazir. Ghiyas Beg was also honored with the title of Itmad-ud-Daulah or the pillar of the state.
Chini ka Rauza is also called as the China Tomb of Agra. This mausoleum belong to a Persian born poet, who rose to the position of Wazir (Prime Minister) during the reign of Shah Jahan. Mullah died in 1639 in Lahore. His remains were brought back to Agra, to be buried in this spot. Just like every other mausoleum of Mughals, the tomb is built to face the holy city of Mecca.
This Mughal structure has many exotic and unusual styles of architecture. The main dissimilarity is the un-proportional dome built in Sultanate style. However, the beauty of the tomb has heavily disintegrated with passage of time. The walls of the monument have worn out, but you can still see the striking enamel colors on the tiles and remains of what used to be a grand ceiling painting. The builders of the tomb used earthen pots to reduce the weight of concrete filling in the facades. This method is widely used in Egypt and Rome.
Taj Mahal is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is situated on the bank of river yamuna in the city of Agra (India). Taj is a symbol of the great Mughal heritage of India. Taj Mahal monument is a symbol of the eternity of love. Experiencing Taj Mahal Monument is like a journey back to the magnificent Mughal Empire. It is simply the expression of emotions in a structural form. Taj Mahal is a monument of love. So, it's a place worth visiting to memorize the love in your life. The Taj Mahal monument was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in 1631 as a tribute to his loving wife Mumtaz Mahal.
Ram Bagh was one of the ancient Persian styled Mughal gardens of Agra. This garden was well maintained for several centuries under the control of Mughal dynasty until Marathas and then, British took over the garden. Today, most of the parts of this garden is in ruins. However, the greenery and lush vegetation of the land attracts tourists to it.
This is the oldest Mughal garden and one of the eminent Persian styled Mughal gardens of the land. This land stands as the example of architectural skill of Nur Jahan, mother of Shah Jahan (builder of Taj Mahal).
If you are visiting in summer months, this garden is really a paradise. The water channels provide cool breeze, which allows you to rest despite the scorching sun. The garden represent the Islamic version of heaven and this model is incorporated in many Mughal structures, which were built later on.
The Gwalior fort that is situated on a magnificent sandstone hill was once the administrative quarters of the Tomars. The Gwaluor fort is said to have been a part of the revolt during 1857 and during that period, the fort was under the ruling of Tantia Tope and also Rani Laxmibai.
The Jai Vilas Mahal that is also known as the Jai Vilas Palace was built in 1874 by the Maharaja of Gwalior called Jayajirao Scindia. This palace is said to be an 11th century palace and a visit to this palace must be done if you visit Gwalior.
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.