For the traveller, a trip to India is an opportunity to discover a world of enchanting wonders – with cultural, spiritual, ecological, and gastronomic riches in abundance. Maybe it’s time to take a trip…
“Travel and stay in luxury in India, when you visit the Taj Mahal, or spend a few days sailing on the backwaters of Kerala or cruising on the Brahmaputra in the North-East. Rajasthan can be seen in all its splendour with a stay on the lake in Udaipur or in the palaces of Jaipur and Jodhpur, or even the desert in Jaisalmer. India is renowned for its hospitality and the service you get is warm and impeccable. Luxuriate on Goa beaches or dive in the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Pamper yourself in some of the world’s best spas and Ayurveda resorts, or feel like a maharaja on an Indian train while covering the golden triangle…” reads the country’s Incredible India tourism guide.
However, India’s fascinating aspect lies in the stark difference as you travel through the new and old parts of its cities. From world-class airports and hotels, luxurious shopping malls, restaurants, pubs and cafes to overcrowded streets and alleyways, in the same cities, filled with thousands of little shops offering every possible modern and ethnic product and native street food is a fascinating experience. Indeed, a world of travel wonders await in India. Here some enchanting classics…
Golden Temple (Amritsar)
Also known as Harmandir or Darbar Sahib, the temple is a white and gold majestic building, the foundation of which was laid by the Muslim saint, Mian Mir. The temple is built on a 67-ft square of marble and is a two storied structure. The top structure of the temple is covered with pure gold leaf, hence, the popular name, Golden Temple. Located in the heart of Amritsar, its four gates invite everyone from all directions. The Golden Temple has a serene presence and radiating calm.
Swaminarayan Akshardham (Delhi)
Swaminarayan Akshardham brilliantly showcases the essence of India’s ancient architecture, traditions and timeless spiritual messages. Replete with a traditional temple, exhibition halls, musical fountain, sixty acre lush Garden of India, and the Lotus Garden, the Akshardham experience is an enlightening journey through India’s glorious art, values and contributions for the progress, happiness and harmony of mankind. Heralded by the Guinness World Record as the World’s Largest Comprehensive Hindu Temple, the complex was inaugurated on 6th November, 2005.
Taj Mahal (Agra)
The Taj Mahal a marvel on marble was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in commemoration of his favourite wife – and today it is universally acknowledged as one of the most beautiful creations on earth. Today, the Taj remains one of India’s most magnificent architectural marvels.
Red Fort (Delhi)
The Red Fort Complex was built as the palace fort of Shahjahanabad – the new capital of the fifth Mughal Emperor of India, Shah Jahan. Namedf or its massive enclosing walls of red sandstone, the Red Fort’s innovative planning and architectural style, including the garden design, strongly influenced later buildings and gardens in Rajasthan, Delhi, Agra and further afield. Presentations tracing the history of the Mughal Empire in India, outlining their glory and the eventful causes for their downfall are held in the Red Fort every evening.
Madurai (Tamil Nadu)
The oldest city existing in the Indian peninsula and one of the continuously inhabited cities in the world, Madurai is richly steeped in cultural heritage. Today, Madurai is synonymous with the awe-inspiring Meenakshi-Sundareswarar Temple. A visit to both places is a trip back in time to the dawn of India’s cultural history.
City Palace (Udaipur)
The City Palace stands tall over Pichola Lake, having served as an abode for past ruling royalty. The balconies, cupolas and towers of the palace give a wonderful view of the lake and the surrounding city, the complex actually consists of four major and several minor palaces that collectively form the magnificent City Palace. Construction of the Palace was started by Maharana Udai Singh and was continued by successive Maharanas who incorporated several palaces and structures to the complex. Each palace is designed in a unique way, and decorations like mirrored tiles, paintings, glass work and ornamental tiles bring to life the opulence of the era.
Travel Info! For more on where to travel and what to experience around India, check out the official www.incredibleindia.org
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