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Places to see around Delhi

Agra

Agra, or the city of the Taj, as it is known all over the world, forms the first destination on the itinerary of most travelers coming into India. Forming part of the famous 'Golden Triangle' (Delhi-Jaipur-Agra), it is placed on the western bank of the Yamuna. The magnificent Taj Mahal which is the pride of this city is set around a Charbagh or 'four garden' plan, which is split by watercourses - a reflection of the Persian style. The Taj Mahal itself is not set within the Charbagh but is located towards the far end of the enclosure near the bank of river Yamuna. The tombs of Mumtaz Mahal and Shahjahan are located in the basement, while their replicas are placed directly above in the upper hall. Besides the Taj Mahal, Agra is also home to some of the finest monuments of the Mughal period - Agra Fort, Diwan-I-Am, Diwan-i-Khas, Musamman Burj, Jehangir's Palace, Shish Mahal, Jama Masjid, Tomb of Itmad-ud-daulah, Akbar's Mausoleum, and the Mariyam's Tomb, to name a few. The Mughal love for nature can be seen at Agra in the form of Ram Bagh, one of the earliest gardens, laid by the Mughal ruler Babur, in 1528 AD. Agra was once the capital of the Mughal empire and even today it seems to linger in the past . Not surprising , for the Mughal emperors with their passion for building, endowed the city with some of the finest structures in the world . It is very easy to slip away here through the centuries into the grandeur and intrigues of the Mughal court . Much of Agra's impressive past lives in evidence even today. The older city of Agra has impressively retained much of its resplendent history captivating every visitor with fond memories to take back home. The old part of the city that includes the main marketplace (Kinari Bazar) is northwest to the Agra fort. It has several distinct areas whose names are attached with the Mughal period, although they don't always bear relation to what is being sold here today. To quote a few examples, the Loha Mandi (Iron Market) and Sabzi Mandi (Vegetable Market) are still operational, however the Nai ki Mandi (Barber's Market) has attained the new role of a market famous for textiles. The area to the south of the Taj is known as Taj Ganj - comprising of congested alleyways, today it contains most of Agra's budget hotels.Besides being a historic city, Agra has shades of modernity as is typical of any Indian city. Today, luxury and modern convenience also exist adjacent to tradition - luxury hotels, shopping malls and plazas, wide avenues and a superb choice of venues for recreation, business, sports, pleasure, education and the arts.

Jaipur Travel Guide

Jaipur, capital of Rajasthan, also known as 'Pink City' is sorrounded by an ancient 20ft high wall and eight gates. The city is situated 261 kms away from Delhi. It was a state of warring factions locked in deadly warfare, thousands of royal ladies consigning themselves to flames preferring death to dishonor.Today, Jaipur is the personification of the old order influence the new. An inherent feel for color and design percolated ever stratum of society, and jewelry, crafts and architecture became objects of delight equally between prince and peasant.Jaipur is also the main tourist and transport hub of Rajasthan tourist circuit. You can venture out to places like Jodhpur, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Udaipur, Pushkar, and many more such destinations from Jaipur. Jaipur is also a part of famed Golden Triangle tourist circuit of India with Delhi and Agra. The best time to visit Jaipur is winter (mid September to March). Jaipur is named after its founder the warrior and astronomer sovereign Sawai Jai Singh II (ruled 1688 to 1744). The decision to move out of his hilltop capital Amer was also compelled by reasons of growing population and paucity of water. Moreover in the early seventh century the power of the great Mughals was dwindling with its aging Monarch Aurangzeb and after several centuries of invasions the north was now quite and the wealth of the kingdom had become greater than before. Seizing upon this opportune time Jai Singh planned his new capital in the planes. Jaipur is a corroborative effort of Sawai Jai Singh's strong grounding in sciences and astrology and a Bengali architect Vidyadhar with a strong instinct for planning. Jaipur is 260 km from Delhi and 240 km from Agra and forms the most chosen tourism golden triangle of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. It a bustling capital city and a business centre with all the trapping of modern metropolis but yet flavoured strongly with an age-old charm that never fails to surprise a traveller. The old Jaipur painted in Pink can grip any visitor with admiration. Stunning backdrop of ancient forts Nahargarh, Amer, Jagarh and Moti Dungri are dramatic testimonials of the bygone era and a reminder of their lingering romance.

Bharatpur Travel Guide

The 55 km journey by road from Agra drives you to the town of Bharatpur-the eastern gateway to Rajasthan. Bharatpur is popular for its bird sanctuary-the Keoladeo Ghana National Park - finest in Asia rich avian variety. Every year the rare Siberian cranes come to spend the winter in the warmer climate of Bharatpur.Of the remnants of the royal past remains the marvellous Bharatpur Palace housing a rich repository of a large number of ancient exhibit that date back to the early 15th century. Siberian Cranes in the Ghana Keoladeo Sanctuary. The interesting aspect of the Bharatpur history is the domination of Jats in the region since 17th century, leader like Churaman and Badan Singh brought the Jats together to mould them into a force to reckon with. Suraj Mal has been the greatest ruler who made them a formidable force and played a very important role in the Indian history during 19th century. Today Bharatpur is better known for the Keoladeo National Park, a unique bird place, delight of ornithologists. The legends say that the place was named as Bharatpur after the name of Bharat, the brother of Lord Rama, whose other brother Laxman was worshipped as the family deity of the Bharatpur rulers, Laxman's name is engraved onthe state arms and the seals. The city and the fort have been believed to be founded by Rustam, a Jat of Sogariya clan. Maharaja Surajmal took over from Khemkaran, the son of Rustam and established the empire. He fortified the city by building a massive wall around the city. The interesting aspect of the Bharatpur history is the domination of Jats in the region since 17th century, leader like Churaman and Badan Singh brought the Jats together to mould them into a force to reckon with. Suraj Mal has been the greatest ruler who made them a formidable force and played a very important role in the Indian history during 19th century. Today Bharatpur is better known for the Keoladeo Natinal Park, a unique bird place, delight of ornithologists.

Mathura Travel Guide

Mathura the birthplace of lord Krishna is an important place of pilgrimage and thousands of devotees throng the city throughout the year. It lies at the heart that the young Krishna was nurtured. The little towns and hamlets in this area still alive with the tales of his mischievous pranks, his extraordinary exploits and still seem to echo with the sound of his flute. An ancient habitation, mathura's strategic location ensured its position as a center of trade and a meeting point of cultures, a major city during the time of the Buddha ( 5th century BC) it became the eastern capital of the Kushan emperor Kanishka,. Mathura continued to be a center of power during the enlightened rule of emperor Ashoka (3rd centre BC) and up to the Gupta era (4th century AD) . The arts flourished and at the Mathura museum one can trace the evolution of the Mathura school from the time of the Kushan emperors To the Gupta period. Today, Mathura with its many temples and splendid ghats along the river yamuna is a Bustling pilgrimage town. Lying midway in between Delhi and Agra , Mathura is easy to visit.

Places to see in Mathura:

Shri Krishna Janmasthan: The splendid temple Katra Keshav Dev is built over the little prison cell believed to be the birthplace of lord Krishna.
Gita Mandir: A beautiful temple located on the Mathura - Vrindavan road, has a fine image of lord krishna. The Bhagwadgita is inscribed on the walls.
Dwarakadhish Temple: Mathura's most popular shrine was built in 1815 by Seth Gokuldas Parikh, treasurer or the state of Gwalior.
Vishram Ghat: A long line of picturesque ghats, steps leading to the water's edge , punctuated by arched gateways and temple spires, extend along the right bank of the river Yamuna. There are about 25 ghats of which the Vishram Ghat is the most important. It is here that lord Krishna is supposed to have rested after killing his wicked uncle Kansa, the ruler of Mathura The aarti at this ghat is a splendid sight, for hundreds of little oil lamps float out on the river at dusk as offering.
Kans Qila: This ruined fort on the banks of the river Yamuna was built by Raja Mansingh of Jaipur. An observatory was built here at a later sate by that keen astronomer Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh of Amer.
Sati Burj: The 17 m tall, 4 storeed, red sandstone tower built in 1570 AD, commemorates the death of the widow of Raja Biharimal of Amer who committed sati.
The Government Museum: Housed in a fine octagonal building at damper park, the museum is a repository of sculpture styles, terracotta and artifacts from the Kushan and Gupta periods. Among its most impressive exhibits are the headless figure of emperor kanishka dressed in central Asian robes and boots and various Buddha images.

 


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