India is a country in South Asia. It is full of beautiful and monumental places. Delhi is the capital of India. It has a long history weaved around itself. Agra is on the banks of the river Yamuna in Uttar Pradesh, India. It is a major tourist destination.
In Delhi, there are a number of tourist attractions to see but the famous icons of Delhi are the historical places.
The Red Fort that was the residence of the Moghul emperors. It is a historical monument of India. It is also known as Lal Qila since it is constructed using red stones. It was Shah Jahan who completed the construction of Red Fort. The fort has a huge wall around it. There are two entrance gates to the Red Fort. The fort has a long history. It is a classic architectural structure. It has an octagon shape and the domes are designed with flowered patterns. Blended within the Red Fort are Iranian, Indian and European artwork. The Red Fort is the place from where the Indian Prime Minister addresses the nation on Independence Day each year.
The evenings are set to display the history and events of the city of Delhi by the light and sound show. You get to know a lot of history about Delhi and it is surely interesting to know about it at this iconic Red Fort.
The visiting hours are from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm. Mondays it is closed of viewing. There is an entry fee to the fort and also one for the sound and light show. There are a few more attractions near the Red Fort. Do visit them if time is on your side.
India Gate is situated in the heart of Delhi and is a national monument of India. It was built to commemorate the soldiers who died fighting for their country in World War I. After independence of India, it became the site of “Amar Jawan Jyoti.” The India Gate is 42 m tall and major roads spread out from here in different directions. The whole India Gate complex has a hexagonal shape. You will see an empty canopy behind the gate.
The walls of India Gate are engraved with names of Indian soldiers and British officers who died in World War I. The flags of the navy, army and air force, the three armed forces of India, proudly fly at India Gate.
Qutub Minar is also a historical monument of India. It is one of the tallest minarets in India. Qutub Minar is at a distance of 15 km south of New Delhi. The Minar has an Afghan architectural style built of red sandstone. It is 73 meters in height and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tower has about 379 steps on its stairs. Qutub Minar is surrounded by other historic ruins.
The Minar has writings from the Holy Koran and is covered with intricate carvings. There is the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque at the foot of Qutub Minar. There is an iron pillar near it that is a metallurgical marvel and is 7m high.
The Qutub Minar is tilted from the vertical by about 60 cm. The decorative motifs are seen on the upper storeys which are made of marble and sandstone. The balconies of the Minar have inscription in Arabic. The ruins at the Qutub Minar complex take the viewer to the history of India.
Jama Masjid lies just opposite the Red Fort. It was constructed between 1644 and 1658 and is India’s largest mosque. Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan built this mosque which can hold thousands of faithful. It stands graciously below the sky-line of Old Delhi.
Jama Masjid has a spacious courtyard built with red sandstone. The main entrance to the masjid faces the Red Fort. The other two entrances are in the north and the south. The masjid has four towers and two elegant minarets. Beautiful calligraphic work is seen at the Jama Masjid. The towers have balconies.
Jama Masjid has inscriptions of the Holy Koran and is covered with delicate carvings. The main prayer hall has high cusped arches and marble domes. The visitors gaze at the excellent works at the masjid telling how skilled the artisans were of this grand Jama Masjid. It stands on a raised ground and can be seen from a distance of 5km.
Humayun’s Tomb marks the beginning of Moghul architecture in India. It is a beautiful garden tomb. The tomb was built by his widow Bega Begum, nine years after his death. The mausoleum is topped by double dome, surrounded by gardens, well laid out pathways and water channels. It has a walled enclosure within which lie the graves of other Moghul rulers.
Humayun’s Tomb is located opposite the Dargah at Nizamuddin. It is open from 6.00 am to 6.00 pm and has an entrance fee. The tomb is on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The architectural work of Humayun’s Tomb was done by a Persian architect. The tomb reminds the tourists of the bygone days and the red sandstone tomb sparkles with the setting sun.
Delhi has many places for accommodation. Internal travel means are many and so also restaurants. The tourists can reach Delhi from across the globe. Indira Gandhi International Airport welcomes its visitors to Delhi, the national capital of India. The best time to visit is from October to March. Delhi is flowery and has a pleasant climate at this time of the year.
Agra is one of the historical places in India. Tourist flock to the epitome of love called Taj Mahal. It was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his wife Mumtaz. The emperor himself chose a serene, peaceful site by the River Yamuna about one and a half miles from the city of Agra. The architectural work of Taj Mahal is exceptional with its intrinsic designs depicting the Moghul style. It is made of white marble brought in from Makrana Jaipur, India. Brick and sandstone were also used in the construction of the Taj Mahal. A platform 970 feet long and 364 feet broad was built which raised the mausoleum from the ground. Minarets of 139 feet height were built at the four corners. The symmetry of Taj Mahal was accurate in all ways with writings from the Holy Koran on the inside and outside of the Taj Mahal. The calligraphic decorations are simply outstanding. Different types of gems from various countries were used in the decoration of this beauty called Taj Mahal.
The gardens at Taj Mahal are an important part of the entire complex. As you walk on the pathways you are surrounded by well-planned beautiful gardens and fountains.
Agra is the city which brings hordes of tourists to its doors just because of the unmatched mausoleum called Taj Mahal. Besides this, one visits the Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri all three UNESCO World Heritages. One pays a visit to the Jama Masjid just across the Fort. In the suburbs of Agra at Sikandra, you will find the Moghul architectural masterpiece and that is Akbar’s Mausoleum. It is amidst the settings of pretty gardens.
Agra celebrates the festivals namely Taj Mahotsav, Ram Barat and Kailash Fair. It is worth attending the festivals if one is there in Agra.
The tourists come by train to Agra. It is well-connected to Delhi. You can travel by road to Agra. The Agra Airport is a military airbase. It is about 12.5km from the city of Agra. The Taj Mahal is open from dawn to dusk. It looks bewitching on a full moon night.