1. Haji Ali Dargah, Mumbai
|Haji Ali Dargah - Serenity in the middle of the Arabian Sea|
This beautiful structure is nestled in Worli (Mumbai). It is one of the most recognizable structure in Mumbai after Gateway of India.
This Muslim cultured structure has the tomb of Sayed Peer Hajil Ali Shah Bukhari.According to the story, the time of his voyage to Mecca, he died and his coffin swam to the rocks in the Worli Bay (Arabian Sea). Therefore, the Dargah Sharif was constructed here.
- Fridays are the best to visit the Haji Ali Dargah
- You may also witness a group of Sufi singers, singing 'Qawwali' on Fridays
- Don’t forget to taste the best falooda and, strawberry ice-cream of the city at the Haji Ali Juice Centre
- It is advisable to pay a visit to Haji Ali during low tide as it gets submerged during high tide
2. Fatehpur Sikri, Agra
|Fatehpur Sikri - A memoir of Akbar's Golden Age!|
This is one of the royal pieces of architecture of the Mughal period. Fatehpur Sikri is a memoir of Akbar's golden age. This was originally constructed in the early 16th century by a Hindu Ruler. Later, it was occupied by Akbar after success in war.
The style of architecture is said to be hugely inspired from the personal tastes & preferences of the Great Mughal Emperor Akbar. A few of the significant buildings, reflecting the Mughal history, make part of Fatehpur Sikri. They are:
- Tomb of Salim Chishti after whom Akbar named his son
- Diwan-i-Khas or the hall of private audience
- Buland Darwaza
- Panch Mahal and
- Anup Talao
This place is the living example of the bygone glorious history. There are a lot of elements that make this place a worth visiting.
3. India Gate, New Delhi
|India Gate - Be overwhelmed with patriotism!|
It would be a complete injustice to ignore India Gate. This national monument is a perfect tribute to the patriotism.
- Sir Edward Lutyens was the chief architect of this monument and it is after him that New Delhi is also referred to as Lutyen's Delhi
- India Gate was constructed in the remembrance of 90,000 Indian soldiers, who gave their lives during the Afgan Wars and the World War I.
- Under India Gate’s arch is the shrine where a flame, Amar Jawan Jyoti is devoted to the unknown brave soldiers
4. Khajuraho Temples, Khajuraho
|Khajuraho Temples- One of the seven wonders of India|
Khajuraho Temples are one amidst the India’s top seven wonders. These popular Hindu & Jain temples of the medieval era are not to be missed due to the extraordinary architecture. The erotic sculptures are one of the elements that make these temples famous. The three divisions of the temples, namely, eastern, western, and southern, are hugely appreciated in by the tourists for the styles of architecture that depict the sexual life.
5. Golden Temple, Amritsar
|Golden Temple - Embrace spirituality like never before!|
The famous Golden Temple is also popular as the Harmandir Sahib. Built by Guru Ram Das and later accomplished by Guru Arjan Dev.
The Holy Scripture, the Adi Granth, was accomplished and positioned in the temple in the 17th century.
- Sikhs from every nook and corner of the world consider this temple as the most sacred
- People from every walk of life are allowed to enter the temple
- Harmandir Sahib, meaning 'temple of God' is made of marble with the plating of gold
6. Konark Temple, Orissa
|Konark Temple - One of the most renowned temples in India|
Beautifully constructed Konark Temple is widely recognized as the Black Pagoda. This temple is the best specimen of the styles of architecture of the Ganga dynasty.
The legend depicts, Lord Krishna’s son, Samba, was suffering from a severe illness. After a decade of repentance, he got cured by the Sun God, Surya. Therefore in his honor, the Konark Temple was built, which today is also popular as the Sun Temple.
The temple is in the form of a mammoth chariot alike of the Lord Surya. The temple is adorned with beautiful stone carvings. The chariot wheels also act as the sun dials depicting the accurate time of the day.
7. Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan
|Painted Storks having breakfast at Keoladeo National Park which is also known as Baharatpur Bird Sanctuary|
Keoladeo National Park, also popular as the Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary, is one of the best places to enjoy avifuana in India. Keoladeo is located in Bharatpur in Rajasthan. And did you know that UNESCO recently inscribed the hill forts of Rajasthan as World Heritage Site
- Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary was originally created for duck shoot to honor British viceroys
- 4,273 birds were killed in the inaugural duck shoot alone by Lord Linlithgow
- The area was designated as a bird sanctuary on 13 March 1976
- Keoladeo National park was designated Ramsar Site in 1981
- The park as a protected area was eastablished in 1982
- Over 350 species of birds are recorded in Keoladeo National Park
8. Mysore Palace, Karnataka
|Mysore Palace - A trip to the city of palaces!|
Mysore, the city of palaces is worth visiting to get a sneak peak of the erstwhile Royal facets in India.
- The Mysore Palace is popularly known as the Amba Vilas Palace
- It is the 2nd largest tourist attraction in India after the Taj Mahal
- An estimated figure of 3 million tourists, visit the Mysore Palace, every year
- Mysore Palace was constructed in the early 20th century and was the residence of the erstwhile regal family of Mysore, the Wodeyars
- Famous Dasara festival (months of September & October) is also celebrated here with almost 100000 oil lamps
- Palace architecture is a seamless blend of Hindu, Muslim, Rajput, and Gothic architectural style
9. Victoria Memorial, Kolkata
|Victoria Memorial - A fine tribute to the British Empire!|
The Victoria Memorial was built in the early 20th century as a fine acknowledgement to Queen Victoria. This monument was built in the remembrance of the achievement of the British Empire in India. Using the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture, this monument was designed by Sir William Emerson.
In the architecture, Mughal elements are also incorporated. Today, this memorial is a museum. You may find numerous paintings of Prince Albert and Queen Victoria in the Royal Gallery inside the Memorial. This great monument is also said to be the symbolic contribution to India by the Britishers.
10. Taj Mahal, Agra
|Taj Mahal - A reminder that love does last for an eternity!|
This iconic monument is the representation of eternal love hence its appeal. Couples and lovers often propose here if not out on one of these most romantic islands in the world
. This magnificent piece of art & architecture exists in India and is praised at world level.Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor, made this mausoleum in the 17th century in the memory of Mumtaz Mahal, his dearly loved wife.
- According to a legend, Shah Jahan,cut off the hands of those artisans who constructed the mausoleum to avoid any replication of the monument in future
- Entirely made of white marble, this monument marks its presence in the list of the Seven Wonders of the World
- Taj Mahal is a blend of architectural styles like Indian, Persian, and Turkish.
- The main chamber contains false coffin of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan
- Along with other decorative elements, the extracts from the Holy Quran in calligraphy add to the incomparable beauty of the Taj Mahal
These ten destinations are enough to provide you with a sneak peak of cultural diversity of India. And by the way you may also want to visit Kashmir as the tourism is in revival mode
in the 'paradise on earth'.
Contributed by Nikhil Chandra