A monument to love, Taj Mahal holds you spellbound with its magnificence. Crafted from pure white marble, The Taj is inlaid with black marble and semi precious stones, on both the inside and the outside. The perfect symmetry of the whole structure, mosaic of varied stones that decorate the floors and interior walls, the finely carved screens, the image of Taj mirrored in the fountains in the foreyard just leaves you dazed. Akbar’s impressive Red Fort and the intimate tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah are also magnificent and the architecture throughout Agra conveys the power and sensitive aesthetics of the great Mughal Empire.
This abandoned town complex situated 26 miles west of Agra lies enroute Agra from Delhi/Jaipur. This complex of court, palaces and places of worship was inhabited for scarcely 20 years in the 16th Century before it was abandoned to the elements. A main attraction is the white marble tomb of Sheik Salim Chishti, who prophesied the birth of Akbar’s son on whose birth the town complex was built.
A place of pilgrimage since time immemorial, the holy city of Varanasi on the banks of the sacred river Ganges is widely believed to be the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. A boat ride down the river gives glimpses of mortal life and death, spirituality and the incessant faith. People bathe in the river, offer prayers, perform sacred ceremonies and even cremate the dead by the river. The atmosphere is very different in the evening; as the scent of sandalwood and incense swirls around, the sounds of puja chanting and clashing cymbals rise to a crescendo. Varanasi is less than a two hour flight from Delhi.
Created by the Maharaja of Bharatpur to hold duck shoots it later became a sanctuary and now attracts an abundance of birdlife and is perhaps India’s most spectacular bird sanctuary. Located near Agra, the park has birds such as the Sarus crane and the rare Siberian crane. Here, added attraction is birdwatching from a cycle rickshaw.
Allahabad or Prayag is one of major heritage and pilgrim centres in Uttar Pradesh. It is also important for the political prowess the contituency has on the national affairs. Most important identity is the Sangam or Triveni of the thre main rivers revered by Hindus, namely Ganga, Yamuna and the subterranean Saraswati. It is also one of the four sites of Kumbh Mela. Allahabad Fort, Patalpuri temple, Askhaya Vat and Anand Bhavan are some of the local interest spots.