Delhi, the capital of India, has a rich history. The city is dotted with spellbinding mosques, forts, and monuments left over from the Mughal rulers that once occupied the city. The contrast between rambling Old Delhi and well planned New Delhi is immense, and it’s interesting to spend time exploring both. If you feel in need of some relaxation, just head to one of Delhi’s flourishing landscaped gardens.
What to visit in Delhi?
Qutab Minar, the tallest brick minaret in the world, is an incredible example of early Indo–Islamic architecture. It was built in 1206, but the reason remains a mystery. Some believe that it was made to signify victory and the beginning of Muslim rule in India, while others say it was used to call the faithful to prayer. The tower has five distinct stories, and is covered with intricate carvings and verses from the holy Quran.
The towering archway of India Gate at the center of New Delhi is a war memorial, built in memory of the Indian soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the British Army in World War I. At night it glows warmly under floodlights, and the gardens that line its boulevard are a popular place to enjoy a warm summer’s evening.
The Bahai Temple is commonly called the Lotus Temple, as it’s shaped like a lotus flower. It’s particularly pretty at night, when it’s attractively lit up. Made out of concrete covered in white marble, the temple belongs to the Bahai Faith, which proclaims the unity of all people and religions.
Delhi’s most famous monument, the Red Fort, stands not only as a powerful reminder of the Mughal era India but also a symbol of India’s struggle for freedom. It was build by fifth Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, when he decided to shift his capital there from Agra in 1638. The fort’s turbulent history includes being captured by the Sikhs and the British. To take your imagination back to the ancient era, a one hour sound and light show of the fort’s history is held each evening.
Amritsar is the spiritual capital and a major pilgrimage spot for the Sikhs. The city boasts of its various temples and shrines mostly dedicated to the Sikh culture and the main commercial activities found here are tourism, carpets, handloom fabrics and handicrafts. The city is also famous for its amazing Punjabi cuisines. The city was formerly known by the names Ramdaspur and Ambersar before the 4th Guru of Sikh religion, Guru Ram Das renamed the city to ‘Amritsar’. The city is built with a unique architectural style prominent in the 17th and 18th century called ‘Katras’ and is characterized by its narrow streets.
What to visit in Amritsar?
Golden Temple, the pride and soul of the Sikhs has been a centre of attraction among Indians as well as foreign travellers since ages. The golden body, mystic pond, mouth-watering halwa (desert) and overall myths make this religious site a delight of religious populace. Believers irrespective of their religion, caste and gender throng Amritsar in search of eternal bliss and get amazed seeing the humble nature and deep rooted beliefs of the Sikhs towards their religion.
This public garden is located within the temple complex of the Golden temple and covers an area of 6.5 acre. The garden’s significance lies in the Jallianwala bagh memorial located here, which was established in 1951 to commemorate the massacre of the peaceful Sikh celebrators on the occasion of the Punjabi New Year on April 13th, 1919 by the occupying British forces. Sources claim there were around 397 fatalities and about 1100 were wounded, however the true figures were never known and are likely to be way higher than 397.
The temple is dedicated to the monkey god Lord Hanuman, which depicts the main deity in a sitting posture. The place has a major significance to the Hindus as according to the mythological texts, this was the exact place where Lord Rama performed his Ashwamedha Ceremony. It is also said that visiting this temple fulfils every wish of the devotees.
Wagah Border is one of the must visit places of tourist Interest around Golden Temple in Amritsar and has established itself as a firm favourite among the Indian tourists. It is the only road border crossing between India and Pakistan and located at a distance of around 30 km from the Golden Temple. The ceremony of Beating Retreat and Change of Guard make this place highly valued. The soldiers of both the countries demonstrate their heartfelt enthusiasm for own country and the nationalistic feel reaches its peak among the viewers present there in the afternoon.
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