There are no words to describe its long history, its vast architecture, the purity of its materials. During my visit, a minister or the someone was supposed to be visiting, so the exhibition closed to the public in mid-morning. Because of this I had to abandon my visit earlier than planned. Personally I would have stayed the whole day. The feelings that invaded me were magical, as if there was something more than corporeally. I'm still looking forward to returning. I recommend a visit at dusk, I visited at dawn, but with the pollution and haze of the early hours, you can barely make out the silhouette of the Taj Mahal. My travelling companions visited at sunset and the sky's orange hue gives a touch of magic of colour to the white marble of the centrepiece of the Taj Mahal. Spectacular. I marvelled at the coexistence of animals, both among themselves, and with us human visitors. One aspect of India that accompanies you all the way.
Varanasi is a city where earth and mysticism combine. It's one of the holiest cities of Hinduism and a place of one of the first preachings of Buddha. In the city you can find everything from the most typical small bazaars to small temples, and you can even see the cremations of the dead that take place on the banks of the Ganges. With all the colors mixed from the sun and the smell of incense and food, Varanasi is a delight for the senses. It's a perfect place to get lost wandering the streets, and discover little nooks where you can taste typical street food and desserts from the area (sensitive stomachs should be careful). Undoubtedly my favorite little corner of the world.
.. Staying at the temple Hari Mandir Sahib in the evening is a joy! You feel like you are on fire, as at any time your life can just fly away. We sat in the crowd and matched totally mesmerized the tremendous beauty of the small temple. I spent a very long and pleasant time there. On one side there were the other people that I spoke to and they asked me, as I smiled and I shook hands. The spirituality of their actions, the honesty of their gestures, called my attention to the verses that did not stop ringing all over the sacred complex, the softness of the moment .... A moment of peace and harmony with oneself unspeakable ....
You can see people cremating their dead, and also bodies which have not been cremated floating down the river. People bathing in it to purify themselves. A crazy tourist jumped into the river without fear of mutation: D When you think that there are dead bodies in the river, you think "yikes ... Too bad, no?" But then when they tell, and that for them is the most coveted think upon reaching the end of their life on earth, and understand that it is still a ritual, as it can be for a Christian, or any other, you understand, respect it, and still you think it is daunting.
This was one of the most incredibly powerful experience I've had during my travels. The ghats are terraced stairs that give people access to the Ganges river. They're always bustling with activity from the crack of dawn when the women come to wash clothes and others come to wash themselves. It' also a popular meeting point among locals. There are many painters who gather there to reflect on the beauty of the Ganges as the light changes throughout the day. It an "essential" area that gives off an air of peace and tranquility.
They also have cremation rituals on the ghats and, honestly, it's not a big deal if you have a look. In fact, one person was cremating his son and told us all the passes of the ritual. You should, of course, abstain from taking photos in that circumstance.
In the city of Agra, surrounded by the river Yamuna, you can find the monumental Red Fort, which was built in red sandstone by the Emperor Akbar Mongol. From here, there are great views of the Taj Mahal, it is beautiful. It is one of the most important strongholds and representative places in India, for its location and for its construction, surrounded by a moat with water from the river. It is here that the treasures of the state were kept, and it was inhabited by several Mongol emperors. The Red Fort was declared a World Heritage Site in 1983. There is a legend that says that the son of Shah Jahan, after murdering his brothers and taking advantage of his father´s sadness due to the death of his wife, he locked him in a tower overlooking the Taj Mahal, until his death.
The fortified palace of Amber was the citadel of Kachhwaha until 1727, when the capital was moved to Jaipur. Successive rulers continued to go to him on important occasions seeking the blessing of the goddess of the family, Shila Devi. The citadel was founded by Man Singh I in 1592 on an old fort from the eleventh century, but the various buildings were added by Jai Singh I who was the magnificent central body. If I had to highlight the most interesting places of the fort, I'd take the Ganesh Pol, a beautiful door which connects the private rooms through the gallery above the lattices, aimed at the ladies held, solid silver door of the temple Shila Devi, the wonderful playground or walls that are full of mirrors that reflect even the smallest blade of light.
Udaipur or you might call the city of lakes and palaces. In my case I visited the so-called "City Palace", and the museum has valuable collections of miniatures and "Gardens of the Maids of Honour". Here you can find the workshops of paintings and is a great place to buy these types of souvenirs.
One of the best castles, fortresses and views I've seen in my life; a beautiful place in Jodhpur City. The strong castle/fortress on the mountain has a sublime view of the city. On a sunny day you will enjoy a whole lot from here; you'll see the city, with its contrast of white and blue colors and fantastic to understand why they call Jodjpur 'the blue city.' It is one of the most amazing monuments in India and certainly one of the best preserved, do not miss out, you will feel transported to another time and you can imagine the grandeur of India's cultural past.
The Hawa Mahal or Palace and the Winds, was built in the esthete 1799 for the Swai Pratap Singh, it is a whimsical structure that adds to the rich architecture of Rajasthan. The ornate facade, an emblem of the city today, is a baroque composition with staggered windows and overhanging balconies that are covered with lattice. Although these five floors are high, there is no more than one room in the background and the walls do not exceed 20 cms wide. It is built with lime mortar, and is screened in order that the ladies that were held in the harem could watch, unseen, the bustle of the streets. From afar, the Hawa Mahal, dedicated to Krishna, seems to be the Mukut (crown) which often crowns the head of the god. You can climb a winding ramp to the top.
According to the story, the Mughal emperor Akbar came to a famous miracle worker in the city of Sikri concerned about the death of all his sons. Salim, as he was called, predicted that he would soon have a new son who would inherit his empire. After one of his wives became pregnant he built a palace in the city of Sikri, Rang Mahal, near the miracle worker to obtain good influences. The child once born was called Salim in honor of the "prophet". He decided to build a city which he called "City of Victory" after the recent conquest of Gujara, currently part Pakistan. Fatehpur, the City of Victoria, was abandoned in 1585, 14 years after its founding, due to lack of water. The city is still in perfect condition and you can see the Rang Mahal Palace and the small town of Sikri.
The majestic mosque was built on a natural promontory in 1656 by the emperor Shah Jahan, with three imposing white marble domes and twin black minarets that flank its majestic central arch, it took six years and 5,000 workers to complete, costing almost one million rupees. A graceful staircase leads to the magnificent red sandstone arched doorways, where during the times of Aurangzeb, they sold horses and jugglers performed. In the gigantic 28-meter square courtyard where up to 20,000 people can be held, during Friday prayer and the Id, when it hosts numerous faithful followers. Next to the stack of ablutions is the platform where a reader stood to repeat the the prayers before the existence of megaphones.
Chennai, formerly known as Madras, is the capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, southern India. It is also the fourth largest city in the country. It is located in the Gulf of Bengale, and it has a population of about 8 million people, so it is within the 40 largest cities in the world. Madras was part of British India. It was founded in the seventeenth century by the East India Company, to be a commercial port, and take and bring products to the UK. You can still visit the fortifications of the city, who witness the colonial presence. Madras was the capital of India's protectorate. Be sure not to come during the monsoon season, from October to December, though it is much stronger in the southwest. Madras is linked with direct flights to Europe, Air France and British Airways, also has good train connection, you can get to Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi every day. The city's bus station is enormous so be careful not to get lost in it, as it is quite easy to do so. The bus station has buses that link directly to the Pondicherry or Mahabalipuram ruins.
To enter this place you have to cover your hair with a scarf and take off your shoes. The Sikh religion is very interesting. Men do not cut their hair or beards and they wear turbans. They also knot the beards under their chins and stick the hair to their faces with a special glue (you can't see any of this). Children as hair does not reach them for what they are picking turban over his head into a ball and they put some kind of cap with a ball top. Interesting.
The New Delhi Railway Station is located east of Pahar Gang and is not to be confused with that of Old Delhi, which is far more distant. It's the main station where trains depart to all the main cities of the country. A train ride in India is an adventure in itself. The third-class carriages are usually pretty tight and it is not uncommon to see stowaways on the roof of the train. There lots of vendors hawking tea (chai), samosas or candy, as well as children shining shoes. Seeing the occasional mouse is also not unheard of. Naturally, the comfort level depends on the money you're willing to pay. The first-class carriages have air conditioning, security and are quite clean and comfortable. But be careful, as robberies are somewhat frequent in the stations so it does not hurt to take precautions. Even so, I insist that traveling by train is an experience and an opportunity to chat with interesting people.
One of the main tourist attractions of Delhi, the famous Red Fort, is declared an Unesco World Heritage Site. Its architecture has several different influences, including Islam. Inside there's an Indian history museum. It's easily accessible by subway, the entry price is around $ 5 for foreigners. Visit recommended
Getting there is an arduous journey along impossible roads, but once you get there, you realize that it was really worth it. Several Jain temples rise up out of the middle of a lush and peaceful forest. Just by entering the grounds you'll find a unique spectacle. The trees have many monkeys who look at you. Once inside the temples, you can admire the numerous columns with carved images and wander through the halls where tranquility reigns.
Raj Ghat is the tomb of Mahatma Gandhi. It's simple, just like the leader of the independence movement of the Inda would have wanted. It's a marble platform located on the site of Gandhi's cremation, a day after his death on January 31, 1948. The platform is outside in a quiet garden with a constantly-burning flame lit in memory of the Mahatma. Near the river Yamuna in Delhi. On the stone's inscription are the last words of Gandhi. Today, most of the heads of governments from foreign countries, when they go to India, go to the tomb to bow to Gandhi. In respect, you must remove your shoes when you approach the marble platform. The place is very quiet and you can feel the emotions of the people. Be careful, sometimes they close the mausoleum without warning, because a president is coming or for safety reasons. In general it also closed for national holidays and the day of Gandhi's death, on January 30.