Best Heritage Destinations to Visit in India
Agra is another heritage town of India also known as the capital city of Mughals. Right from ages Agra city has its own charm as it houses the world famous Taj Mahal also known as the 7th Wonders of the World. Over the years Agra has come as heritage city of India crowing many famous Forts and Monuments. It is a must visit destination for any tourist visiting India. The 'other' major tourist attraction is the mighty Agra fort made up of red sand stone lying on the bank of Yamuna river. You will be updated with many historical episode associated with the red fort. This is the place where Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb in his last days. People have belief that during night the spirit of mighty king Shah Jahan hunts the fort or around Khas Mahal. Don’t forget to see Taj from the premises of the fort as the white marvel is very much visible from the fort. Another big attractions of the fort is its huge Chess Floor where at one balcony throne King use to sit and while on the other side across the floor was reserved for the Queens. They played Chess by using real soldiers. Isn’t it amazing?
2. Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal in Agra is one of the “Magnum opus” on anyone's itinerary when travelling in India. The sight of this The impact of this majestic structure carved out of a white marble is an experience in itself. Surrounded by many layers of gardens The Taj stood high on the banks of river Yamuna. Don’t forget to pay your attentions on the carvings on the walls of Taj which were once studded with jewels. Beneath lyies the grave of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jahan for which the entry is prohibited, you can only have a glance from the net doors. To climb up the Taj you have to remove your shoes and have to wear socks. Agra tourism department have taken commendable steps to control pollution in and around Taj. All petrol driven vehicles are stopped 1 km before Taj Mahal Premises. There you can have battery operated rickshaw or horse carts that will drive you to the entrance. Taj has its many hues. Sight Taj in sun light when the while stone truns in gold and its shimmering sparks turns the entire surrounding in to gold cover. In the night the Taj is at its best when the moon rays directly falls on it, the while dome turns into milky white stream. It is a sight to watch, moon right up at the top of the dome and spreading silver shine making like a cloak over the Taj.
Entrance fee in 2014: 750 rupees (It was included in my tour, but the guide said it would cost this much if we wanted to go back next morning).
3. The Hawa Mahal
The Hawa Mahal also called as a Palace of Winds is an incredible building worth a photo-stop in a way. Jaipur known as the 'Pink City' is also a capital city of Rajasthan is adorned with many heritage structures and buildings. Hawa Mahal was built in 18th century and with a purpose of allowing the royal ladies of court to see the royal procession passing by and the life of the city down. It is like a bee hive structure with numerous windows where sit the royal ladies at their leisure time. From across the road try to capture the full view of the building in your cam. It is the ideal place from where you can take picture from different angles.
4. Amber Fort
Amber Fort – A huge colossal perched on hills about 11km north of Jaipur is the glory of Rajasthan. Amber Fort is surrounded by ridges crested by thick walls. The major attractions of the fort is the Sheesh Mahal - A Palace encarved with many colored crystal glasses designed with many patterns and figures. You need a complete half day to tour Amber Fort, It is advisable to go in afternoon and take a elephant safari that will take you to the top of the gate entrance. You can enjoy the entire route sighting the valley down and having the glance of the fort right up there. Infact jeep is another option which takes tourist up the fort entrance. And for adventure freaks, it’s a trekking route also, enjoying walking and taking photos and pictures of the town below. In fact no itinerary to Jaipur is complete without visiting this fort.
QutbMinar – It is tall minerate dating from 1192 surrounded by captivating ruins. The best option is to take a audio guide that helps you understand each and every part of this heritage building. You have to deposite your passport or driver's licence as a deposit for the audio guide.
Earlier, it was allowed to climb up to the first floor of minar but now one can have a sight of it from a distance only. Besides the 72 metre high victory tower, there are other ruins of attractions like the Tomb of Iltutmish and Alai Minar - a stump. The Alai Darwaza is an intricate carved hall, constructed after Qutub Minar. Spend some leisure time to enjoy the intricately decorated walls and ceiling of this building. Don’t forget to notice the intriguing and incredibly detailed ancient pillars in the courtyard known as Quwwatul Islam.
6. Old Delhi
Old Delhi - Your old Dehi tour itinerary includes a rickshaw ride through the narrow lanes of 'old' Delhi (Shahjehanabad). In fact if you are an independently travelling through Delhi then Lonely Planet's "Discover India" will help you guiding about the things and attractions you might get in this area. You can enjoy the bustling market with traditional things, jewellery, pearls and artifacts.
Highlights of Old Dehi - Jama Masjid, age old market of Chandni Chowk and the Red Fort of Delhi which is like a Red Fort of Agra. Try the traditional chai (tea prepared with milk and sugar) believe me it is an absolute and a real experience. If have time can also visit Sikh Sisganj Gurudwara ( a worship place of a particular community living in Delhi) Generally these Gurudwars are made of white stone marble with a tomb at the top. One should have least a day in hand to actually explore this traditional town of Delhi.
7. India Gate
India Gate – This is a War Memorial Arch called as India Gate in New Delhi is surrounded with lush green parks and water fountains on both sides. At the night the building luminates with yellow colour that is definitely as sight to see. If you see from a close quarter then you will find that the walls of this arch are inscripted by the names of the soldiers who sacrifice their lives in the First World War. Around the top of the arch you can see the names of battles in which India has fought. The view of Rajpath right up to the Rashtripati Bhawan from India Gate is just mesmerizing. You can have symmetrical buildings on both the sides of the Rajpath way.
8. Humayun's Tomb
Humayun's Tomb – This is a 16th century World Heritage site build of red sandstone and marble, surrounded by calm green gardens that makes a real flee from the bustling and busy streets of Delhi. The building is also a resident for kites, but not to worry…they are of no harm, may be use to of visitors visiting their domain entire day.
All the heritage sites and forts have their own unique characteristics. Red Fort in Agra, the Amber Fort in Jaipur and Chittorgarh Fort near Udaipur in Rajasthan don’t look alike at all. For any visitor "fort" would look like huge walls with few cannon ball holes in it and some old cannons like any of the Forts in other countries.