Golden Temple, Amritsar
Golden Temple is also known as Harmandir Sahib or Darbar Sahib which is also termed as “Abode of God” located in the beautiful city of Amritsar, Punjab, India. It is one of the holiest pilgrimage sites of Sikhism. Gurudwara literally means “Entry to the Master’s door. This temple is built around a man-made pool completed by Guru Ram Das(The 4th spiritual leader of Sikhism). https://ctt.ac/s79Ea
The first brick of the central abode was laid by Hazrat Mian Mir a popular Sufi saint of that time. The striking golden plated Holy shrine is where the Adi Granth or the Holy book “Guru Granth Sahib” was placed on August 16, 1604. Guru Govind Singh Ji had vested the religious authority of the Guru in the Guru Granth Sahib and hence the Sikh religion considers this sacred scripture as their eternal Guru. Taking spiritual consideration this is one of the most sacred shrines and one of the most popular Sikh destinations. People from all walks of life come here to take the blessings of the guru. you can also check out Mysteries of The Unseen World
This temple serves around 1, 00,000 free meals every single day and is considered as the biggest in the world. During the famous Baishakhi(Festival of Harvest) festival of India, this number becomes double. The entire kitchen is run fully by Volunteers and it gives immense pride to people to work for this noble cause. It also symbolizes humanity and harmony.
It doors open to the North, the South and the east and the West signifying that people belonging to every walk of life are wholeheartedly welcomed here. Every Sikh devotee, in the world over, wishes to pay obeisance, here in Amritsar.
Lake Palace, Udaipur
This Lake palace was built somewhere between 1743 and 1746 by Maharaja Jagat Singh of Udaipur who is also considered as the 62nd successor of Mewar. He selected Rajasthan as the summer capital. This palace is intentionally constructed facing east so that devotees can pray to Surya (The Hindu God of Energy).
The rulers used this palace as there summer resort for their meetings in the courtyards marked with fountains and lavish gardens all over. Many European families used this island as an asylum during famous Indian Sepoy mutiny. The king destroyed the town boats feared of attacking his kingdom by the rebels and saved the island from their intrusion. As time passed to 19 century, the weather changed the demography of Udaipur by dampening the emanations of the lake.
The famous theatre personality Geoffrey Kendal described the palace as ‘totally barren” during his visit in 1950. Bhagwat Singh later decided to the picture of the palace turning it into Udaipur’s first luxury hotel. When you catch the first glimpse of this palace you will be totally mesmerized. Arriving at the Taj Lake palace never sees us amaze.
It looks like floating white marble like monument as magnificent as when built. The Taj Lake palace represents the most romantic environment of architectural significance historical opulent and natural beauty.
Hampi is one of the famous tourist destinations in the southern part of India and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located in the East- Central Karnataka. It antedates the Vijayanagara Empire of Medical era history and also known as the world’s second largest after Beijing. Hampi can also be called as a candid style of Architecture which reflects the grandeur of the Vijaynagar Empire.
The landscape is rugged but adds beauty to its ambiance and one cannot resist without taking a glimpse of it. The annual Purandara festival is held every year in the month of January-February to celebrate the birth of “Purandar”, the famous poet-composer of all times. The Hampi can be divided into two parts in terms of tourist spots:
The Hampi Market and The Royal Center. The Virupaksha temple which hails from the 15th century is located in the Hampi Market area and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. South of this temple lies the Hemakuta Hill which has some early ruins from history.
This hill offers a magnificent view of Hampi market. To the east of Hampi market, one can see the Vittal temple which is a World Heritage Site built in the 16th century. Between Hampi market and Kamalapuram lies The Royal Center which is a 2-km walk down from the market. Tourist can find the number of attractions near the Royal Center one of which is the Lotus Mahal which is a convoluted designed pavilion in the boundaries of the walled compound. Anegondi is the delight added to Hampi which is an area near the Hampi market across the Tungabhadra River.
Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh
Khajuraho is like all the other Hindu Temples in India but what distinguishes from the other is its architectural sculptures and grandeur carvings. It is located in central India’s Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A bunch of these temples was built between 970 and 1100 by the king of the Chandela dynasty.
Hinduism and Jainism are the two religions to which this temple is said to be dedicated to and is a mark of respect among both. The sculptures represent love and lust in various forms but some interpret this as a form of sex education of ancient India but there are various beliefs behind this erotic structure of Khajuraho. The temple presents different forms of Shakti and Shiva, female and the male seraphic postulate.
It is also said that the Chandela rulers might have created the Temples to enrich the balance between male and female forces yet the temple portray women so freely and openly enjoying pleasures which are often believed to be a celebration of female power. It is also said to be one the isolated temple which managed to survive different dynasties that came into force since its inception and rules for almost 5 centuries.
Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Maharashtra
The caves lie in the Aurangabad district of the state of Maharashtra in Indian continent and are primarily known for its rock-cut Buddhist architecture. It presides from the 2nd century BC to about 492 CE. The paintings and the sculptures are considered as one of the finest living examples of ancient Indian art expressing emotions, gestures.
The Ajanta caves comprise of ancient Buddhist monasteries and worship halls of Buddhist traditions which are carved into a 246 ft wall of rock. The carvings inside the caves also represent the past lives and reincarnations of Buddha. On the other hand, Ellora caves which lie at a distance of 100 km from the Ajanta caves which also contains the ancient Hindu and Buddhist carvings.
These caves are also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The astounding Kailash Temple which forms Cave 16 is no doubt the famous attraction. The temple is dedicated to Shiva and his abode Kailash. The Elephant sculptures are a major highlight here. The most remarkable thing about Ajanta and Ellora caves is that they were only crafted by hand with a Hammer and a chisel and that makes it one of the hardest structures to be built in that time of history.
Cellular Jail, Andaman and Nicobar Islands
The cellular jail was a settlers prison in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India and can also be termed as a mute spectator to freedom fighters. This was used specifically by the British to exile the prisoners to the remote island. Many notable Indian freedom fighters were imprisoned here during the freedom struggle. Its construction started in 1896 and was completed in 1906.
This jail is called Cellular because it is made of individual cells for the isolation of the prisoners. This remote island was treated as the suitable place to convict the freedom activists as they were not only kept isolated from their mainland but the journey to the island also threatened them with loss of courage and caste. This solitary confinement was an ideal place for such activists as they could be kept completely secluded from the outer world.
The prisoners were also used as a chain to construct buildings and harbors. This jail is now looked upon as a Pilgrimage to freedom loving people and has been declared as a National Memorial by Government of India. The first floor of the jail now has an Art gallery, Netaji Gallery (Dedicated to Netaji Subash Chandra Bose, a great freedom fighter) and an exhibition gallery at the ground floor. One can take a glimpse of Old pictures and photographs inspired by the fire of independence.
This fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the largest forts in India. It is located in the state of Rajasthan in the Indian Continent. Chhitor is the name of the place where the fort is built and Garh means fort. There are 7 entrances to the fort named as Padan Pol, Bhairon Pol, Hanuman Pol, Jorla Pol, Ganesh Pol, Laxman Pol, and Ram Pol. Chhitorgarh fort is also regarded as the symbol of the great Rajput’s bravery and Valor.
It is built 181 meters high and rises from the banks of the river Berach. Rana Kumbha Palace, the Fateh Prakash Palace, and Rani Padmini’s palace are some of the palaces adding to the beauty of the fort. There are many temples inside the fort out of which Jai temples are of major attraction.
Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar
This is an open public garden situated in the city of Amritsar, Punjab, India. Jallianwala Bagh is considered as the memorial of national importance and one of the most outrageous incidents in Indian History. General Dyer of British Force opened fire on thousands of innocent people who were gathered for peaceful celebrations of Baishakhi (Festival of Harvest).
This incident marked a terrifying blotch on the country devastating many lives. In 1951, Government of India inaugurated this memorial and it has now been changed into a magnificent park and managed by the Jallianwala Bagh management trust. The wall inside the structure still bears the proof which marks the bullets that were shot blindly on the civilians and also a well where many jumped in order to save their lives from this brutal killing.
This park is located in the heart of the city and is a few steps away from the city’s major attractions. The park is open 24*7 and there is no entry fee to the park. Inside the park one can explore the beautiful galleries and impressions of shootings which will definitely give you a deeper insight of the massacre. It is now a sacred pilgrimage to honor the victims.
Churches and Convents of Goa
Although Goa is primarily loved for its pristine and mesmerizing beaches with tropical climate one of the reasons which make Goa a perfect blend is the ancient churches and the convents. It is also said that churches in Goa wait for the listeners to tell their stories. The historic Basilica of Bom Jesus which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the attractions which have remains of St. Francis Xavier. It is around 400 years old but still standing firm.” Se Cathedral” in Velha is also one of the largest churches in whole Asia and which took almost 81 years to get constructed.
It celebrates the victory of the Portuguese over the Muslim rulers. It is now located on the top of a hill from the seashore where it was originally built. The church celebrates the annual feast “Sao Joao” too on 24 June every year with great pomp and show.
Qutub Minar, New Delhi
At a height of 72 meters, this tower is the tallest individual tower in the world which firmly portray the architectural brilliance of the Mughals. It is located in the heart and the capital of the country which is New Delhi. It is also said by many that this tower is built by Qutb Ud-Din-Aibak but if we peep deeper into the history the story is totally different. It was originally built by Illtumish who was one of the slaves of that time and then was later repaired and reconstructed by Qutb Ud-Din-Aibak.
Since then it was damaged many times by lightning and thunder and was repaired later on. This magnificent discovery takes you back to the rich history. The breathtaking architecture which includes unsoiled carvings is enough to charm you. It has now become a famous spot for locals and tourists to relax and capture some images of this wonderful ancient architecture.
Before December 4, 1991, the general public was allowed to access the top of the Minar(tower) but 45 people died in a virtual stampede due to power failure and since then access is denied to the top. Since Delhi experiences the scorching heat during summers hence the best time to visit this is in winters.