The Golden Quadrangle
This Golden Quadrangle of North India gives an insight into the diversity surrounding India's great imperial capital and its neighboring cities, also reigning supreme with history, legends and folklores - not to mention a generous dose of culture, crafts, cuisine and ancient marvels in stone and marble.
Essential India Tour captures the most prominent highlights in Indian history such as red sandstone fort in Delhi, beautiful Rajasthani palaces and imposing tombs and mausoleums such as the famed Taj Mahal in Agra.
Sariska sightseeing offers a fine blend of Indian flora and fauna surviving the test of time in this former hunting preserve, which is now the closest tiger reserve from Delhi and a welcome getaway for those seeking peace and quiet in nature's lap.
Jaipur, like Sariska, epitomizes the indomitable Rajput spirit of ancient war-lords and the Indian warrior class with innumerable opportunities to live like an Indian Maharajah (King) or Maharani (Queen) with a royal welcome afforded to all guests during palace visits, shopping opportunities for rainbow-hued rich fabrics, handicrafts, jewellry, camel rides and jeep safaris among other activities.
New Delhi, the capital and the third largest city of India is a fusion of the ancient and the modern. Standing along the West End of Gangetic Plain, the capital city, Delhi, unwinds a picture rich with culture, architecture and human diversity, deep in history, monuments, museums, galleries, gardens and exotic shows. Comprising of two contrasting yet harmonious parts, the Old Delhi and New Delhi, the city is a travel hub of Northern India.
Narrating the city's Mughal past, Old Delhi, takes you through the labyrinthine streets passing through formidable mosques, monuments and forts. You will also discover lively and colorful bazaars that boast to cater all sorts of good and items at mind-blowing prices amidst a barely controlled chaotic ambience. The imperial city of New Delhi displays the finely curved architecture of British Raj.
It generates a mesmerizing charm reflecting well-composed and spacious streets under the shade of beautifully lined avenues of trees and tall and imposing government buildings.
Jaipur is 260 km from Delhi and 240 km from Agra and forms the golden triangle of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. It a bustling capital city and a business centre with all the trappings of a modern metropolis but yet flavoured strongly with an age-old charm that never fails to surprise a traveller. The old Jaipur painted in Pink can grip any visitor with admiration. Stunning backdrop of ancient forts: Nahargarh, Amer, Jaigarh and Moti Doongari are apt testimonials of the bygone era and a reminder of their lingering romance and chivalry.
Jaipur is named after its founder, the warrior and astronomer sovereign, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh (ruled 1688 to 1744). The decision to move out of his hilltop capital Amer was also compelled by reasons of growing population and paucity of water. Moreover in the early 17th century the power of the great Mughals was dwindling with its aging Monarch Aurangzeb. After several centuries of invasions the north was now quiet and the wealth of the kingdom had considerably increased. Seizing upon this opportune time, Jai Singh planned his new capital in the plains. Jaipur is a corroborative evidence of Sawai Jai Singh's strong grounding in science and astrology and of a Bengali architect Vidyadhar with a strong instinct for planning.
The active streets of Jaipur get plenty of visitors, every year at their footsteps. The Ancient Testimonials in the form of mind-blowing monuments remind one of the past ages. The city comprises the famous structures like Hawa Mahal, City Palace and Amber Fort, the best architectural examples of India. Artistic temples and gardens of Jaipur, marks the atmosphere of serenity and aestheticism to the lands of Rajasthan. The lively city observes its ethnicity by celebrating various festivals like Kite festival, Elephant festival and many others, of Indian origin.
All theses features make Jaipur, one of the most sought after tourist destinations of Rajasthan, India. The glorious city boasts of its cultural heritage from every nook and corner. Jaipur is the reservoir of Indian customs, traditions, civilization and legacy. Jaipur lies at a distance of 260 kms from Delhi, the capital of India and the city is well-connected with other major cities of India. Every year, People across the globe come to experience this royal capital city of Rajasthan.
Agra - the City of the Taj Mahal
The epitome of love, the elegy in marble, Taj Mahal is one of the most graceful and extravagant monuments in India. The seventh wonder of the world, it attracts thousands of tourists every year. A symbol of endless love and devotion of Emperor Shah Jehan to his beloved queen Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj is a befitting tribute to so romantic-a-love story and so divine an emotion that binds two souls forever. A visit to Taj Mahal, the mausoleum of Mumtaz, is a rare experience. It has become a signature monument of Indian architecture and someone has rightly said that Taj is been designed like a palace and finished like a jewel.
The pure white marble structure, Taj acquires different shades at different times of the day and with changing seasons. The soft pink color of the dawn and fiery shade that it acquires at dusk are all bewitching. Though, the light that presents it in the best possible manner is perhaps that of full moon, when it shines with pristine white and silver glory. Taj seems to be as fanciful as the love story it represents of an all-mighty prince and a simple girl hawking silk and glass beads in the market and their marriage that seems so much like a fairy tale. The faithful wife marched with the prince, who was later crowned the emperor, on his every expedition and bore him fourteen children. On her deathbed, she made the emperor to promise to make a lovely monument unlike any other in the world as the tribute to their loving moments that were a treasure for her. The emperor kept the promise faithfully and thus, Taj was conceived.
Agra has a number of monuments ranging from the world known structures such as Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri complex to the lesser known tombs such as Sikandra, Mariam's tomb, Itmad-ud-daulah's tomb and Chini ka Rauza to the ones that are not even known to the locals and their remnants lie helter-skelter and no attention being paid to them. Ram Bagh and Swami Bagh Temple at Dayal Bagh, may not be so famous but have an indelible impression in the hearts of the natives of the city with their own history to boast of.
The first Mughal gardens laid by Babur in 1558, half a km from Chini Ka Rauza, were planned carefully in Persian style. They were then named as Bagh-i-Gul Afshan. Later, Jehangir renovated them and named them as Bagh-i-Nur Afshan. Neglected for centuries, these gardens have now turned into wilderness and are known as Ram Bagh. Set to the south of Sarai of Nur Jehan, Babur introduced three-terraced garden here for the first time. The river-drawn water was made to look like a spring, as it artificially descended from one terrace to another through a network of canals, tanks and water chutes that had stairs on both sides ended in a red sandstone pond. The gardens were beautified using 'Chhatris', platforms, pathways and a conglomeration of plants that were cultivated in a landscaped manner. Jehangir had also built two beautiful suites on the two sides of the main terrace and a Mahtab or island platform in the centre, which was connected with the main water system. Ram Bagh symbolizes the erstwhile Mughal pleasure garden that hasn't aged gracefully unlike other legacies of that time.
Dayal Bagh Temple
Swami Bagh Temple at Dayal Bagh is 10 km to the north of Agra. Started in 1904, it is still under construction even after 100 years! The white marble Samadhi of the Radha Swami, the founder of a unique religion that seeks to being all religions under one umbrella and preaches unity of mankind, the construction of this temple is not expected to be completed until sometime next century. If you want to witness the Pietra Dura inlaid marble work, you must visit the temple and walk to its sides to see the artisans at work. The aim of this structure is to build a temple for Hindus, a church for Christians, a gurudwara for Sikhs and a mosque for Muslims, each on a separate floor, in the same building, to symbolize brotherhood and unity in mankind. The artistic work here is wonderful and has an outstanding visual appeal. However, locals believe that perfect harmony between all the religions at once is impossible, so the building symbolizing it would never be complete and will be damaged anytime, it is close to being complete.