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RAJASTHAN THE CULTURAL HERITAGE

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Rajasthan uniquely famous for its royalty, great hospitality, amazing foods, colorful culture, festivals and the most splendid, artistic forts and palaces, this place has artistic and cultural traditions which reflect the ancient Indian way of life. The most enticing part of Rajasthan is the traditional lifestyle, festivity and welcoming people, who always carry a bright, wide smile on their face. The people of Rajasthan are known for their culture nearly 5000 years old and which is a blend of tradition and history and old age charm. The moment you enter any part of Rajasthan you feel like a royalty. There is something in the air – chin up, chest out, grace and dignity personified – Padharo Maro Desh Re. Beautiful locations, delicious food along with locals who are known for their warm demeanour and large hearts make Rajasthan a place unlike any other. This romantic place is filled with untold stories, legends, folklore and heritage treasure, attracts tourists and vacationers from all across the World. Full of historical forts, temples and palaces, havelis, wild parks and unique thar desert, which drives visitors to this wonderful place. The vibrancy of Rajasthan is prominent through its intriguing artistic and cultural traditions. Touted as a romantic destination yet Rajasthan has plenty to offer to all kinds of travellers

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You will be left spellbound by the highly cultivated classical music and local dances that depict the lifestyles and day to day relationships of Rajasthanis. Its culture is vibrant with yummy cuisines, beautiful dances, and mesmerizing music. It is known for its royal grandeur and royalties and its varied folk culture from villages is often depicted as symbolic of the state which attracts tourist from all over the world. Folk music plays a delightfully large part in bringing to life the essence of Rajasthani culture. Lyrics relate of the heroic deeds and love stories and are often accompanied with unique musical instruments such as the dholak, sitar and sarangi. Be sure to try and catch a glimpse of the live performances of the traditional Ghoomar Dance, performed by women wearing colourful flowing dresses called ghagharas traditional to the area

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This is some place that truly depicts the composite essence of India and its celebration of life itself. Walk through the ancient alleyways; treat your senses with its celebrated art forms and tempting flavoursome food. Foodies with an appetite for discovering new cuisines would find Rajasthan cuisine to be an enriching culinary experience. Favourites include Bajre ki roti, pyaaz kachorri and most importantly Dal Bati Churma

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The mighty Thar Desert, the adventurous wild forests, camel safari and glimpse of tigers, shimmering jewels, traditional delicious cuisines, flamboyant art and vibrant culture, famous colourful fairs and festivals – You name it and Rajasthan has it!. The dazzling fairs and festivals in Rajasthan will give you a chance to explore the art, culture, traditions, history and people. The most famous ones are Pushkar fair and Jaisalmer Desert festival. From desert scrub to holy lakes, one thing that is hard to grasp for the first-time (or even repeat) visitor is the sheer size of the place

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Rajasthan literally means “The Land of Kings” and Kingdoms The glorious history of the Rajput era is well preserved through majestic forts and palaces. All corners of this destination covered by fabulous attractions and wonders built by various rulers and architects of that era. It has a romantic past which reminds us of heroism, honor and chivalry. Legend says that Rajasthan is home to Rajputs who have ruled Rajasthan for 1000 year. Withstanding years of merciless winds and striking desert heat, these buildings have stood tall in all their glory waiting for all to visit them

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JAISALMER THE GOLDEN CITY OF INDIA

 

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Jaisalmer “The Golden City of India The unique tourist destination of its kind, having its own worth with many reasons to visit. The Rajput Ruler Rawal Jaisal, after whom the city finds its name, founded Jaisalmer in 1156 A.D. The Jaisalmer fort known as Sonar Quila or the Golden Fort rises from the sand and merges with the golden hues of the desert ambience. One of the very few “living forts” in the world, as nearly one fourth of the old city’s population still resides within the fort. For the better part of its 800-year history, the fort was the city of Jaisalmer. The first settlements outside the fort walls, to accommodate the growing population of Jaisalmer, are said to have come up in the 17th century.

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The setting sun in its most colorful shades gives it a fairy tale appearance. It is simply magical – as the bastions envelop a whole township that consists of the palace complex. This unique living center, formerly an ancient fort, is home to thousands of people with colorful shops and unique corners in honeycombed old houses on crossing lanes. Walking past houses and shops and stop for a cup of masala tea on a rooftop beautiful restaurants for spectacular panoramic views.

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This amazing place having Jaisalmer Fort and the Beautiful Havelis which were built by wealthy merchants of Jaisalmer are yet another interesting aspect of the desert city. And you can let your eyes caress the sloping sand dunes while you ramble your way in a camel safari. The desert citadel is truly a golden fantasy in the Thar Desert.

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Sam sand dunes at the distance of 42-45 km from the main city is the unique and really unforgettable experience, these dunes are simply a delight. Regarded as top 10 must see tourist destinations in Rajasthan by Lonely Planet, the sand dunes of Jaisalmer is a rare desert area, lying on the borders of Jaisalmer Desert National Park. The desert camping with stay in mud cottages and Swiss tents, right next to the dunes. Enjoy special dance and music performance by Local Rajasthani performers along with relishing delicacies. Bonfire during the night under the star-lit sky is wonderful

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Rajasthan uniquely famous for its royalty, great hospitality, amazing foods, colorful culture, festivals and the most splendid, artistic forts and palaces, amazing rare desert. The people of Rajasthan are known for their culture which is nearly 5000 years old and which is blend of tradition and history and old age charm

 

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WILDLIFE SAFARIS IN RAJASTHAN

Rajasthan The Land of Maharajas this destination attracts tourists for its historical forts, palaces, art and culture. Endowed with natural beauty and a great royal history, palaces of Jaipur, lakes of Udaipur, and desert forts of Jodhpur, Bikaner and Jaisalmer are among the most preferred places to visit. Folklore of heroism and romance resound from the formidable monuments that majestically stand to tell the tale of a bygone era. The magic of vibrant Rajasthan. Its rich heritage, colourful culture, exciting desert safaris, shining sand-dunes, amazing variety lush forests and varied wildlife makes it a destination nonpareil

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Rajasthan Wild Life Tour A thrill experience for the traveler who are interested in wildlife and keen to visit the major wildlife sanctuaries and parks. This includes visits at Sariska, Jaipur, Ranthambore, Bharatpur and so on

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Ranthambhore Wildlife Sanctuary is known for its tigers and is one of the best places in India to see these majestic predators in the jungle. Once the hunting grounds of the royals, this place is now a great spot to enjoy jungle safari. Tigers can be easily spotted even during the day time. It is named for the historic Ranthambhore fortress, which lies within the national park. This place was home of royal hunting The park covers an area of 392 km², and is known for its tiger population, and is one of India’s Project Tiger reserves. Other major wild animals include leopard, nilgai, wild boar, sambar, hyena, sloth bear and chital. It is also home to wide variety of trees, plants, birds and reptiles. Ranthambore is also the site of one of the largest banyan trees in India. Ranthambore National Park is dotted with structures that remind you of bygone eras. There are many water bodies located all over the park, which provide perfect relief during the extremely hot summer months for the forest inhabitants. A huge fort, after which the park is named, towers over the park atop a hill. There are many ruins of bygone eras scattered all over the jungle, which give it a unique, wonderful and mixed flavour of nature, history and wildlife. Tigers at Ranthambore National park have been known to even hunt in full view of human visitors. These tigers are famous for being seen in the daytime too, due to their lack of fear of human presence in vehicles. This lack of fear of humans is excellent for tourists, as they get to see the tigers often.

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Ranthambore National Park and Tiger Reserve is one of the world’s best known wilderness areas. This park offers some of the finest opportunities for sighting the magnificent tiger in the wild. Well known for its rich population of tigers- here is your chance to embark on a delightful wildlife safari that will provide you with best and closest views of the wild animals living peacefully in their natural habitat. A mix of rolling hills and crags, and meadows, lakes and rivulets, this dry-deciduous forest system is home to an incredible variety of flora and fauna. Apart from the tiger, you can also spot sloth bear, leopard, caracal, jackal, fox, hyena and mongoose at Ranthambore. The elusive Indian wolf too, has been spotted here occasionally. The dainty chital, sambhar deer, the blue bull antelope or nilgai, rhesus macaque, langur and an incredible variety of birds amidst a setting of dhok, fig and banyan trees makes a visit to this park a delight for tourists and naturalists alike. Basking crocodiles, king vulture on a snag, the scream of the serpent eagle, the alarm call of spotted deer are some sights and sounds that make this a safari experience like none other The Real Jungle Experience

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World Heritage Site Ranthambore Fort lies within the Ranthambore National Park, near the town of Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan state of India. The fort was held by the Chahamanas (Chauhans) until the 13th century, when the Delhi Sultanate captured it. A widely held belief states that the fort was built in the reign of Sapaldaksha, in 944 CE. Another theory states that the fort was built during the reign of Jayant, in 1110 CE. According to Government of Rajasthan’s Amber Development & Management Authority, it is likely that the construction started in the mid-10th century during the reign of Sapaldaksha, and continued a few centuries after that. In 2013, at the 37th session of the World Heritage Committee, Ranthambore Fort was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the group Hill Forts of Rajasthan

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World Heritage Keoladeo Site National Park The Bharatpur Bird Sanctuary  created 250 years ago, constructed by Maharaja Suraj Mal, the then ruler of the princely state of Bharatpur Between 1726–1763. Now a paradise for the avian world, and the pilgrimage for the bird lovers, The park was a hunting ground for the maharajas of Bharatpur, a tradition dating back to 1850, and duck shoots were organized yearly in honour of the British viceroys. In one shoot alone in 1938, over 4,273 birds such as mallards and teals were killed by Lord Linlithgow, the then Governor-General of India. It was known as the best duck shooting reserve in the British Empire. Declared a reserve for birds in 1956 and later upgraded to National Park. UNESCO has listed it as a world heritage site. It boasts to house more than 375 species of beautiful birds, and more than 132 of them breed inside the Keoladeo Ghana National Park

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Amongst one of the finest bird sanctuaries on the planet, settling indigenous water-feathered creatures and also transient water flying creatures and waterside winged creatures, this haven is likewise possessed by Sambar, Chital, Nilgai, and Boar.  The sanctuary is one of the richest bird areas in the world and is known for nesting of resident birds and visiting migratory birds including water birds. While a large portion of India’s park has been produced from the chasing predicament of royal India, Keoladeo, famously known as Bharatpur Wildlife Sanctuary, is maybe the main situation where the environment has been made by maharajas. The rare Siberian cranes used to winter in this park but this central population is now extinct. According to founder of the World Wildlife Fund Peter Scott Keoladeo National Park in Bharatpur is one of the world’s best bird areas

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KERALA WITH TAGLINE “GOD’S OWN COUNTRY”

Kerala with a catchy tagline Kerala “God’s Own Country” destination Kerala is a global brand and regarded as one of the destinations with highest recall. Words fail to describe the beauty of Kerala. Lying in the south-west, along the Malabar Coast, Kerala often contradicts the typical perception of traditional India, with its bright and verdant region. Here there are quaint villages, art-cultural havens and beautiful national parks where you can hike, view wild elephants and literally get a breath of fresh air. The rich mix of Kerala’s colorful trading history; flamboyant festivals; its splendid culture; and its charming undercurrents of mild eccentricity add to its intrinsic appeal. Lush green hill stations, waterfalls and plantations of tea and spices, taste exotic cuisines, replenish body with Ayurveda treatments, its heritage buildings, lovely beaches and many more

KERALA HOUSEBOAT 02Nature’s beauty is all around Kerala, but perhaps the best example of nature’s influence adding charm to this state are its waterfalls. They are gorgeous refreshing to look at and wondrous display of Mother Nature. Rolling hills, romantic aroma, picture-perfect landscapes and solitude make waterfalls in Kerala, one of the ideal gateways to solitude. Kerala’s forests are punctuated with small and large streams that merge together to form luscious waterfalls.

KERALA CLIMATEThe swishing and whooshing sound of the flowing stream add to the charm. These coax just about anyone to spend hours gazing at the beauty of the gorgeous waterfalls and soaking in the surrounding beauty. The mist, the hill station, green plankton all around will definitely make you feel high on life. The rolling pastures of tea that cover this fantastic region give this place its surreal look. The scenes makes it look like a paradise out of a fairy tale and a ideal place for honeymoon couples as well as for those who want to spend some quiet time amidst beautiful nature with incredible views to behold. Beautiful hill stations here in Kerala noted for its exceptional shades of green, rotating tea-planted hills, fog and more offer splendid postcard perfect images. What make this place all the more special, and seeing the blue florets carpet the valleys, mountains, and grasslands can be a sheer delight. Take a tour around the spice plantations and gardens. Indulge in grand boating, natural strolling, trekking, mountaineering, hiking and bird watching. Complete with spice plantations, tea gardens, a wildlife sanctuary and a thriving indigenous tribe population, Kerala is a traveller’s delight

KERALA HOUSEBOATThe beautiful climate of the region produces a mesmerizing bounty of scenes. Enjoy the verdant greenery and vibrant culture that comes alive with it. Its culture and traditions, coupled with its varied demographics, have made Kerala one of the most popular tourist destinations in the World

KERALA 004Witness how nature unfolds itself in the very front of your eyes. Backwaters with luxury houseboats, Rain and romance is a match made in heaven, and it won’t get more romantic than cruising along the glistening backwaters and on a rainy day taking all the sights, smells and sounds of this little paradise. Kerala’s backwaters comprise a dreamy network of myriad canals, lagoons, rivers and lakes a short way inland from the ocean. Wake up on an exotic house boat amidst beautiful backwater with the rejuvenating rains and lush green palm fringed adjoining ambiance. Tableaux of rural life drift by and glimpses of homes, farms, churches and temples delight the eye. The leisurely cruise along the laidback backwaters gives one a first-hand experience of the village lifestyle in the state and its rustic activities like coir-making and prawn farming. You cannot miss the breathtaking view of the water, land, birds and human habitation on the water side, coexisting peacefully. It is very peaceful and relaxing experience

KERALA HOUSEBOAT 04From being the ‘Science of The Life’, Ayurveda has become the ‘Slice Of Life’ for people of Kerala. Sprouted in the pristine land, some 5000 years ago, Ayurveda, the science of life and longevity, is the oldest healthcare system in the world and it combines the profound thoughts of medicine and philosophy. Kerala Ayurveda is famous for its five prolonged treatment, named as Panchakarma. As part of this treatment medicated oil, herbs, milk, and special diet are used to cure all types of aliments. It is considered a natural way to refresh oneself by eliminating all toxic imbalances from the body and thus regain good health. Almost all resorts now boast of an Ayurveda spa, meditation and yoga classes. Treatments for skin problems, ailments related to stress and joint pains, or general oil massage is sure to put the spring back in your step

KERALA HOUSEBOAT 05Coconut palms and seafood,  Dutch churches and Jewish synagogues, spices and culture, this place is so much more than just another place. Right from the time of the great flood of 1340 AD, there’s been no looking back. From the Portuguese and Dutch to the British has left his unique mark on the land here, spectacular post-colonial legacy evident in Fort Kochi and Mattancherry.

KERALA FISHING NETFrom fleeing Jews to Arab traders and Christian missionaries, Kerala has been home to a varied population and continues to lure travellers today as well. Chinese fishing nets, heritage buildings. Spice trading remains one of the major contributors to economy, and a quick walk through Fort Kochi’s spice market with its intoxicating aroma is proof enough. An amalgamation of the best of the old and the new, walk over to watch heavy Chinese fishing nets being raised as the sun slowly rises. Head back to the auction halls as fishermen bring in their daily catch where fish is neatly sorted on clean floors for quick auctions

KOCHIThe crescent-shaped beaches of Kerala is indeed a perfect place for leisure and relaxation. An ideal place to spend romantic, relaxing and enjoyable moments amidst serene backwaters with palm fringed shores, not only about sun, surf, sandy beaches and the blue sky; it is also about beach sports like paragliding, swimming, surfing and parasailing. Take a leisure walk on the beach while taking in the breathtaking sunrises or sunsets, revitalize their body and mind and enjoy a delicious hearty meal of continental and local delicacies in the beach shacks and eateries that line the coast.

National Geographic’s Traveler magazine names Kerala as one of the “ten paradises of the world and “50 must see destinations of a lifetime”. Travel and Leisure names Kerala as “One of the 100 great trips for the 21st century”. Kerala’s beaches, backwaters, mountain ranges and wildlife sanctuaries are the major attractions for both domestic and international tourists. Kerala is famous especially for its Eco-tourism initiatives

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MUMBAI CITY “THE DREAM LAND”

 

Experiencing a rich influx of tourists all throughout the year, Mumbai offers a mix of everything. From beaches to hills, historical monuments to ultra modern architecture, it has it all. It also boasts of a happening nightlife and a glitzy-glamour filled lifestyle. Therefore, it involuntarily becomes the first stop on the list of places to be visited around the country

MUMBAI VIIIThis city still frequently referred to “Bombay”, The City that never sleeps! Pulsating, Alive, On the Move, Vibrant and Fun also called as “Dream Land”. The most modern city in India, it captures the spirit of the changing pace set by liberalization and modernization, once a cluster of seven islands, Mumbai was presented to King Charles II in 1661 as part of the dowry when he married Princess Catherine de Braganza of Portugal. Thriving markets, business houses and many different communities reflecting a cosmopolitan and trendy atmosphere rarely seen elsewhere. On the surface, it represents the ever-changing face of today’s India the old coupled with the dynamic new, and yet at its very core, the heart of the city is steeped in Indian customs and values. Social scene of this dream land deceptively big and lively parties can be found most nights of the week. With the Bollywood scene based in and around the city, don’t be surprised to spot film stars and celebrities. For a roaring night out on the town, expats can opt for a cocktail on any of the many rooftop bars that overlook the Arabian Sea, or an evening stroll on the bustling Colaba Causeway. They can enjoy the delights of the city’s dance clubs in Churchgate or Juhu, or a sophisticated glass of wine in the chic and stylish Bandra area where looking good and being seen are all in a day’s work

By far the most iconic structure of Mumbai “The Gateway of India” this archway was makes for a great first stop for all wanderlust people exploring the city. The beautiful and magnificent gate has very well-designed pillars which remain strong till this day. Boating in the Arabian Sea is quite popular in the area, with the starting point being in the vicinity of this architectural marvel. This beautiful 3 kilometer long road Marine Drive is famous for having the Arabian Sea all along on one side. The curved shape of this road, combined with the beautiful lighting at night that looks like diamonds, has earned Marine Drive the title of ‘Queen’s Necklace’. A drive on this road is surreal and makes you feel as though you are in a different place altogether. The road is lined with a lot of classy eating joints which are very popular all over Mumbai. UNESCO World Heritage Site The Elephanta Caves, The Hanging Gardens and Dargah Hazrat Sayed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari a mosque and dargah (tomb) located on an islet off the coast of Worli in the southern part of Mumbai. Near the heart of the city proper, the dargah is one of the most recognisable landmarks of Mumbai. An exquisite example of Indo-Islamic Architecture

MUMBAI VVIPossibly, the greatest crowd pullers in Mumbai are the well-renowned street markets. Out of the many markets lining various streets all over the city, the ones deserving a special mention are – Crawford Market, Colaba Causeway, Linking Road and Fashion Street. They are famous for providing everything that you could dream of. Be it fashionable junk jewellery, stylish clothes, electronic items or even home decor items, these markets have it all. The street markets of Mumbai make shopping a must in Mumbai. As far as locally manufactured goods are concerned, Khadi clothes, traditional Marathi handicrafts and Sarees are a definite buy. Another speciality of this region are leather goods like jackets and purses

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A beach in the middle of the city, how good does that sound? Well, Mumbai not only makes it sound good, but also look amazing. Populated by thousands of people every day, the Mumbai beaches are a very happening spot. The roadside food stalls, live shows and interactive activities make it a truly memorable experience. The most popular beaches are Romantic Juhu Beach, Aksa Beach and Chowpatty.

Eating in Mumbai is a forerunner where regional food specialties are concerned. There are so many dishes worth trying. The most famous one though, is the ‘Vada Pav’. It is a different kind of potato cutlet stacked within a bun, eaten with chilies and spices. A trip to Mumbai is incomplete without a bite of this delicious and mouth-watering delicacy.

MUMBAI VVMumbai of home of “Bollywood” is a portmanteau derived from Bombay and Hollywood. However, unlike Hollywood, Bollywood does not exist as a physical place. India produces close to one thousand feature films every year including films in hindi and several regional languages besides documentary films, short film, TV Serials & Commercials Advertising Films. This is a World where you can put your imagination to the test and Shoot out your thoughts, Indian Film Industry is one of the largest in the World

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Kashmir “The Paradise on Earth”

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Kashmir known for its scenic landscape, ancient monuments, shrines, castles, gardens and forts. Often dubbed “Paradise on Earth”, Kashmir’s mountainous landscape has attracted travellers for centuries. Notable places are Dal Lake, Mughal Gardens and Hazrat Bal Shrine in Srinagar, beautiful green valleys, Gulmarg’s Gondola- The second highest cable car in the world. Kashmir’s natural landscape has made it one of the popular destinations for adventure tourism in South Asia. Ladakh has emerged as a major hub for adventure tourism. This part of Greater Himalaya called “moon on earth” consists of naked peaks and deep gorges. Srinagar (The Lake City) It is at a collection of images It tells the story of love of the Mughal Emperors for this paradise like vale with deep green rice fields, rivers, gardens in bloom and lakes rimmed by houseboats, where lush wild gardens of lotus and water-lily grow amidst bustling lanes

Mughal Garden Nishat Bagh (The Garden of Pleasure) The largest Mughal garden situated on the banks of world famous Dal-Lake in the backdrop of Zabarwan hills encircles the Dal Lake. Empress Noor Jahan’s brother Asif Khan laid the Garden in 1633 AD. Nishat has seven terraces with a beautiful central water course flowing right in the middle. These terraces rise dramatically off the mountains from the eastern part of the lake. Shalimar Bagh – It was planted by Mughal emperor Jehangir for Empress Noor Jahan in 1619 AD and later extended in 1727 A.D. by Shah Jahan. Shaded by magnificent Chinar trees, the Shalimar is a series of stone pavilions and flowing water with paint box bright flower beds. The Garden blooms with innumerable varieties of flowers in spring and autumn. Chashma Shahi Garden a tastefully laid garden in terraces, which commands a magnificent view of the Dal Lake below and surrounding mountain ranges. The cool water of the spring is highly refreshing and digestive. The original garden was laid out by Shah Jehan in 1632 AD.

Hazratbal Mosque is located in a village of the same name on the banks of the Dal. Its pristine white marble elegance is reflected in the waters of the lake. Hazratbal’s special significance is derived from the fact that it houses a hair of the prophet Muhammad. This is displayed to the public on religious occasions, usually accompanied by fairs. Hazratbal is remarkable for being the only domed mosque in Srinagar; the others having distinct pagoda like roofs. The shrine – mosque complex is situated on the western shore of the Dal Lake opposite Nishat Bagh and commands a grand view of the lake and the mountain beyond

Gulmarg (Meadow of flowers) It was discovered as a tourist destination by the British in the 19th century. Prior to that, Mughal emperors vacationed in the Gulmarg valley which is about 03 kms long and up-to 01 km wide. It is exquisitely situated in a pine surrounded basin of the Pir Panjal range at an altitude of 2,730 meters above sea level and one of the most famous tourist destinations of Kashmir. It also has one of the world’s highest green golf courses with 18 holes, as well as a clubhouse, which is a historical building in its own right

Sonmarg (Meadow of Gold) It is a place of enthralling beauty, lies in Sindh Valley, streamed with flowers, surrounded by mountains and perched at an altitude of 2690 m above sea level. Visited less frequently by tourists, it has as its backdrop, snowy mountains against a clear sky. It is a quiet alpine retreat surrounded with sycamore, silver birch, fir and pine trees and the last halt on the Kashmir side for the drive from Srinagar to Leh. It is also the base for some interesting treks to the high altitude of Himalayan Lakes

Pahalgam (Valley of Shepherds) It is a resort set in a pristine village lying next to the Lidder River. Once a humble shepherd’s village with breathtaking views. Now it is Kashmir’s premier resort, cools even during the heights of summer. It is situated at an altitude of 2,130 m above sea level and has a golf course at 2400 meters above the sea level. Surrounded with fragrant pine forests, the idyllic resort includes a golf course and spots for angling. The bubbling Lidder harbors a sizeable population of rainbow trout and mahaseer to ensure you don’t come away disappointed. The nearby forested slopes are home to the Himalayan brown bear

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AGRA THE HERITAGE CITY OF INDIA

Indian Heritage City Agra situated on the banks of holy river Yamuna, prominent tourist destination in India. Millions of tourists visit Agra from all across the world every year to see the beauty of majestic Taj Mahal and other historical monument lying everywhere in the city. Agra is primarily witness of Mughal architectural excellence and their love for structural designs. Agra home to three UNESCO World Heritage Sites are The Taj Mahal, Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri. Several others historical monuments and gardens in Agra like Tomb of I’timād-ud-Daulah, Tomb of Mughal Emperor Akbar The Great

The Taj Mahal in Agra was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 for being “the jewel of Indo-Islamic architecture in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage”. Described by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore as “the tear-drop on the cheek of time”, it is regarded by many as the best example of Mughal architecture and a symbol of India’s rich history. It was declared a winner of the New 7 Wonders of the World (2000–2007) initiative. The Taj Mahal was commissioned by Shah Jahan in 1631, to be built in the memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. Construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1632. The imperial courts documenting Shah Jahan’s grief after the death of Mumtaz Mahal illustrate the love story held as the inspiration for Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal complex is believed to have been completed in its entirety in 1653 at a cost estimated at the time to be around 32 million rupees, which in current times would be approximately 52.8 billion Indian rupees (US $ 827 million). The construction project employed some 20,000 artisans under the guidance of a board of architects led by the court architect to the emperor, Ustad Ahmad Lahauri

BULAND DARWAZA

Fatehpur Sikri (City of Victory) Exceptional testimony to the Mughal civilization at the end of the 16th century is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Offers a unique example of architectural ensembles of very high quality constructed between 1571 and 1585, its form and layout strongly influenced the evolution of Indian town planning, notably as Shahjahanabad (Old Delhi). Fatehpur Sikri was the capital of the Mughal Empire for only some 10 years. The complex of monuments, all in a uniform architectural style, is the most typical example of Mughal walled city, with well-defined private and public areas and imposing gateways. The architecture is a blend of Hindu and Islamic and reflects the political and philosophical vision of the Mughal emperors and their style of government. The complex of monuments includes Jodha Bai’s Palace, Panch Mahal, Buland Darwaza and Tomb of Hazrat Sheikh Salim Chishti

AGRA FORT

Agra Red Fort sprawling over an area of 380,000 sq m, UNESCO World Heritage Site situated on the right bank of River Yamuna. This fort was built by Mughal Emperor Akbar, after he defeated the Afghans at Panipat in 1556 using red sandstone, which was brought from the Barauli area in Rajasthan. The renovation was completed in 1573, after eight years of hard work of 1,444,000 labours. The fort is often referred to as walled city, as seventy feet high walls surround it on all sides

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