About Agra & Rajasthan

Activities/Things to see in Agra

Taj Mahal (3 Km): The inimitable poem in white marble is the finest expression of love of an emperor for his queen situated on the banks of the river Yamuna. It was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his queen Mumtaz Mahal, in 1632.

Agra Fort: Built by the great Emperor Akbar in 1565 A.D., the fort is a masterpiece of design and construction. Within the fort are a number of exquisite buildings, including the Moti Masjid, Diwane-i-Am, Diwane-i-Khas and Musamman Burj, where the Emperor Shah Jahan died in imprisonment, besides Jahangir's Palace, Khaas Mahal and the Sheesh Mahal

Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb(6 Km): The tomb  was built by Empress Noor Jahan, in memory of her father, Ghias-ud-Din Beg in 1622-25A.D. This ornate tomb isconsidered  a precursor of the Taj Mahal, this small garden tomb reflects the taste and sophistication of the gifted queen. The warm yellow marble is highlighted with white and black marble inlay, and the lacey pierced marble screens and rich, jewel-inlaid mosaics have a delicate, feminine quality that is pure enchantment.

Sikandara(12 Km): The tomb of Akbar, begun by the Emperor himself and completed by his son, Jehangir. This richly decorated structure is a quaint mixture of styles. The emperor began to build his own garden mausoleum during his lifetime, a red sandstone monument in a chahar-bagh or 4 square-formal garden. A magnificent marble-inlaid gateway leads up to the open, airy, four-tiered structure which is topped by a white marble cenotaph and screen on the fifth storey. This was added by Shahjehan who completed the mausoleum after his father's death.

Radhaswamy Samadhi, Dayalbagh:This highly ornate memorial to the founder of the Radhaswamy sect has been in the making for several years and is still being worked upon. It is entirely in marble, upon which every manner of ornamentation has been applied.

Jama Masjid: Of specific importance due to its assimilation of Iranian architectural elements, it was built in 1648 A.D. by  Emperor Shah Hahan's daughter, Jahanara Begum.

Mariyam's Tomb(13 Km): Built for Emperors Akbar's Goan Wife Mariyam in 1611 A.D., the tomb has exceptional carvings. Finished in red sandstone.

Chini-Ka-Roza(7 Km): The tomb of Allama Afzel Khal Mullah of Shiraz is a memorial to the poet-scholar, who later become the Prime Minister of Emperor Shah Jahan. The surface of the tomb is decorated with glazed tiles

Ram Bagh(8 Km):The earliest example of a Mughal garden, was created by the founder of the dynasty, Emperor Babur.

Fatehpur Sikri( 37 Km): The founding of Fatehpur Sikri reads like a fairy tale. When all else had failed, Emperor Akbar came here in search of the renowned Sufi mystic, Sheikh Salim Chishti, to ask the blessing of a son. His prayer was heard, and soon a son was born. In honour of the saint, Akbar named the prince Salim and vowed to found a new city. And so Fatehpur Sikri, a magnificent new city rose on the craggy hills 40 Kms from Agra.
Today Fatehpur Sikri is a deserted, phantom city. But the inner citadel is immaculately preserved. Its walls, palaces, baths, royal mint, courts and gardens still stand in splendid homage to great visionary and builder.

Bhartpur Bird Sanctuary(60 Km):Also known as Keoladeo Ghana National Park, India's most renowned waterbird sanctuary lying in the neighbouring state of Rajasthan, is the winter home of the rare Siberian Crane. Approachable from Agra by  road, a variety of accommodation is available, within and outside the National Park. (Season - October to February)

Mathura-Vrindavan:Mathura, on the banks of the River Yamuna, is celebrated as the birth place of Krishna, and the groves and ghats of nearby Brindaban with its thousands of shrines and temples still echo with stories and songs that recount the exploits of this charming god

Activities/Things to see in Rajasthan

JAIPUR

Jaipur, popularly known as Pinkcity, was built in 1727 AD by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II and designed by the brilliant young Bengali architect Vidhyadhar Bhattacharya. Designed in accordance with Shilp Shastra - an ancient Hindu treatise on architecture - Jaipur follows a grid system. The wide straight bazaars, raastaas (streets), galis (lanes), mohallas and uniform rows of shops on either side of main bazaars are arranged in nine rectangular city sectors called chaukris. Encircled by a formidable wall, Jaipur was the only planned city of its time.
Places of interest are located mainly in the walled city. Places to visit are Amer Palace, Jai garh, Nahar Garh, Galtaji, Sisodiya Rani Ka Bagh, Hawa Mahal, City Palace, Albert Hall (Museaum), Birla Temple

JODHPUR

Jodhpur, popularly known as Surya Nagari (Sun City). It was the capital of the former princely State of Marwar. Jodhpur was founded by Rao Jodha in 1459. Rao Jodha got the Mehrangarh fort built, around this fort grew the city of Jodhpur.
A son of Rao Jodha named Bika founded the state of Bikaner. Jodhpur is primarily dry state.The lifestyle in Jodhpur is unusually fascinating with folks wearing lovely multihued costumes and artistically designed dresses. Women folk wear wide gathered skirts and hiplength jacket, with three-quarter length sleeves, covering the front and back. The colorful turbans worn by the men folk add more color to the city. It was from here that the popularly worn baggy-tight, horse riding trousers - "Jodhpuris" took their name.

KOTA

The south eastern region of Rajasthan known as Hadoti comprises of Bundi, Baran, Jhalawar and Kota. Kota lies along the banks of the Chambal River. The historical palaces and temples are getting surrounded with signs of modern development such as the chemical and other industries that have come up here, as has the Chambal River Valley Project, an irrigation and power project. The city came up in the 12th century A.D, when the Rajput conquests began. Rao Deva founded Bundi as the capital of Kota. Kota was later to become a separate state in the 17th Century.
Places to visit are the Rao Madho Singh Museum, Govt. Museum, City Palace and Fort, Jagmandir, Haveli of Deaji

UDAIPUR

Udaipur is the pearl of India, the entrancing "City of Dawn". The land of the Rajputs, faithful to its glorious history and traditions. Here are lakes that come as a surprise in sandy Rajasthan and forested hills where wildlife still abounds. Udaipur was founded in 1559 by Maharana Udai Singh and was the capital of Mewar State.

Places to visit are City Palace/Museum, Lake Pichola, Jagdish Temple, Saheliyon Ki Bari.The temples of Eklingji, Nathdwara and Ranakpur, the fort of Kumbalgarh and Jaisamand Lake. Further away are the great fort of Chittorgarh, the spectacular temples of Mount Abu and the splendid palaces of Dungarpur.

BIKANER

It was founded in 1488 by Rao Bikaji - a descendant of the founder of Jodhpur. The most famous of all structures in Bikaner is the massive Fort with it's 986 mtrs. long wall, 37 bastions, 2 entrances and exquisite quality of stone-carving seen on the palaces and havelis inside the fort.

Lalgarh Palace , Bhandsagar temple complex, Devikund , camel breeding farm, Gajner, Karni Mata Temple are the places to visit.

ALWAR

Alwar once formed part of Jaipur state.Alwar was a part of 'Matsya Desh', most of it around 1500 BC was included in the territory of Matsya. In 1771 the then ruler of Alwar, Pertab Singh became its first independent ruler and thus became the youngest state in Rajputana. During the 1900's the ruling Maharaja became known throughout princely India for his wicked sense of humour.

In 1931 he visited Buckingham Palace and refused to take off his gloves when shaking hands with the British monarch. In 1933 the Maharaja was deposed and he left for Paris with more than 20 servants, he eventually died in 1937.

Bala Quila , Vinay Vilas Mahal , Government Museum, Sariska Tiger Reserve and National Park are the places to visit.