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Royal Palaces of India
A 16 Day Adventure
India’s grand and gorgeous architectural masterworks have enchanted the West for scores of centuries. Lord Curzon, India’s most astute Viceroy, praised its temples, tombs, and palaces as “the greatest galaxy of monuments in the world.”
On this two-week journey to India’s northern heartland, we immerse ourselves in that stellar ﬁrmament, visiting the grandest of the subcontinent’s monuments— with an enthralling emphasis on its old and its new palaces, in which, enveloped in luxurious hospitality, we’re happy to say we stay. At Delhi’s Leela Palace; the fabulous Oberoi Amarvilas in Agra, where every window looks out at the nearby Taj Mahal; at the exquisite Rambagh Palace, home of Jaipur’s last reigning maharajah; at Udaipur’s lyric Oberoi Udaivilas; and the Taj Group’s majestic Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur.
Supplier: Micato Safaris
Delhi (New Delhi)
Delhi is the third largest city and consists of Old Delhi and New Delhi. Old Delhi was the capital of India Between 17th and 19th centuries and now contains many mosques, monuments and forts relating to India's muslim history. The other Delhi is the imperial city created as the capital of India by the British. In addition to its historic interest and role as government center, Delhi is a major travel gateway. The architectural designs and sophistication that buildings in Delhi like Parliament House, Rashtrapati Bhavan, India Gate, Connaught Place and various administrative buildings like the South and North blocks along the breathtaking view available from Raj Path, show British influence. Modern Delhi has a cosmopolitan culture that nurtures festivals of all faiths and religions. Theatre, drama and entertainment of all sorts including discotheques are there.
In the mid 16th century and early 17th century, Agra witnessed a frenzied building activity and it was during this time when the symbol of love Taj Mahal was built. The buildings made during this era were purely in the contemporary Mughal style and of very high quality which is still reflected in what ever monuments remain in Agra. The narrow lanes of Agra filled with aroma of Mughlai cuisine, the craftsman who are busy creating masterpieces with their skill all remind of the Mughal royalty which this city had once experienced. Today whatever remains, has become a major tourist attraction which has taken Agra again to the heights of glory but this time as a major tourist destination of India. Main shopping areas include Taj Mahal complex, Kinari Bazaar, Raja Mandi, Sadar Bazaar. the Gangotri at Taj Mahal Complex and the Up Handlooms, UPICA at the Sanjay place are two UP Government emporiums.
Jodhpur, the second largest city of Rajasthan, at the edge of the Thar desert was once the capital of the Marwar state. It was founded in 1459 A.D. by Rao Jodha-chief of the Rathore clan of Rajputs who claimed to be descendants of Rama - hero of the epic 'Ramayana'. The city dominated by the massive Mehrangarh fort on a rocky hill is charming with its wealth of historic attractions and colourful markets which specialises in antiques. It is still one of the leading centres of wool, cattle, camels and salt.
One of the most romantic cities in Rajasthan, Udaipur is also known as the city of lakes. The marble palaces, beautifully laid out gardens and the lakes make Udaipur seem almost like a mirage in the desert. The founder of Udaipur, Maharana Udai Singh, was overcome by the misfortunes that his old capital of Chittaurgarh had to face due to repeated attacks by the Mughal armies. On the advice of a holy man, Udai Singh shifted his capital to the banks of Lake Pichola- the city was named Udaipur after him.
Jaipur, popularly known as the Pink City, was founded in 1727 AD by one of the greatest rulers of the Kachhawaha clan, the astronomer king Sawai Jai Singh. The pink color was used at the time of making to create an impression of red sandstone buildings of Mughal cities - and repainted in 1876, during the visit of the Prince of Wales. The city is best explored on foot and the adventurous visitor willing to go into the inner lanes can discover a whole new world not visible to the tourist-in-a-hurry.
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