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Tourist Places To Visit In Golden Triangle (India)
The Golden Triangle is a collection of three destination cities in India that are must-visit when you come here. When plotted on the map, these three cities, namely, Delhi, Agra and Jaipur make an equilateral triangle of sorts. There is a reason these three cities form a major tourist hub in the subcontinent and no, it is more than just the weather and the sights.
These three cities cocoon in their lap the rich cultural history of India, from the Hindu Rajput Kingdom's strongholds in Jaipur to the capitals of Agra and later Delhi of the Mughal Sultanate. There is also the famed Taj Mahal here. You will not find a lack of tourist places to visit when traipsing the Golden Triangle.
Qutub Minar stands tall and strong at 73 m, almost like a symbol of Delhi’s indomitable spirit. Said to be built by the founder of Delhi Sultanate with the remains of Hindu temples, this place is also a major centre of controversy. But that does not take away its imposing charm in the Mehrauli area of Delhi. It is the tallest minaret in the world that is built with bricks. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site and serves as a major tourist attraction in your Golden Triangle Tour of Delhi.
Its architecture is a marvel in itself, with 5 storeys superposed and tapering. The Qutub Minar consists of beautiful sandstone and marble surfaces. Some of these inscribed with Quranic verses.
The Red Fort is the amalgamation of India’s rich historical pride and contemporary ruling ground. This was the place of residence of the Mughal Emperors after Shah Jahan, situated in the heart of Old Delhi. Today, the place holds the highest national importance as the Prime Minister of India hoists the national flag and delivers a speech from here on India’s Independence Day (15th August). This Fort is a strong, characteristic symbol of what India, as a defender stands for. With its octagonal shape peppered with turrets and bastions, its art and architecture a mix of Indian, Persian and European styles, Red Fort stands as much for braving wars as it does for braving time.
India Gate is a memorial of war that stands tall on Rajpath. It was built as a memorial for the Indian British soldiers who died in the First World War. Today it is inscribed with the names of 13,218 martyrs and war dead, including nurses killed in the World War as well as the third Afghan War.
In 1971, after the Bangladeshi Liberation war, a black marble plinth was added to this heritage sight as commemoration of those soldiers who lost their lives. This is named Amar Jawan Jyoti or the 'Flame of the Immortal Soldier.' It consists of a reversed rifle capped with a soldier’s helmet, signifying the sacrifice that men in uniform make. A flame has been lit in front of it which will burn until posterity. A visit to India Gate is a goosebump giving experience and must be done either at sunrise or sunset.
What can be written about Taj Mahal that already hasn’t been? It is a mausoleum, a symbol of love, a sight for sore eyes, a coming together of love and tragedy. The Taj Mahal or the crown of all palaces is many things wrapped into one, with two graves buried underneath. A UNESCO World Heritage sight and one of the 7 Wonders of the World, this structure retells the story of Shah Jahan, a mighty Mughal ruler and the love that he had for his deceased wife Mumtaz Mahal.
When in Agra, visiting the Taj Mahal is a must. In fact, people come to Agra only to visit Taj Mahal. Located on the bank of Yamuna River, this piece of romantic architecture must be toured at sunrise in summers and in the afternoon in winters.
The Fatehpur Sikri Fort is the centre of Mughal capital of Emperor Akbar’s time. An imposing structure constructed with red sandstone, it marks Agra as the ancient Mughal capital before it was shifted to Delhi.
Fatehpur Sikri is known for the Buland Darwaza which was the King’s entrance. It is 55 m tall at the entrance and then gradually comes down to human height. The fort also houses Jama Masjid, tomb of Salim Chishti, Akbar’s courts of Diwan-e-aam and Diwan-e-khaas, Birbal’s house, Panch Mahal, as well as the famous Palace of Marium-uz-Zamani that was the abode of Akbar’s chief queen Jodha bai. A visit to Fatehpur Sikri falls in the list of things to do in Agra as well as in the Golden Triangle.
The Palace of Winds is the literal translation of Hawa Mahal. It is a beautiful pink palace in the city of Jaipur in Rajasthan, constructed by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh to facilitate the women of the palace to peep out into the real world from the many windows. It was built in 1799 and is the biggest sandstone palace standing without foundation.
The numerous lattice-work windows or jharokas ensure such ventilation that the place is airy and cool all day long, through all seasons. The Hawa mahal also gives Jaipur its identity as the pink city and stands like a delightful marvel of what a king did for the women of his house. A visit to Hawa Mahal is must when in Jaipur.
Jantar Mantar is a collection of 19 astronomical instruments built into a monument in Jaipur. It was built by Sawai Jai Singh in the 18th Century and reflects the science and beliefs of that century. Jantar Mantar also houses the largest stone Sundial in the world and most of its instruments can be used even today to observe the astronomical movements in the sky. Its name is derived from Sanskrit roots and literally translates to ‘Instrument that Calculates.’
This monument is also a UNESCO World Heritage sight and is situated near the Hawa Mahal. It must be visited in order to see how science met with architecture in the vivid memory of India’s past.
Amer or Amber is the stronghold of Rajputana Kings near present day Jaipur. The Amer Fort is one of the biggest in the area, constructed over Cheel ka Teela (cliff of the Eagle), overlooking the Maota lake. It is connected to the Jaigarh Palace and houses the Diwan-e-khaas, Diwan-e-aam, Jai Mandir, Sheesh Mahal (mirror palace) and Sukh niwas which is a special area constructed to remain cool and airy all the time.
There are four gates to this palace fort and many entrances. Ganesh Pol is one of the biggest, named after the Hindu elephant god Lord Ganesh. Elephant rides can be taken up to the Amer Fort and are quite an experience, making you feel like the king coming home after battle. However, many animal right activists including PETA have raised concern over the mistreatment of these elephants.