Delhi, the capital city of the incredible India, is unmistakably the first
place any person will want to visit on his trip to India. Delhi was not
always the capital of India, nevertheless, its importance was never ignored.
However, after it was made the capital city, it never lost its position and
prestige. In past, seven major powers made Delhi their capital and even
today, its significance in terms of political, cultural and intellectual
acitivities is increasing day by day.
For International tourists, Delhi is a very important gateway to the rest
of India. The Indira Gandhi International Airport of Delhi receives flight
from many foreign countries. There are, quiet frequently, times when it is
difficult to get a ticket to India. Therefore it is advisable to book your
tickets pretty well in advance.
For domestic tourists, Delhi is connected by air, rail and roads to all the
amjor destinations within the country.
» The Red Fort -
Situated in todays old Delhi area,
the Red Fort was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century
to ward off any foreign invasion. The fort spreads over 3 kms in perimeter
and has its walls towering from 18-30 m. The fort is built of red sandstone
and has many important buildings within its premises like the Diwan-i-Aam
and Diwan-i-Khas. The fort had an important role to play in the history of
India and even today, the fort stands tall as the symbol of Delhi's grand
past. Visitors to Delhi must visit this fort to know what Delhi was in
earlier times. And to aid them in this, there is a light and sound show
organised by the Delhi Tourism Department which retells the history of Delhi
in context of the Red Fort.
» Jama Masjid -
Not far away from the Red Fort is
the Jama Masjid, also built by Shah Jahan in the 17th century. Jama Masjid
holds the distinction of being the largest mosque in entire India and is
highly revered by the Muslims all over the country. Steps in red sandstone
lead upto the entrances on the north, soth and east sides of the mosque. The
courtyard inside the mosque has two white and red striped sandstone minaret.
The main prayer hall occupies the western portion of the mosque and faces
Mecca. There are also towers at each corner of the mosque. The southern
tower provides a wonderful view of the Old Delhi as well as New Delhi area
from the top.
» Chandani Chowk -
This is one bazaar which might
not be as comfortable to shop in as modern malls, yet it is said that no
shopping in Delhi is complete without visiting Chandani Chowk. Located just
opposite the Red Fort, Chandani Chowk exudes an old world charm with its
numerous galis (lanes). The Naya Bazaar or the Khari Baoli, Gadodial Market,
Chor Bazaar and Chawri Bazaar each have their unique charm and are worth
visiting by tourists. On the other hand there are some lanes that are best
avoided like the ones dedicated to poultry and fish market. On the whole the
range of goods available on sale is enormous, and probabaly, this is the
reason that the area is always heavily crowded. The shops are open Monday to
Saturday from 10 in the morning to 6 in the evening.
India Gate -
India Gate was built by the British to commomerate the
death of Indian soldiers in the World War 1. The Gate occupies the central
region of the New Delhi and has an arch rising upto around 43 meters. Below
the arch is the memorial dedicated to the unknown soldiers who lost their
lives in the Indo Pakistan war of 1971. The beauty of the Gate is enhanced
by the colourful gardens that enclose it.
» Rajghat -
Rajghat, standing on the banks of river
Yamuna, marks the place where the last rites of the 'Father of Nation,'
Mahatma Gandhi was performed. The memorial stone of Gandhi is built of black
stones and has his last words 'Hey Ram' inscribed on it. The memorial
attracts a large number of visitors who also join the prayer held every
Friday in his remembrance.
» Qutub Minar -
The giant Qutub Minar was built by
the first Muslim ruler of the country, Qutub-ud-din-Aibak as a mark of
Islamic victory over the Hindu rulers. The 238 feet high Minar has a base of
50 feet at the bottom that tapers to a meagre 8 feet at the top. Inscription
from the Holy Koran adorn the tower walls. Quwwat-ul-Islam, India's oldest
mosque stands at the base of the Minar. It is said that the mosque and Minar
were built by demolishing the Hindua and Jain temples, therefore it is quiet
a surprise that an Iron Pillar dating back to the Gupta period still stands
at one corner.
» Lotus Temple -
Also known as the Bahai House of
Worship, the Lotus Temple was constructed in the year 1981. Shaped like a
lotus, the white marble structure glows with pure beauty when floodlights
are directed in its direction at dusk. Even during the day, the gardens and
the pools that surround the temple make it appear extremely beautiful.
People following any faith can visit the temple with absolutely no
restriction imposed upon anyone.
» Akshardham Temple -
This is the most recently
constructed grand temple of the country. Built under the patronage of BAPS
(Bochasanvasi Aksharpurushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha), the Temple complex
stands on the banks of river Yamuna. The Temple has been built as a replica
of the more famous Akshardham Temple in Gandhinagar, Gujarat. The main
monument of the complex holds a statue of Lord Swaminarayana. The grandeur
of the Temple is something which every visitor must see.
Departure from Delhi
The charming journey on one of the ten luxurious trains of the world,
Palace on Wheels' begins from Delhi Cantonment Area. Tourists need to reach
at 16.00 hrs to receive a traditional Indian welcome from the train
authorities. The departure time is 18.30 hrs.
Arrival In Jaipur
Palace on Wheels reaches Jaipur at 02.00 hours. At 7.30 in the morning,
tourists can have their breakfast on board. Thereafter, they can set out to
explore the royal city of Jaipur on an air conditioned coach.
Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan is the first stop in the journey to
explore the magical splendour of Rajasthan. It was founded and named after
the great Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh in 1727 AD. The city is well planned
according to the Hindu treatise on arcitecture, 'Shilpa Shastra.' Today, a
large number of tourists throng Jaipur to view its royal buildings by the
great Rajput rulers.
» Hawa Mahal -
Hawa Mahal is the most charming
attraction of the Jaipur city. It was built in the year 1799 by Maharaja
Sawai Pratap Singh to facilitate the women of the court to view the day to
day activities of the city, without endangering their dignity. The palace is
five storey high and is shaped like a pyramid. The entire structure
comprises of small casements, each with tiny windows. The overall look of
the Mahal is more like a screen than a palace. The exquisitely carved
exteriors are in sharp contrast to the plain interiors which has more of
pillars and passages. The Hawa Mahal is sheer delight to look at for the
» Amber Fort -
Located in Amber, which is at a
distance of 11 km from Jaipur, the Amber Fort is the next destination in
Jaipur. It was started by Raja Man Singh, however, its completion was done
by Jai Singh, his descendant. From outside, the fort reflects a royal
majestic beauty that presents contrast to the more sophisticated interiors.
The fort has Lake Maota in the front which adds to its beauty. The
reflection of the fort, as seen in the water of the lake, is something that
every tourist will love to see. Tourists can also enjoy the pleasure of
riding on the back of an elephant here.
» Shopping -
Here is an opportunity for tourists to
pick up ethnic Rajasthani goods like jewellery, handicraft, blue pottery,
carpets and textiles. Rajasthali, the government Emporium is a good place to
shop for handicraft items.
» Lunch -
At 1300 hrs, tourists will be served lunch
at the Rambagh Palace Hotel.
Post Lunch Sightseeing
City Palace -
Though the City Palace was built by Maharaja Jai Singh II,
there were lots of additions made afterwards by his successors. The City
Palace reflects unique combination of the Mughal and Hindu architecture.
Within the complex premises, there are numerous other structures like the
Chandra Mahal, Mubarak Mahal and Badal Mahal. Apart from these, there is the
famous Shri Govind Temple as well as the City Palace Museum inside. All
these structures have a wonderful charm of their own and visiting all of
them is a must for tourists.
» Jantar Mantar -
This observatory was built by
Sawai Jai Singh II and is the best among the five observatories of the
country. The name Jantar Mantar is derived from the Sanskrit 'Yantra
Mantra,' which means instruments and formulae. As per its name, Jantar
Mantar houses numerous masonry instruments like the Jaiprakash Yantra,
Samrat Yantra, Ram Yantra and the Composite instrument, which comprises of a
sundial and a massive hemisphere. A visit to Jantar Mantar will reveal the
intellectual genius of the Rajput rulers before the tourists.
Back to Palace on Wheels
After a beautiful day spent in exploring the past glory of Jaipur, the
luxury coach takes the tourists back to Palace on Wheels in the evening. The
luxury train leaves at around 19.30 hrs for the next destination -
Jaisalmer. Dinner on board.