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Delhi
About Delhi
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.

Reaching Delhi
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.

Delhi Attractions
» 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 - Delhi» 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.

Jaipur
Arrival In Jaipur
Hawa Mahal - JaipurThe 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.

About Jaipur
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.

Morning Sightseeing
» 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 tourists.

» 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» 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.



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