India’s capital city, Delhi, is unavoidable if you’re visiting north India from another country. Delhi airport has been renovated and upgraded to be the largest in India, and your flight will land there. Delhi strikingly brings to life the ancient past while at the same time showcases India’s modern future. It’s divided into two parts — the crumbling old city of Old Delhi, and the orderly and well planned New Delhi — which exist side by side, but feel like they’re worlds apart. The city is dotted with spellbinding mosques, forts, and monuments left over from the Mughal rulers that once occupied the city.
2. Taj Mahal
One of top 5 historical places in India, it would be a huge loss to visit India and miss out on seeing the Taj Mahal. After all, the Taj Mahal is India’s most famous monument — and certainly the most identifiable. It looms fairytale-like from the banks of the Yamuna River and has a rich history dating back to 1630 AD. It’s actually a tomb that contains the body of Mumtaz Mahal –- the wife of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Made out of marble, it took 22 years and 20 000 workers to complete. Words cannot do the Taj Mahal justice, its incredible detail simply has to be seen to be appreciated.
Udaipur is said to be India’s most romantic city, and it really is true! Who could resist the allure of its enchanting old mansions, beautiful gardens, intricate temples, and grand palaces overlooking expansive shimmering lakes. The City Palace, which stretches along the eastern shore of Lake Pichola, leaves visitors spellbound. The way it has been constructed is exquisite, with Rajput military architecture and Mughal style decorative techniques both combined together. The Mewar royal family still lives in a part of it too.
Varanasi is another sacred Hindu city with a very old history. Known as the city of Lord Shiva, the god of creation and destruction, it’s believed that anyone who dies here will be liberated from the cycle of reincarnation. Even a wash in the Ganges River is said to cleanse away all sins.
The fascinating thing about this mystical city is that its rituals are revealed openly to along the many riverside ghats, which are used for everything from bathing to burning the bodies of the dead.
Yoga, blessings, massages, shaves, and games of cricket are among the other activities you’ll find performed along the river edge.
Amritsar, home to the Golden Temple, was founded in 1577 by Guru Ram Das, the fourth guru of Sikhs. It’s the spiritual capital of the Sikhs and gained its name, meaning “Holy Pool of Nectar”, from the body of water around the Golden Temple. The exquisite Golden Temple attracts pilgrims from all over the world.