New for 2016! India, Past and Present, plays out in architectural wonders, royal feasts, ceremonies steeped in age-old traditions and opulent palaces, some reborn today as luxury Oberoi hotels unrivaled anywhere... Indulge in services and sights reserved for royalty as you explore New Delhi... experience sacred rituals of Varanasi on the river Ganges... find eternal love at the Taj Mahal and a fairy-tale city at the Red Fort of Agra... be mesmerized by Marahajah gems in Jaipur, a jeweled lake in Udaipur, the art of living in Kerala and Mumbai's multi-faceted modern-day metropolis.
Mumbai is the capital of Maharashtra and the economic powerhouse of India.
It's an exhilarating city, fuelled by entrepreneurial energy, determination
and dreams. Compared to the to the rest of India, it can seem like a foreign
country. Mumbai is the finance capital of the nation, the industrial hub of
everything from textiles to petrochemicals, and it's responsible for half the
country's foreign trade.
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.
Kochi (Cochin) is the great, old Keralan spice city. It consists of mainland Ernakulam, islands of Willingdon, Bolgatty and Gundu in the harbor, Fort Cochin and Mattancheri on the southern peninsula and Vypeen Island north of Cochin. Because of the area’s dense tropical forests, extensive ridges and ravines, it has been sheltered from invaders and the rest of India. This encouraged Keralites to welcome maritime contact, and therefore influence from the outside world. In Cochin there is still a small community of descendants from Jewish settlers who fled Palestine 2,000 years ago. When the Portuguese arrived here some 500 years ago, they were surprised to find Christianity already established along this coast. People from far-off lands have been coming to Kerala since ancient times in search of spices, sandalwood and ivory. Such long contact with people from overseas has resulted in the blending of various cultures and has given Keralites a cosmopolitan outlook.
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.
Kumarakom, a small cluster of islands on the backwaters of Vembanad is a popular bird sanctuary and a tourist destination in Kerala, India. The village is abundant in history, rice fields and coconut trees. Visitors can rent and dine onboard a boathouse while cruising through Vembanad Lake, birdwatch at the Vembanad Bird Sanctuary, or munch on local delicacies that emphasizes on exotic spices.
Picturesquely situated on the crescent shaped left bank of the holy Ganga, Varanasi, one of the ancient seats of learning in India, is said to be a compound of the names of two streams, the Varuna and the Assi, which still flow in the north and south of the city respectively. This name seems to have been corrupted, in medieval times to Banaras, which was in use till May 24, 1956 when it was changed to Varanasi, by an order of the Government of India. Varanasi is probably one of the most ancient living cities in India. From time immemorial it has been a great religious center for Hindus and one of their most sacred places of pilgrimage, being visited by millions of people every year.
At a distance of 12 km from Varanasi lies Sarnath, where Lord Buddha preached his first sermon. Here he revealed the eight fold path that leads to the attainment of inner peace, Enlightment and Ultimate Nirvana.
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