The monuments that tell stories
India is a proud successor of one of the worlds oldest civilizations, the Indus valley civilization. The country has seen the formation of large empires noticeably the Maurya Empire, Gupta Empire, Mughal Raj, British Empire so on and so forth. These large empires ruled India for many centuries individually. These empires in their hay days have build monuments depicting the grandeur and prosperity of their kingdoms. The buildings build during their era are considered status symbols or as a religious site dedicated to their gods. India has a few post-Independent buildings build with an intention to showcase the world of its rich culture, and heritage. In this blog, I have touched upon the must-see architectural and religious wonders of the Indian subcontinent. Canada in recent years has attracted a large number of Indian immigrants resulting in increasing the frequency of flights between the two nations. Competition between the various airline carriers has resulted in availability to cheap airline tickets between India and Canada. Tourists in both countries have started taking advantage of this favorable situation, creating a tourist boom in both India and Canada. New Delhi is the capital of India, the economic and diplomatic powerhouse that binds the whole country together. Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) in Delhi is the busiest airport in India with flights connecting to all the major airports in the world. In any case, it would be wise to land in Delhi in order to travel the length and breadth of India.
Popular Air routes from Canada to India:
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Red Fort has acted as the political center for Mughal emperors for more than 200 years and after the Mughals, it was the British who transformed it as the power center to impose British rule in the country. In the post Independence era, Red Fort has been used as a symbol of Indan sovereignty. Every year on August 15, the Prime Minister of India hoists the tri-color of India marking the Independence Day of the country. He uses this opportunity to address the nation, giving the people of India an idea regarding the direction of the government and the direction that the government indents to take the country to. In 2007, it was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Located in the heart of Delhi, the Red Fort was constructed in the year 1639 by the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan. The architectural design of this monument draws influence from Persian and Hindu architecture designs. The Red Fort has influenced many other monuments and buildings constructed after it. This world-renowned fortress is majestic and by all standards a masterpiece even by today’s prospect. The visitors can enjoy the Red Fort from 7 am to 5.30 pm throughout the year, and the entry fees for Indians are around 10 INR and for foreigners, it is 250 INR.
Red Fort has seen many empire hay days and many fading away in the lapse of time. Red Fort is in itself a memory that however big and powerful an empire is, it will fall when the destiny spins against its favor. The lager they are the harder they fall is a saying that accurately describes this scenario. “The sun never sets” is a saying dedicated to the British empire explaining how vast the empire was, but even such a vast empire had to finally come to its knees and set free all its colonies. Red Fort is a reminder to the rich and the powerful, what goes around comes around.
Taj Mahal is among the 7 wonders of the world. It was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. A Unesco world heritage site, it is truly a class above the rest. The white marble used in building Taj Mahal is considered the best in the world, in fact, no marble in the world could replicate the quality, finish, and color of the white marbles used in the Taj Mahal. It took about 22 years to complete the whole structure. The sun reflection creates a different color of shade depending on the various time of the day. The monument is situated in Agra, 200 km from Delhi and the time slot for entering the monument is restricted from 6.00 am to 6.30 pm. The entry fees for Indians is 50 INR and for foreigners, it is 1100 INR.
Taj Mahal is the epitome of Mughal architecture, many countries across the world used Taj Mahal as an architectural inspiration to build mosques in their respective countries. Over the years a lot of monuments were built, but the relevance of Taj Mahal and its mystic beauty still lives on. The biggest testimony of this is the continuous increase in tourist numbers. Despite imposing a restriction on the entry time or imposing a visitor fee the number of people wanting to visit the Taj Mahal has not reduced a bit. Foreign dignitaries and members of various diplomatic missions, make it a point that they visit the Taj Mahal while arriving in India. If you believe it is difficult to navigate through the Indian system alone why not try magical India tour package or similar tour packages that have guides to help you navigate through India and make the most of the time spent in the country.
Bodh Gaya is the holiest site for Buddist, it is here that Budha got enlightenment while sitting under a pipal tree. Now fondly known as the Bo tree, Gautama Buddha (Prince Siddhartha) attained spiritual enlightenment my meditating under it. Bodh Gaya is located in Bihar, India and it has been called the Meca of Buddhism, millions of Buddist from across the world make it a point to visit this holy place once in their lifetime. Bodh Gaya, unlike other religious sites, has grown into a tourist attraction especially for people who are looking to know more about Buddhism, meditation and for people who are looking for the right direction in life. A simple shrine was built by Emperor Ashoka to mark this sacred position in the 1st Century BCE, a part of which still remains intact today. During the Kushan period, the small shrine was replaced by the present Mahabodhi temple in the 2nd Century BC, it was designated UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002. There were several restoration efforts done on the temple to ensure that it remains in pristine conditions. Some of the noticeable restorations include the one done by the British archaeologist Sir Alexander Cunningham in the second half of the 19th century. The latest major restoration effort was done by the Myanmar Buddhist Association in 1882.
The Indian government through its archeological department have been working round the clock to ensure that the monument is maintained in its pristine condition. A museum is resurrected near the temple displaying various Buddist relics that have high religious and cultural significance. The Bo tree, under which Prince Siddhartha got enlightenment stands adjacent to the temple. Emperor Ashoka has resurrected a stone slab pinpointing the exact location where Buddha got enlightenment. This spot is called the Buddha Vajrasana, literally translating as a diamond throne or thunder seat. The temple has always been a spiritual healing and spiritual retreat center for people from across the world. India is the birthplace of four great religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism, incredible India.
Akshardham means the divine abode of God. Swaminarayan Akshardham at New Delhi is a Hindu temple world-renowned for its architecture and grandeur. Timeless Hindu classics, Vedas, scriptures, and folklore are all sculpted into the walls of the temple. The design of the temple is made in such a way that the temple emits positive energy to its visitors. The serenity, and tranquility of the place will be immediately appreciated when you step into the temple. Akshardham is a sanctuary for people who wants to enjoy calmness and peace, it acts as an escape hatch for people who are looking to take a break from the busy and chaotic metro life. The mandir is a tribute to Bhagwan Swaminarayan (Vishnu) as the creator, sustainer and moksha deva (a God who gives moksha to his followers). The traditional style grandeur was inaugurated on 6th November 2005 with the blessing of HH Pramukh Swami Maharaj.
The Akshardham temple has more than two hundred statues depicting the various spiritual gurus, social reformers who have shaped the way we live in this country. The Prayers in the temple gives emphasis to the principle of Vasudeva Kudumbagum. Sanskrit phrase found extensively in the Hindu texts such as the Upanishad, which means “the world is one family”. Akshardham is a miracle in itself, as it resembles a minority in terms of world monuments that strive for humanity and world peace. It is a monument dedicated to people who want to be closer to God, through meditations, chantings and so on and so forth. The temple has always been a safe haven for spiritual healing and spiritual retreat among thousands of people across the world.
What makes this monument unique is the fact that it took 300,000,000 volunteer hours in making the complex. More than 8,000 volunteers from across the world have participated in building this spiritual abode. Open gardens along with step-well style courtyards inspired from past monuments build by great Hindu dynasties are a visual treat for your eyes. The red stand stones offer intricate carvings on the various Hindu scriptures, Hindu philosophies, the importance of prayers, compassion, wellness, and non-violence. A modern-day masterpiece that has no parallels by any standards, such as the mystic beauty that Akshardham commands in today world. There is no place like India, aptly called Incredible India.
In conclusion, India has always used its monuments to depict the prosperity and cultural superiorities that it has over the rest of the world. Post-Independence India is also in the race to develop mega monuments displaying the prosperity and cultural wealth that the country acquired through 1000’s of years of spirituality. These monuments showcase the glorious past that India enjoyed in the world. These Monuments provide information about life and the philosophies that governed India during a particular period in history. The government of India has used the tagline Incredible India to promote tourism in India. If interested you could read more about the do’s and don’ts for travelers while in India, check out the Canadian government site to learn more.