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A Golden triangle holiday in which both sunrise and sunset view of Taj Mahal is possible.
Planned and built on a nine blocks grid pattern by Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, the architect from Bengal, employing Vaastu Shashtra principles created this elegant city. Jai Singh, the creator of city, could then easily allocate each block to a specific purpose.
The pink city of the Jaipur city is restricted to the walled city of Jaipur. It was conceived and created the backdrop of the decline of Mogul Empire. While Jaipur has many places of interest, the top two are the Amber Fort and City Palace.
City Palace is a giant complex and consumes two blocks of nine blocks of Jaipur, or nearly 22% of it. A mixture of Rajput and Mogul building style, it has many buildings, courtyards, gardens and a Museum. Only a limited portion is accessible to tourists.
The other attractions of Jaipur are the Jantar Mantar, Hawa Mahal and Jal Mahal. Jantar Mantar is one of the five astronomical observatories built by the keen astronomer Jai Singh.
Nestled and perched on hills, Amber Fort is a stunning Fort, first established in the 11th century. Subsequent period saw many additions to the complex, the last few exhibiting Mogul influence. A goat used to be sacrificed here daily, in front of the temple of goddess with silver doors. In 1980, this practice was discontinued. It is here, at the Amber Fort, that the elephant ride happens. It is a steep walk up to the Fort and elephants are available in the morning to carry you up to the Fort.
At sunrise, Taj Mahal blushes pink.
Sunrise experience of Taj Mahal is almost like religion. As the doors will open, you will catch glimpse of the famous white marble dome, staring majestically through the arch of the great gate. The space of time is reverential, as you soak in the dawn and watch the sunrise. During winter months, mist can be there which gives Taj Mahal a heavenly feeling. It is nirvana as marble manifestation built as a loving Memorial to his wife Taj Mahal, who was his real-time partner in all aspects of his life, including administration of the Empire.
But Agra has more. There is Agra Fort, Imad ud Daulah or the baby Taj, Mehtab Bagh and Sikandara.
Agra Fort was conceived and built by Akbar, both to defend and dazzle populace. It was a grand announcement in red stone by Akbar that he and his Empire are of some reckoning. It took eight years to build this fortress from the year 1565, when the decision was taken. As a favoured city of the Mogul dynasty, Agra was the recipient of considerable portion of the Empire's revenues. Considered by Akbar to be a strategic location to govern his Empire, Agra has many beautiful buildings as a legacy interspersed amongst its many narrow lanes.