Our recent family trip to India was a good holiday break. We planned to visit three of the most visited cities dubbed as The Golden Triangle of India. The Golden Triangle is so called because of the imaginary shape formed by the locations on the map.
Jaipur is popularly known as the Pink City mainly because the whole city was painted in pink to honour a royal tradition . The colour pink represents hospitality, hence, the old city was painted such by the order of Maharaja Singh to welcome the Prince of Wales and Queen Victoria during their visit in 1876. A lover of pink myself, you could imagine how eager I was to visit here.
One of the most iconic historic attractions in Jaipur is Hawa Mahal built in 1799 AD by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh. It is a remarkable piece of architecture similar to a crown which was believed to be dedicated by Singh to one of the deities in the Hindu faith, Sri Krishna.
I am fascinated by the stunning details of Hawa Mahal especially its ornately decorated windows. History says that this palace was meant for the royal ladies to enjoy the cool breeze and see what is happening outside the streets while in privacy and unseen from the public. By the way, the name Hawa Mahal is translated as ‘Wind Palace’.
Another attraction found in Jaipur is the Amber fort or Amer Palace, one of India’s majestic forts. We drove east from Jaipur to catch a glimpse of its various stunning buildings including the famous Sheesh Mahal or Mirror Palace (which my mum was greatly amazed of).
The fort was built in 1592 AD by Raja Man Singh I and has had several renovations over the centuries. It is accessible by car or by riding an elephant on the way up to the hill.
By the way, watch out for snakes dancing to the tune of musical pipes played by charmers around this area. lol.
Travel tip: There is an entrance fee of INR 500 per adult for tourists including children of 6 years and above.
We were accompanied by a guide who explained some of the prominent buildings inside the fort.
According to history, Diwan-e-aam is a chamber where the ruler received his people to hear their issues.
Another significant area in the fort is the Sheesh Mahal also Jai Mandir (hall of victory). The highlight of this building are its dazzling mirror walls and ceiling. The intricate details and skill of the mirrors are astonishing.
Above is also one of the most impressive structural designs I’ve seen throughout my trip for its notable details. It was under renovation during our visit and I was only able to capture some part of the building.
How I wish I could decorate my ceiling like this! Man, look at those colours!
I didn’t get the chance to know the history behind the architecture and details. I would appreciate receiving comments sharing more information about it. 🙂
Below archway is another example of a wonderfully designed pattern.
After an overnight to Jaipur, we headed to Agra to see the celebrated Taj Mahal. We had a long drive from Jaipur and reached Agra by night time.
Here’s a closer look of Jaipur while on a drive to Agra:
We decided to check out the legendary Taj Mahal on our first day in Agra. I used to read and hear a lot of great things about the historic mausoleaum, but seeing it with my very own eyes made me realised that its beauty and perfection makes it one of greatest wonders of the world, not to mention the story of why it was built. (But more of that later…)
The whole courtyard of Taj is framed in perfectly symmetrical. The only asymmetrical object in the Taj is the grave site.
Taj Mahal is known to be a symbol of eternal love. It was built by the order of then emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century as a memorial to his favourite wife Mumtaz Mahal, whose death left him in tremendous grief.
Apart from its intriguing history, the structure of The Taj is also an interesting story and seem to have been well thought of. The four minarets around the Taj Mahal was slightly slanted so that it would fall away from the mausoleum in the event of a collapse, preventing the tomb from damage. Genius!
On our second day, we went to see historic Agra fort. It was built in the 1500s and used to be a military structure transformed into a palace. This is also where Shah Jahan was imprisoned for eight years after his rule. Sad story.
I noticed how Delhi is similar to some areas in Manila. Our trip to Delhi was short but sweet; sweet as in we spent most of our time in the evening shopping for Indian sweets. We also went to the mall, bought stuff and basically did normal city routine. This is also where I had my first tuktuk ride! Shame I have no pictures of that moment.
The next day, we went to see some attractions in the Old and New Delhi. I remember being sick on catching a high fever which made me stay in the car most of the time.
Fortunately, it didn’t stop me to take at least a decent photo of the Gate of India to keep with me as a memory.