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Golden Triangle Destinations(Delhi and Jaipur)

Delhi and Jaipur are the first two cities of the Golden Triangle Destinations. Both Delhi and Jaipur are modern capital cities of India and Rajasthan respectively. Both the cities have rich historical past, which blends perfectly well with the contemporary growths. Golden Triangle Destinations-Delhi and Jaipur are spotted with monuments, some are famous while others are unknown, some big while others small and some really beautiful and elegant while others aesthetic and utilitarian.



Delhi

Delhi is the starting point of the Golden Triangle Destinations. One of the oldest living cities in the world, it is the proud owner of almost 20,000 ancient historic monuments. These monuments of Delhi are evidence of its glorious past. Delhi was made the capital eight times by various rulers and dynasties a various points of time. The earliest city was built around 900 BC and the latest at 1930 AD by the British. It was probably because of the strategic location of the city from where it was possible to control entire northern India.

Started by Qutub-Din Aibak in 1199 AD and completed by the sultan's successor and son-in-law, Iltutmish, Qutub Minar is still the highest stone tower. 72.5 m high building tapers from the bottom to the top and has 379 steps. Aibak also built Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque in 1198 AD from the debris of 27 Jain and Hindu temples. The Qutub Minar and the mosque are the first as well as one of the finest Islamic structures ever raised in India. Qutub Minar and other monuments in the complex are listed in the World Heritage Site.

Humayun's Tomb, the last resting place of Humayun was the first building to be built under Akbar's reign between 1562-1572 AD. Designed by the Persian architect, Mirak Mirza Ghiyuath, the tomb was patronized by Bega Begum, Humayun's Persian wife. It was the first garden tomb in India and predecessor of the Taj Mahal. Humayun's Tomb is listed in the World Heritage Site.

Shah Jahan patronized the construction of the Red Fort, which started in 1638 AD and completed by 1648 AD. As the name suggests, it is built of red sandstone with the use of white marble and precious and semi-precious stones for engravings. As you enter the Red Fort, you will come across the Chatta Chowk, which housed the best jewelers, carpet makers, weavers and goldsmiths of Delhi. Also known as the Meena Bazaar, this place was the shopping center for the Royal Ladies. Beyond the Chatta Chowk is the Naubat Khana or the Drum House. Other buildings in the fort are the Halls of Public and Private Audience, i.e., Diwan-I-Aam and Diwan-I-Khas; Royal Baths or Hammams; Shahi Burj, Shah Jahan's private working area; Rang Mahal or the Palace of Colors, chamber for Royal ladies and the Moti Masjid or the Pearl Mosque, built by Aurangzeb for his personal use.

Jaipur

The next Golden Triangle Destinations is the city of Jaipur. It is named after Sawai Jai Singh, Kachhwaha King and the founder of the city. Started in 1727 AD, the city was completed in 1731 AD. Build in the grid system of wide straight avenues; the city was divided into nine rectangular blocks called the Chokris. The Maharaja himself conceived the original plan of the city while the Bengali architect Vidhyadhar Bhattarcharya realized his dreams. The first planned city in India, Jaipur was built on the basis of principles laid down in the Shilpa Shastra, the ancient Indian treatise on architecture. Maharaja Ram Singh painted the façade of the entire city in pink color in the honor of the Prince of Wales, who visited Jaipur in 1853 AD. Since then, the city came to be known the world over as the Pink City.

Reflecting the fusion of the Mughal and Rajasthani architectural influence, the City Palace is the erstwhile royal residence. The palace houses various buildings that include Mubarak Mahal, Palace of Reception; Maharani Palace, Queen's Palace; Diwan-I-Aam, Hall of Public Audience and Diwan-I-Khas, Hall of Private Audience. The City Palace has now been converted into a museum with some very interesting artifacts on display. Mubarak Mahal is called the Maharaja Sawai Singh II Museum with exhibition of the royal costumes like the Pashmina Shawls, Banarasi Silk Saris, Sanganeri Prints and Folk Embroidery. Rajput Weapons are showcased in the Maharani Palace. Diwan-I-Aam has been turned into the Art Gallery with exquisite collection of original handwritten manuscripts of Hindu scriptures, and miniature paintings of Rajasthani, Mughal and Persian schools. The Chandra Mahal is still occupied by the present royal family.

Sawai Jai Singh who had keen interest in astronomy constructed a stone observatory known as Jantar Mantar between 1728 and 1734. It is the largest of five observatories of Jai Singh. The monument was built to study the movement of various planets and satellites to assess astronomical mysteries. The Ram Yantras used for gauging altitudes is the most noteworthy of all the instruments.

Hawa Mahal or the Palace of Winds is the prominent landmark of the city of Jaipur. Built in 1799 AD by Maharaja Pratap Singh and designed by Lal Chand Usta, the five-storeyed building is made of sandstone. There are 953 semi-octagonal and honey combed windows in this ornamental façade built for the ladies of the royal household to watch the royal processions and market activities without being seen.

 

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