Jaipur is commonly known as the ‘Pink City’ due to its stunning buildings which were painted pink in 1876 to welcome the Prince of Wales and Queen Victoria. Jaipur is also the biggest city in the state of Rajasthan and its capital. Together with Agra and Delhi, it is part of the famous Golden “Triangle” which attracts thousands of Indian and international tourists every year. The most-visited sites include the mesmerizing City Palace, a couple of impressive Rajput forts and the many temples.
It is true that Delhi is the capital of India, home to the executive, judiciary and legislative branches of the Government. But Delhi is much more than that. It is a creative hub—a large metropolis with many arts and culture-related activities to offer. Travelers can head there for the best dining experiences and nightlife, but also for sightseeing as the city is home to some of the most stunning temples, mosques and forts. These include the Red Fort, Jama Masjid and the Baha’i Lotus Temple.
Mumbai is well known for being a city on the edge – its slums overflow with life as its skyscrapers soar to the sky. This strange and extraordinary blend of rich and poor creates a city that strives to move India forward – this most populated city in India has to be seen to be believed.
The center for India’s creative culture, fashion, food and finance, Mumbai has some of the most expensive homes in the world and some of the biggest slums in Asia. This beguiling composite of Indian proportions is where the gateway to India is located – a stone arch built on the waterfront in 1923. Take a trip out of town for some time out and visit the cave temple complex of Elephant Caves.
Agra is known for one thing – the iconic and ultimately impressive Taj Mahal. Set on the south bank of the Yamuna River in Agra, the Taj draws millions of tourists a year to the city. Built by an emperor as an extravagant memorial to his wife, the mausoleum’s porcelain white marble is an emblem of romance, love and adventure. Agra itself sits in the shadow of its imposing monument but is a small and welcoming city. The ancient Mughal-era Agra Fort is an attractive spot to visit – peer over the walls here and catch your first hypnotizing glimpse of the Taj.
A city that may seem strange to many Westerners, Varanasi is of great religious importance. The holy city sits on the banks of the divine Ganges and is believed by Hindus to be a sacred place of pilgrimage. The city is known for the religious practices that take place on the ghats alongside the river – pilgrims wash in the waters of the Ganges and the bodies of Hindus are cremated. The sights of life and death along the riverside can be shocking, but a visit to Varanasi is also rousing, contemplative, and ultimately, helps visitors to further understand India’s deep cultural and spiritual practices.
Most famous for its stunning lakes, forts, temples and palaces, Udaipur is another city located in the state of Rajasthan and is certainly not to be missed. Lovers will be delighted to hear that this is a city filled with romantic spots, as well as beautiful gardens. Over the years, it has been a favorite setting for many movies, including James Bond-title Octopussy (1983). The city is filled with color, as locals opt to wear vibrant clothes, and fairs and festivals happen year-round.