Red Fort - New Delhi
Red Fort is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Delhi. The red sandstone fortification of the enormous Red Fort rises 33 meters (Over 108 feet).
Built by the Mughals, in the 17th century, The Red Fort is one of
the most remarkable structures present in modern day Delhi.
Lahore Gate, the main gate, is one of the symbolic and emotional focal points of the modern Indian nation.
Inside is a veritable treasure trove of buildings, including the Hall of Public Audiences, the white marble Hall of Private Audiences, Drum House, Royal Baths, Palace of Color and the Pearl Mosque. The vaulted arcade of Chatta Chowk, a bazaar selling tourist trinkets, leads into the huge fort compound.
Jain, Hindu and Sikh Temple
Most people think of Hinduism when they think of India, and it's clear to see why, with a population of 966 million Hindu in the country. However India is home to at least nine major religions, including Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Zoroastrianism, Judaism, and the Baha'i faith are also practiced in India.
On our Kendi World Adventures Essence of India tour, we will visit three temples and learn more about the religions of Jain, Sikh and Hindu.
Although it is located on one of the oldest and busiest corners of Old Delhi, the Jama Masjid mosque feels like an island in a sea of chaos and noise outside its walls.
Built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, its construction started in 1644 and completed in 1658. The largest mosque in India, the masjid contains a courtyard that can seat up to 25,000 devotees, three large gates, and four towering minarets.
With a fusion of Hindu and Jain traditions reflecting from the carved pillars, this Islamic place of worship also reflects the typical architectural works of the Mughals. The floor of the mosque is covered with white and black marble and is ornamented to imitate the Muslim prayer mat.
Count yourself lucky if your visit coincides with the timing of the heart-stopping adhan, the Islamic "call to prayer."
Jama Masjid Mosque
Things to know before you go:
- Islam requires modesty when entering any place of worship. Please wear long pants or a long skirt.
- For women, please do not show cleavage.
- Women must wear head scarves.
- No shoes are allowed inside the mosque. You can store them outside the gate for a small fee, or carry them with you at no charge.
- There is a 300 rupee (approx. $4.25) fee for cameras and cell phones
Varanasi is one of the oldest holy cities in the world and has spectacular architecture, numerous temples and various cultural ceremonies and traditions. One such ceremony is the traditional and holy performance of aarti.
The aarti ceremony is performed as a devotion to the holy river in India also called “Maa Ganga”. It includes fire elements, chanting, flowers, and incense.
The ceremony, which begins at sunset and lasts about 45 minutes, is performed by pandits (priests) dressed in traditional clothes. Ganga Aarti is held facing the holy river and circling brass lamps or diyas clockwise. It is believed that the lamps gain the deity power during the ceremony.
Sunrise Boat Tour on the Ganges River
Varanasi is unlike any other place on Earth. The city is considered to be over 3,000 years old –one of the oldest in the world– and it hugs the Ganges River, which is held sacred by nearly one billion Hindus.
Sunrise is the perfect time for a boat ride on the Ganges river, when thousands of people stream into the ghats to bathe and make offerings.
A single oarsman will glide you effortlessly across the water, past the holy ghats, including the burning ghat where the loyal come from the far reaches of India to assure the salvation of their deceased loved ones.
Relax and enjoy the peaceful ride as the sun sprinkles diamonds of light across the ripples, or light a candle and say a prayer as you set it afloat atop a bed of marigolds and rose petals.
Your guide will take you through the labyrinth of streets and alley ways of Varanasi to see how the textiles are created. As you enter doorways along the way you will see how each step is mastered at different locations and shops.
From the dyeing of the fabric, to weaving, painting and embroidery, each piece is lovingly created.
You will have an opportunity at the end to purchase scarves, pillow covers, sarees, and much more. Don't worry, there will be no high pressure salesman.
Sarnath has the same importance for Buddhists, as Mecca has for the Muslims or the Golden Temple in Amritsar has for the Sikhs. Sarnath is, perhaps, the most significant of all Buddhist holy places.
Sarnath is believed to be the place where the Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma and where the Buddhist Sangha first came into existence, thereby earning the title of “the birthplace of Buddhism.”
Tomb of Akbar the Great (Baby Taj)
While the Taj Mahal is the most visited attraction in Agra, and likely in all India, there are others less known that are absolutely a must visit during a stay in the city. One of those is the tomb of Akbar the Great.
The tomb is famous for the glorious stone inlay decorations depicting cypress trees, wine glasses, and an amazing variety of geometrical arabesque.
The marble work along with four small minarets at the four corners of the small tomb structure are reminiscent of the Taj Mahal, giving it the nickname “Baby Taj.”
There is no better way to get that first glimpse of the majestic Taj Mahal than from across the Yamuna river in the beautiful gardens of Mehtab Bagh.
Stand at the site that was almost the Black Taj, a replica of his wife's Taj Mahal. The Back Taj was a dream of Shah Jahan that was never realized.
Enjoy the sunset through the branches of the parks many trees before getting a good night's sleep for a day at "The Taj."
The Taj Mahal
The site every visitor to India longs to see--the incomparable Taj Mahal.
The depth of love Mughal emperor Shah Jahan had for his wife Mumtaz shines through every piece of sparkling marble of this beautiful tomb.
A guide will be provided to explain the history of this 17th century structure, and to act as your personal photographer to get those iconic pictures everyone dreams about.