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India
North India

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At the Red Fort in Delhi , the saga of varied cultural influence and of the dynasties that ruled India through history unfolds in the son-et-lumiere presented here every evening. Built by Shah Jehan, this was the seat of the Mughal kings. Excellent examples of Mughal architecture abound in Delhi

The Jama Masjid, Purana Qila, the tombs of Safdarjang and Saint Nizamuddin Auliya, the Qutab Minar; and the Tughlaqabad-Adilabad complex, mesmerize with their grandeur.  

A marvel captivates just 3 hours away at Agra with its exquisite filigrees and inlay in marble, the Taj Mahal is the cynosure of Mughal architecture. On the banks of the river Yamuna, near the Taj, stands Agra Fort. It houses the Pearl Mosque besides many palaces.

Fatehpur-Sikri, nearby, with its imperial sandstone ruins was Akbar’s experiment in art and architecture.  

Further to the west, among the rippled sand dunes of the Thar desert, like a mirage looms ‘ Pink City ’ Jaipur, capital of Rajasthan. You see a marvelous synthesis of Hindu, Jain and Mughal architectural influences – the Jantar Mantar, the city palace and museum, the Hawa Mahal, and the forts of Amber, Jaigarh and Nahargarh in the hills nearby.

Forts and palaces in red sandstone stand in stark contrast, among the stretches of sand at Bikaner , 316 kms to the northwest of Jaipur. The 11-day camel safari from Bikaner to the ‘golden’ fortress city Jaisalmer, 328 kms away, along the many camping oases in between, brings visions of old trade routes and caravans.

Near Udaipur , in Rajasthan, is the hill resort and sacred pilgrimage of the Jains, Mount Abu . The Dilwara Temples here are an exposition of Jain art and architecture. There are also good rock climbing facilities at Mount Abu .

160 kms from Udaipur , just off the Udaipur Mt. Abu road, stands the intricately carved vast Jain temple complex at Ranakpur, dating back to the 15th century.

Chandigarh , is a dream in city planning, designed by Le Corbusier. Here a local sculptor, Nek Chand, has created a magical garden using discarded scrap and natural rock.

Mathura , believed to be the birth place of Lord Krishna, and Brindavan, popular as Braj Bhoomi, on the west bank of the Yamuna near Agra are eminent Hindu pilgrimage centres.  

In the southeast of Uttar Pradesh, Varanasi , enshrines the essence of Hinduism. Pilgrims take a dip in the holy Ganges here, which is believed to be sin-cleansing. A short distance away, Sarnath where Lord Buddha attained Nirvana (salvation), is a major Buddhist pilgrimage.

Further up the Ganges are the sacred cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh. From Rishikesh upto the source of the torrential Ganga (grade 3-4), the best of river rafting adventure in the world beckons.

Not far away from Gangotri, the glacial source of the Ganga, up in the Himalayas , is the source of river Yamuna – Yamuntori, and the shrines, Kedarnath and Badrinath. Thirty eight kilometers from Badrinath is the world famous ‘Valley of Flowers’ – a lush meadow of exotic flowers in full bloom from mid-July to the end of August.

High up, in the Garhwal Himalayas, is the queen of hill resorts Mussoorie. Auli, much known for excellent ski-slopes flanked by tall Deodar trees , just 253 kms away from Rishikesh,

A sylvan hill resort, Shimla in Himachal Pradesh is a major hang-gliding site in India , and also offers a number of treks along wooded glades.

The Kangra Valley in the Himalayan foothills is becoming the adventure nerve centre of India , with facilities in hang gliding, mountaineering, trekking and Mahseer trout fishing. A hang gliding rally is held here in the month of May annually.

Onto Srinagar , a fascinating land of parks and gardens. Srinagar offers the hang gliding enthusiast the most breathtaking take-offs in the world.

Gulmarg near Srinagar is the premier ski-resort of India . In summer the ski-slopes become one of the highest 18-hole golf courses in the world. Less than a 100 kms away, Pahalgam, on the banks of the river Lidder, is the most popular trout water in India . Kashmir, the Paradise Valley , also offers excellent facilities for heli-skiing.

Leh, is the river running capital of India . The Zanskar river in the Zanskar valley and the Indus river comprise the rafting arena here.  

Nestling the foothills of the Shivalik mountains in Uttranchal , lies the Corbett National Park (295 kms from Delhi), home to the Kumaon tiger, the panther, wild boar, sloth bear, elephant, deer, crocodile and a variety of birds.  

The Keoladeo Ghana National Park and Bird Sanctuary at Bharatpur, (152 kms from Delhi ) in Rajasthan is a 26 sq. Km tract with the largest concentration and variety of birdlife in Asia .  

Spot the Great Indian Tiger at the Ranthambhore National Park , 180 kms away near Sawai Madhopur, a Project Tiger reserve.  

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