Lens Craft

The great indian spectacle

By NANDINI D TRIPATHY

Beginning in the national capital, make your way through these travel hotspots across India that reflect the country’s heritage as well as its modern identity

 Photos: Ministry of Tourism, India & Rajasthan Tourism

HUMAYUN’S TOMB, DELHI

Built in 1565, nine years after the demise of Humayun, the monument commemorates the Mughal ruler and houses his tomb. 

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JAMA MASJID, DELHI

The largest mosque in India, the Jama Masjid was the final architectural marvel built during the reign of Mughal ruler Shah Jahan. With a vast courtyard capable of holding upto 25,000 people, the mosque has three great gates, four towers and two minarets constructed using red sandstone and white marble.

RED FORT, DELHI

The magnificent sandstone walls of Lal Qila, built in 1638, tower above the bustling bylanes of Old Delhi as a reminder of the pomp and power of the Mughal dynasty. Within them is a treasure trove of structures, including the Hall of Public Audiences, the white marble Hall of Private Audiences, the Pearl Mosque and the Palace of Colour. 

TAJ MAHAL, AGRA

This iconic monument of love was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial to his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. One of the seven wonders of the world, it can be viewed from across the Yamuna river.

JAL MAHAL, JAIPUR

Also known as the Lake Palace, this beautiful architectural marvel appears to be perennially afloat in the heart of Man Sagar Lake. The light, sand-coloured stone walls make for a magnificent contrast with the deep blue water. Seen from the banks of the lake, Jal Mahal is the picture of serenity and peace.

JANTAR MANTAR, JAIPUR

The largest of five astronomical observatories built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder of Jaipur, Jantar Mantar is an ode to innovation. It is home to 16 geometric devices that have been designed to measure time, track celestial bodies and observe the orbits of planets around the sun!

RANTHAMBHORE NATIONAL PARK

Rife with legends of magnificent Bengal tigers who have roamed - and still roam - its mystical expanse, this is among India’s finest tiger reserves. Located at the junction of Aravali and Vindhya ranges, it was once a private game reserve for the royal family of Jaipur.

CITY PALACE, UDAIPUR

Towering magnificently over Lake Pichola, this beautiful palace comprises four major and several minor palaces. While it is a breathtaking sight from the main city, it also offers unforgettable views from its several balconies, cupolas and towers.

JAGDISH TEMPLE, UDAIPUR

Built in 1651 by Maharana Jagat Singh I, this three-storeyed structure is one of the most popular temples in and around Udaipur. Featuring Indo-Aryan architecture, its carved pillars, ornate ceilings and painted walls are exquisite sights to behold. 

ROYAL OPERA HOUSE, MUMBAI

India’s only surviving opera house, this three-tier auditorium was inaugurated by King George V in 1911. Featuring European as well as Indian design elements, the space eventually became a cinema hall before closing down during the 1990s. It was reopened in 2016 as the venue of a film festival. 

THE GATEWAY OF INDIA, MUMBAI

Built in 1911 to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to India, this stunning edifice is, quite literally, a gateway to the socio-cultural diversity of Mumbai, India’s financial capital.

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