The recent trip to the North has helped in changing a few ideas that I had about the geography of India, and is a very good boost to my knowledge about the location of the major cities and monuments. It also helps in my further reading of History. There is another major thing that happened, and it is in the arrangement of those monuments inside my mind – throughout my life, I have thought that some monuments were the only ones which I really needed to visit, but now, it seems that the order has been changed.
1. Humayun’s Tomb: This place actually became my Taj Mahal, or one of my favourite Indian monuments of all time along with the temples of Mahabalipuram and Victoria Memorial of Kolkata. I have found it a peaceful place unlike Taj Mahal, and we could wear footwears as well as take pictures inside, unlike the great wonder at Agra. When you visit a historical monument, it is peace that you want the most, and here you can have it. Humayun is also a Mughal Emperor whom I have always liked, as a fine personality from history, despite hearing people saying that he was a weak ruler.
2. Agra Fort: I had initially thought that this was the Red Fort, but it turned out to the the Agra Fort in red. The colour of the building looks exactly like the colour of my home, if I look at it from a personal viewpoint. Despite all of the fort not being open, there was so much to see around there, and we walked and walked until finally finishing that journey inside the walls. The carvings as well as those white areas inside the red fort catches our attention, and there is the view of Taj Mahal from here, and Shah Jahan was at least lucky enough to have a view of his masterpiece from here even though he was imprisoned by his own son.
3. Lotus Temple: When we see it from a distance, there is the desperation to visit this place as soon as possible. It is like the feeling automatically comes to you due to that unique architecture. It is a very impressive structure, and nothing like I have seen anywhere due to its variety. This one has cent percent met my expectations, and I am glad that I visited this early in the morning, and when we were back, there was that long queue of visitors. This actually leaves you highly interested in the Bahá’í faith, and I have even bought a book about the same.
4. Qutub Minar: The popular misconception about this minaret is that it is very tall. Well, it is the tallest brick minaret in the world, but not the tallest one of today’s standard – it is tall according to its times as well as the method used for construction. Begun by Qutb-ud-din Aibak and finished by Firoz Shah Tughlaq, the monument is surrounded by other historical monuments, and among them, this one remains special. Yes, I have visited Qutub Minar, something that I have been longing to do since childhood. UNESCO World Heritage Sites in my Indian bucket list gets another tick.
5. Red Fort: Being home to the Mughal emperors for a long time and witnessing history a lot, this structure which was built by Shah Jahan surely has a lot of interesting areas, including a number of museums. The fort itself is a beautiful structure, and I do have an attraction towards this colour as I have mentioned earlier. The shops inside were interesting, and were cheaper than those outside Taj Mahal – may be it is because those outside “the Wonder” needed some wonderful bargaining, but that is not my method. I would still prefer the Agra (red) Fort more than this one.
Throughout my life, I have wanted to visit Taj Mahal. The problem with such repeated praise of a monument is that when you go to see it, you will end up feeling that it is not that much of a wonder. I skipped the Akshardham Temple because I don’t see any point in visiting any place which doesn’t allow photography – the decision is very unfair as it is something of joy to take something from a wonderful place when we go back home, after all we travel so much to witness the beauty of a place – restrict it, but please don’t ban it completely.
***All photos used in this blog post were taken by me on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310 during my recent trip to Delhi.