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Top 10 Monuments

TAJ MAHAL

The Taj Mahal is widely recognized as the jewel of Muslim art and architecture in India and is one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world\'s heritage, which much rightfully have acquired its positions among the 7 wonders of the world . The white marble mausoleum located in Agra was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahanin memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz. The construction of Mumtaz Mahal as it was called initially began around 1632, the main tomb was completed in 1648 whose most spectacular feature is the impeccable marble dome that surmounts the tomb which is further decorated with lotus designat the top and gilded golden finial adorns it like a crown. Variousprecious & semiprecious stones, intricate flower designs, inlaid calligraphy, other traditional Persian and Hindustani decorative elements account for contributing to its beatification. The surrounding buildings and garden were finished five years later imitating paradise garden of Persia. The calligraphy on the Great Gate reads \"O Soul, thou art at rest. Return to the Lord at peace with Him, and He at peace with you\" . Skills of about 20,000 craftsmen, investment of nearly 41 million rupees and 500 kilos of GOLD produced the Taj Mahal we admire today and also ensure that this ‘Gem of the Palace’ will always be a vision, a dream, a poem, and a wonder in terms of its unparalleled magnificence.

GHATS OF VARANASI

Situated on the west bank of the Ganga River Varanasi is India\'s religious capital for Hindu community also known as Kashi or Benares. According to the spiritual and pious legacy that goes back nearly 3,000 years,it is believed that the sacred river goddess cleanses sins over a sacred dip and one who embraces natural death at the banks attains salvation from the tedious life-and death cycles. Among the innumerable ghats the Dashashwamedh Ghat located close to Vishwanath Temple is the most spectacular one owing to the exquisitely dazzling colorful ritual of \"Agni Pooja\" performed every evening, some of the other prominent ones include Manikarnika, scindia, Brahma Ghat, Tulsi Ghat where Tulsidas wrote Rāmacaritamānasa, Maan-Sarowar Ghat and Darbhanga Ghat built by Man Singh of Amber and Maharaja of Darbhanga respectively have historical and mythological significance. Devout Jains pilgrims visit Bachraj Ghat which has three Jain temples in its vicinity. Nevertheless nothing can beat the morning boat ride on the Ganges across the ghats which don’t really to set ones karma in right order but sanguine sunrise reflecting on the cool transient water surface refresh the mind and defiantly soothe the eyes.

KHAJURAHO TEMPLE

The Khajuraho Group of Monuments is located in Chhatarpur District of Madhya Pradesh which is about 620 kilometres southeast of New Delhi. Recognized as UNESCO World Heritage Sitethese are groups of Hindu and Jain temples, built between 950 and 1050 AD during the reign of Chandella dynasty. The Khajuraho temple site initially had 85 temples by 12th century, over a spread of 20 square kilometers of which only about 20 temples have survived till date, covering mere 6 square kilometers. The temples are famous for their thousands of years old ‘‘Nagara’’ style architectural symbolism decorated with a plethora of sculptures with intricate details that express ancient Indian art which mostly includes erotic carvings of Kama Sutra. Some say Tantric practices others relate these sensuous postures as allegories for the faithful but both ways they’re naughty and fun to look at. However once the excitation subsides one could feel the exquisite charisma and being absorbed in the magical feeling of pleasantly perceiving 11th-century India sentiments and out-loud.

THE GOLDEN TEMPLE

The Harmindar sahib also informally referred to as the \"Golden Temple\", is a prominent Sikh Gurdwara located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab. Much of the marble work and decorative gilding of the temple were constructed during early 19th century. The premises abode Sikhs’ holy shrines; it also preserves memorial plaques that commemorate past historical events and commemorative inscriptions of Sikh soldiers. The gorgeous golden structure seems to float over a glistening pool called Sarovar fed by the Ravi River, this pool is said to consist amrit – the nectar of immortality. The chirruping of birds and gently lapping of lake water along with the dazzling reflection of lotus-shaped dome added in real gold makes the view mesmerizingly divine where everyone can expect to offer a prayer

HUMAYUN’S TOMB

The Humayun’s tomb was the first garden-tomb to be built in the Indian subcontinent, in 1993 it was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tomb was commissioned by Humayun\'s first wife Hamida Bano Begum , the premises also include 124 vaulted chambers that contain cenotaphs of the other members of the Mughal royal family and their nobles. Located on the banks of Yamuna River and in proximity to Nizamuddin Dargah this rubble built red sandstone building with its pure white-marbled exterior dome and detailing of white, black marble along with yellow sandstone is a lasting legacy of nearly four hundred years.

CAVES OF AJANTA

The Ajanta Caves located in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. Referred as \"the finest surviving examples of Indian art” by government of Archaeological Survey of India is indeed a tempting view for dramatic eye especially ones who are keen to behold themagnificence of ancient art. These caves depictslife, education and worship of long-gone era through paintings, carvings and sculptures; however the real twist in tale was excavated centuries later when theseexquisite artworks found to narrate Buddha’s former lives. Being among UNESCO World Heritage sites since 1983, the Ajanta Caves includes approximately 30 rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments by the side of a horseshoe-shaped cliff, built in two phases around the 2nd century BCE and a brief period of 460 to 480 . After the site ceased to be used the caves were covered by dense forest for years until accidentally rediscovered in 1819 by a British officer during a hunting party.Today much of it is just reminiscence; however many of waterfalls still flows round the gorge, audible during the high tide adding a chanting atmosphere to the mystery and eerie of the hollow surrounding and making the life in cave far more intriguing.

MAHABODHI TEMPLE

2002 This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a Buddhist temple in Bodh Gaya, situated in Bihar state of India, the Mahabodhi Temple relates to the \"Great Awakening\" i.e the event of Siddhartha attaining enlightenment to be Gautama Buddha. On its western side is the holy Bodhi tree, under which the tapasya for enlightenment took place, popularly called Bodhi manda and the monastery surrounding it known as Bodhi manda Vihara. The present temple is however one of the earliest and most imposing structures built entirely in brick from Gupta period, the entire site is surrounded on all four sides by two meters high stone railings of two distinct types. Some made of sandstone and others of unpolished coarse granite depicting two distinct types of pictorials supposed to be constructed in two different eras . During the 11th and 19th century, Burmese rulers undertook restoration of the temple complex and surrounding walls.The Government of Thailand Gold plated the Vault of Mahabodhi Temple by 290 kg of gold. Realizing the priceless eternal significance of the Place all findings of religious artifacts in the area is legally protected under the Treasure Trove Act.

AGRA FORT

The Bastioned fortress can be more accurately described as the imperial walled city of Red sandstone. The Agra Fort was originally a brick structure, held by the Hindu Sikarwar Rajputs known as \'Badalgarh\'. The present-day grandeur asserted itself under Emperor Akbar, with an interesting mix of Hindu and Islamic architecture the semicircular fort sentinels since 11th century spreading over 380,000 square meters. The confined premises have two main entrances called ‘Delhi Gate’ and ‘Amar Singh Gate’ and the citadel comprises a large number of fairy-like palaces and white marble monuments which are much like a kaleidoscope of brilliant artwork.

KONARAK SUN TEMPLE

The combination of the Sanskrit words, Kona means corner and Arka sun, oriented towards the east the 13th-century Sun Temple at Konark, in Odisha was built with Khondalite rocksin the shape of a gigantic ornamented chariot with elaborately carved twelve pairs of stone wheels, pulled by seven pairs of horses, pillars and walls dedicated to Sun god Suryaso that the first rays of sunrise strikes the principal entrance. This traditional style of Kalinga architecture, at the mouth of the river Chandrabhaga, originaly had a main sanctum sanctorum (vimana), audience hall (Jagamohana ) dance hall (Natamandira) and dining hall (Bhogamandapa) along with a 33 feet 8 inches long pillarmade of monolithic chlorite, dedicated to Aruna, the charioteer of the Sun god.However in present time the waterline has receded, major part of the structure is now in ruins due to weak soil of the area and weight of super structure which somehow contributes to the charm of its prehistoric prominence. Besides fine artistic designs the premises are highly acknowledged over the famous festival of Odissi dance held every year in December, signature of enriched ethnic inheritanc

MYSORE PALACE

The Palace of Mysore is a grey granite palace with deep pink marble domes situated in the city of Mysore in Karnataka, a southern state of India. The antique memorial also called Amba Vilas Palace abounds in Indo-Saracenic architectural style domes that reflect to blend of Hindu, Muslim, Rajput, and Gothic styles design and has a facade with several expansive arches, The entrances at east west and south of the premises hold the emblem and coat of arms of the kingdom of Mysore. Besides the historical significance of the place the wonderful parade during famous Mysore Dashara festival held every autumn at palace grounds are a must watch.

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