Agra, Uttar Pradesh (India)
The city of Agra is located in the northern part of India in the state of Utta Pradesh. It stands on the Jumna River. Even during the reign of the Mughal dynasty in the 16th and 17th centuries, Agra was the capital of India, but in 1658 it was transferred to Delhi.
Agra known to the whole world primarily for the fact that here is one of the seven wonders of the world – the Taj Mahal. It was built under Shah Jehan, who conceived it in memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Construction began in 1631 and was completed in 1653. This is a real masterpiece of Persian-Indian architecture. The palace stands at the end of the Persian Garden. There are many beautiful fountains in the garden, walking paths and four water channels stretching along its entire length, symbolizing the roads to paradise. The entrance to the Taj Mahal is dominated by a red sandstone gate. They are painted with excerpts from the Koran. In front of the Palace is a long pool, which reflects this majestic building. The Taj Mahal itself is made of marble and stands on a red sandstone platform. High minarets rise at the corners of the platform. The palace is crowned with one large dome and four small ones. The walls of the Taj Mahal are inlaid with precious and semi-precious stones, and the ornaments are made of black marble. Inside are the tombs of Mumtaz Mahal and Shah Jehan, and their graves are located under the palace itself.
2 km from the Taj Mahal, on the other side of the Jamna River, is the ancient fort of Agra. Its construction began in 1565 under the ruler Akbar for the defense of the city. The fort is made of red sandstone. The fortress is surrounded by a wide moat, over which powerful walls rise. Later, the fort became a favorite residence of kings, so beautiful mosques, palaces and halls immediately appeared on its territory. The most popular places are the Pearl Mosque, which was built of marble as the personal residence of Shah Jehan, the Jihangir Palace, which was built under Akbar as the female part of the fort, the Grape and Water Gardens.
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh (India)
According to Arist Countries, Varanasi is located in northern India. The Hindus also call it Kashi, and from the British it was named Benares. The history of the city, according to legend, goes back to the first millennium BC, when the god Shiva conceived its creation on the banks of the Ganges River. Since then, pilgrims from all over India have been coming here to bathe near this sacred place with the first rays of the sun, and some Hindus have come to Varanasi to die.
Architecturally, the city is not very attractive. Along the intertwining streets, houses and temples stand intermingled. One of the most important temples in the city is Vishwanath. It stands on the banks of the Ganges River near the Hindu University. But only Hindus can visit it.
The Durga temple is interesting. It is known as the temple of the monkeys who found their home here, and was built in the 18th century. Nearby is the temple of Tulsi Manas, which was built in 1964 from marble in a modern style.
The Gyanwapi Mosque is famous for its 16-meter spire, which is covered with gold. It took about 3.5 tons of precious metal.
In Varanasi, there is the Bhavan Museum, where Indian miniatures and sculptures are collected. But the most visited attraction of the city are the numerous ghats – stepped baths for washing, which stretch along the banks of the Ganges. There are about 100 of them. They are always full of pilgrims and locals.
10 km from Varanasi there is another place of pilgrimage for Buddhists – the city of Sarnath. According to legend, it was here that the Buddha delivered his first sermon. To commemorate this event, the 35-meter stupa Damekh was erected. There is a temple next to it.
The Archaeological Museum of the city contains all kinds of ancient Buddha images and a collection of Buddhist relics.
Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh (India)
Lucknow is the capital of Utter Pradesh. The city is located on the banks of the Gomati River. The heyday of Lucknow came in 1775 under King Asaf-ud-Daula, when the city became the capital of the Awadh region. He belonged to the dynasty of Nawabs, the ancestor of which was Saadat Ali Khan. During the reign of this family, numerous mausoleums and mosques were built. The most famous of them are the mausoleums of Bada Imambara and Huseynambad Imambara.
Bada Imambara was erected in 1784. Asaf-ud-Daul is buried here. In the complex of buildings, the tomb itself, the Asafi Masjid mosque and the painted Turkish gate stand out. The mausoleum itself consists of three halls, enclosed by walls 15 meters high.
Huseynambad Imambara was built in 1839 under Nawab Mohammed Ali Shah. He conceived this mausoleum as a place for his future burial. On the territory of Huseynambad Imambara there is a building that is a small copy of the Taj Mahal. The daughter of Muhammad Ali Shah and her husband are buried here. Nearby is the grave of the ruler himself and his mother. Huseynambad Imambara Chapel is the largest clock tower in India . Her clock was designed by a London architect later in 1887. A little to the west is the main mosque of Lucknow – Jama Masjid. It consists of two minarets and three gilded domes. Nearby is the Art Gallery, which contains portraits of all the Nawabs of Awadh.
Lucknow has a large number of parks. In general, the city is full of vegetation, which makes it “green”. Despite so many historical sights, Lucknow has a vibrant modern life. The business part of the city is Khazratganj Street, where restaurants, fashionable shops and numerous offices are located. There is also a central market – Aminabad. Amausi Airport for domestic flights is located 20 km from Lucknow.