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A specialized tour for individuals who wish for a private tailor-made experience to see the famous golden triangle architectural wonders of India including the TajMahal, the deserted Mughal masterpiece capital of FatehpurSikri ......


 
 

DELHI - THE HEART OF INDIA 

Seven major previous capital cities make up today’s Delhi, the sight that has ruled India off and on for the last 1400 years.

The most famous rulers of India who have used Delhi as their seat of influence and power over India have included the Guptas in the 7th Century who’s expertise in metallurgy constructed the finest mixed metal pillar in the ancient world (located at the Qutub Minar complex) and whose gold coinage gave the world the first real avant-garde style. The Tomaras in the 8th to mid-12th Century and the Chouhans from the mid to latter 12th Century who gave Northern India its first formalized Sanskrit Colleges and Libraries and formed the basis of the Rajput architectural ideal.

Muhammed Ghori briefly at the end of the 12th to beginning of the 13th Century, The Slave Dynasty that established the Delhi Sultanate constructed the awe inspiring Qutab Minar and fused Islamic art principals with the Rajput aesthetic to create a new architectural style that is still present in India today. The Khilji Dynasty, Tughluq Dynasty and Lodhi Dynasty all briefly ruled Northern India from Delhi and by the mid-16th Century the Mughals took control and established the Mughal Empire here.
Emperor Shah Jahan established Delhi as an official capital in 1638 by building Shahjahanabad (presently Old Delhi). It remained the capital of Imperial Mughal India until 1857.
The Red Fort and Jama Masjid
Emperor Shah Jahan commissioned such architectural jewels as the Red Fort and Jama Masjid (Friday Mosque).
Construction on the Red Fort began in 1638 and took 10 years to build. It was named the Qila-i-Mubarak or blessed fort as it became a royal residence. The building became one of Emperor Shah Jahan’s finest building achievements with mesmerizingly large walls and ramparts as the façade and inlayed gemstones in marble and sandstone covering the walls in intricate patterns in the interior. Fine fountains and cooling systems incorporated through the floors for hot summer days and an overall opulence and size to intimidate and influence subjects and visiting dignitaries.
The sandstone carved Jama Masjid was originally called the Masjid-i Jahan-Numa and was commissioned by Emperor Shah Jahan and completed in 1650. A one million rupee price tag and Five-thousand artisans and labourers working for seven years completed it making the largest mosque at the time in the world. Twenty-five thousand persons can pray here at a time under its 41 meter high minarets and eight domes decorated in purple and white marbles.
Present day Shahjahanabad (the Old City of Delhi)

To wander the old city of Delhi is a highlight of a visit to India’s capital. The sprawling Chandi Chowk bazaar has some of the finest Mughal cuisine in the country. Sweets, meats, and pastries are along a myriad group of lanes by restaurateurs who’s families have produced delicacies here for centuries.

The Dariba Kalan or Jewellers street has the atmosphere of the Imperial era and the publishers street has book copies on almost any South Asian subject from the last 2 millennium, directly from the publishers  who printed them. Piles of spices, tea, textiles and bottled perfumes are sold by hundreds of small shops throughout the bazaar.

Agra - The Essence of a Love 

Agra’s History and Architecture
 
The present-day city of Agra was founded in 1504 A.D. by Sultan Sikander Lodi who ruled Northern India under the Delhi Sultanate. It became the capital of Northern India under Sikander Lodi’s son Sultan Ibrahim Lodi. During the battle of Panipat in 1526 A.D. between Sultan Ibrahim Lodi’s army and that of the invading army of the Mongol Babar whose victory at this battle began the Mughal Empire in South Asia.
Hamayun, the son of Emperor Babar, lost the Mughal Empire to Sher Shah Suri, for a number of years and during this period, of the mid-16th Century, Agra was controlled by the Hindu warrior Vikramaditya who also briefly established Northern India as a Hindu state in 1556 A.D.
Hamayun, who was in exile in Persia, invaded India under the banner of the Mughals and took control of Northern India again in the latter 1550’s.
Hamayun’s son, the great Mughal Emperor Akbar, commissioned Agra’s Red Fort in 1565. During the reign of Emperor Akbar’s son, Emperor Shah Jahan, the Red Fort was renovated and added to extensively with fine pietra dura precious gemstone inlays and marble facades to become a royal Mughal residence.
Today, Agra is famous for the mausoleum the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan commissioned in 1630 A.D. as the final resting place of his favourite wife Mumtaz. Known today as the Taj Mahal, this architectural masterpiece has become one of the world’s most recognizable buildings.
Emperor Shah Jahan’s passion and Love for his wife Mumtaz is reflected in the time, labour and expensive it took to create and finish the Taj Mahal. Twenty-two years of painstaking attention to detail by 20,000 workers under the main artisan-architect Isa Usta contributed to its completion. Precious gemstones were brought from indigenous Indian sources, Persia, Afghanistan, Burma, and present-day Uzbekistan, and include Jasper, Carnelian, Lapis-Lazuli, and Turquoise that were intricately inlayed pietra dura, in floral and geometric, patterns into alabaster and white marble façades from material quarried at Makrana in present-day Rajasthan. These boulders of ultra fine alabaster and white marble were dragged by elephants 370 kms. to the Taj Mahal. Fine calligraphy in the “Thuluth”

script in Arabic from passages from the Holy Qur’an were decided and executed by the Mughal court calligrapher Amanat Khan. Above you as you enter the Mausoleum Gate the words, “Enter Paradise, the abode of the faithful and reward for the righteous” greets you. Amazingly these passages covering the Taj Mahal graduate in actual size from smaller to larger beginning at the base of the structure towards the top so convincingly that the reader believes the writing is the same size. The four minars on each corner are set 5 degrees out from the center of the building to minimize them falling into the building in the case of a strong earthquake. Such attention to concerns of earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters were carefully included into the buildings structure.
Some travellers are almost jaded to the name of the Taj Mahal until they see this awe-inspiring building physically. An uncontrolled mood overcomes the viewer mentally and emotionally with thoughts and feelings of tranquility, peace, beauty, opulent luxury, religious fervor, and refined taste that saturate the senses.
Shopping
 
Agra’s shopping is concentrated in the old city bazzars and in fine showrooms. Handmade carpets in wool, cotton and wool, and rarely silk are produced here. Perhaps the most famous product today are fine inlayed pietra-dura dishes, boxes, and table tops inlayed in precious gemstones by the descendants of the Taj Mahal artisans whose families stayed in Agra.

Fine leather products such as handbags and shoes are also made in Agra as well as carved alabaster filigree objects.

Please click and fill out the Tailor-Made Tours form to find out what we could arrange for you based on your specific wishes and budget.