Best places to visit and things to do in India and South-East Asia
Besieged by beautiful gardens, the gallant Bangalore palace, is a famous tourist attraction in Bangalore. It is now owned by the Mysore Royal family. Chamarajendra Wadiyar bought the original property in 1873 from the principal of Bangalore Central High School, Rev, J Garret, from his personal funds. The main building spreads across 45,000 square feet and it a mixture of Tudor and Scottish Gothic architecture. The Bangalore Palace is one of the most eye-catching tourist attractions in the city of Bangalore. Apart from being a major tourist destination, it is also preferred for important events and other cultural programs. The wooden structure of the palace along with the splendid carvings both inside and outside the palace depicts various architectural styles and showcases the royal culture. It is averred that King Chamarajendra Wadiyar drew his aspiration from the Windsor Castle of London.
This massive, well-preserved Portuguese fort with its double moat (one tidal) must once have been impregnable, but sea erosion and neglect are leading to a slow collapse. The Fort of Diu is one of the prominent tourist destinations in India, which is skirted by the sea on the three sides and commands a magnificent view of the sea. It was constructed between 1535 and 1541 AD after a defense alliance, concluded by the Bahadurshah, Sultan of Gujarat, and the Portuguese to protect themselves from the invasion of Mughals. It is approximately a 10-12 minute bike ride from the main town. The lighthouse is Diu’s highest point, with a beam whose radius reaches 32 km. The mighty structure is divided into three segments- the outer wall, the inner wall and the double moat. You can visit the three main churches located inside the fort- Church of St. Francis of Assisi, St. Paul’s Church, and St. Thomas Church and the Shiva temple, also known as Gangeshwar Mahadev.
The Charminar, constructed in 1591 CE, is a monument and mosque located in Hyderabad, Telangana, India. The landmark has become a global icon of Hyderabad, listed among the most recognized structures of India.
World War II Cemetery
The World War II Cemetery will definitely remind you of World War II. The martyrs from this region lie buried here. Amid the manicured lawn, you will find two tall crosses. There is an inscription which reads: “When you go home, tell them of us and say For your tomorrow, we gave our today”.
Aga Khan Palace
Aga Khan Palace situated at a mere distance of 7 km from Pune city is easily accessible by road. This heritage site allows you a glimpse of the events of the past along with its majestic beauty. Sprawled over an area of 19 hectares, the Aga Khan palace will take you to the time of the struggle for independence when after the Quit India Movement, Mahatma Gandhi and his wife Kasturba Bai were held prisoners in 1942. For History lovers, the Gandhi National memorial society has been set up within the walls of this palace. You can even take a peek into the Mahatma’s room and find yourself reliving the past moments by viewing the pictures on the walls depicting the Mahatma’s austere life. The best time to visit the palace is during the celebration of Martyr’s Day, Kasturba Gandhi’s Death anniversary and Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary which are organised in remembrance of the great leader. You can also revel in the pristine and soothing aura of the Aga Khan Palace gardens which holds the ashes of Mahatma Gandhi.
Worked amid the 17th century, the Raja Mahal has withstood the trial of time without losing its appeal that vehicles you back to one of the brilliant times of history. The illustrious habitation of past rulers of Orchha, Raja Mahal is arranged in Tikamgarh area, Madhya Pradesh. Lovely towers beautify the outside of this wonderful royal residence, and exceptional wall painting works of art embellish the insides. The royal residence is developed delightfully with perfect design and amazing greatness. Dwelled by the past rulers of Orchha, the castle has kept the spirit of the India’s most prominent eminence in place through every one of these years. The royal residence has great towers and dynamite wall paintings which will make a visit here an outright pleasure for any craftsmanship lover. The royal residence houses two rectangular patios, which takes after the old Indian idea of the mandapa. The most critical component inside the royal residence is the Diwan-i-Khaas, which is generally respected for its incredible themes. A seventeenth century landmark that withstood the desolates of time is a commendable for a watch.
The Palace of Kangla is an old palace at Imphal in Manipur (Kangleipak). It was situated on both sides (western and eastern) of the bank of the Imphal River. But now it remains only on the western side of the bank. Only the ruins remain now. Kangla means “dry land” in old Meetei. It was the traditional seat of the past Meetei rulers of Manipur.
Chittorgarh Fort is one of the largest forts in India. It is a World Heritage Site. The fort, popularly known as Chittor, was the capital of Mewar and is today situated in Chittorgarh. The fort and the city of Chittorgarh host the biggest Rajput festival called the “Jauhar Mela”. It takes place annually on the anniversary of one of the jauhars, but no specific name has been given to it. It is generally believed that it commemorates Padmini’s jauhar, which is most famous.
The Elephant stables of Hampi are a major tourist attraction. Though built many centuries ago, they have not lost their ability to awe people with their formidable sense of might. The Elephant stables are some of the best preserved monuments in Hampi, virtually untouched by aging over time. This was where the royal elephants used to reside during the Vijayanagara empire. Built in the 15th century, this gigantic structure boasts of intricate carvings and fine craftsmanship. It was built in the Indo-Islamic style of architecture. The structure proper is composed of eleven massive domed chambers, each having the capability to accommodate two fully grown elephants. The chambers were interconnected by large archway passages. The mahouts used the rear side of the chamber to enter and exit the abode of the gentle giants. Even today, it still stands as one of the most gargantuan buildings ever built in its contemporary era. It is definitely worth a visit here.
Patuxai meaning Victory Gate or Gate of Triumph, formerly the Anousavary Monument, known by the French as Monument Aux Morts, is a war monument in the centre of Vientiane, Laos. The Patuxai is dedicated to those who fought in the struggle for independence from France. You can climb to the top to enjoy the panoramic view of the charming, old-fashioned city of Vientiane with its many trees, low-rise buildings and temples, and all the way across the Mekong River to Thailand.
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is an important historical attraction of Hanoi, known for honoring the national hero: President Ho Chi Minh. The building is where visitors can express their admiration and gratitude towards the common father/uncle of Vietnamese who has led the country to independence and reunification.
Dhamma Chakra Stupa
Also known as Deeksha Bhumi, the stupa is a marvelous architectural body and can accommodate more than 5,000 people. It is built out of Dhaulpur sandstone, marbles & granites and is 120 feet in height. Followers of Ambedkar & Buddhism gather here on Ashoka Vijaya Dashmi, marked to celebrate the amalgamation of many dalits to Buddhism by Doctor Ambedkar, to offer their tributes. Dhamma Chakra Stupa or Deekshabhoomi is a sacred monument of Buddhism at the place where B.R. Ambedkar converted to Buddhism along with his about 380,000 Dalit followers on October 14, 1956. Deekshabhoomi is situated in Nagpur, Maharashtra, a location regarded as a pilgrimage center of Buddhism in India. Deeksha-bhoomi means Land of Initiation. The place is of great religious importance to Dalit people.
The Victoria Memorial, Kolkata is considered to be the pride of the city. Made up of white marble, it is one of the most famous monuments in West Bengal as well as India. This huge monument has now been converted into a museum and park. The Victoria Memorial architecture displays an excellent architectural gem and also seems to be a copy of Taj Mahal. The grand and exquisite Victoria Memorial of Kolkata is dedicated to the memory of Queen Victoria and is a popular tourist spot in the Kolkata Metro City. The Victoria Memorial Hall has 25 galleries including the royal gallery, the sculpture gallery and the Calcutta Gallery. Several western paintings and rare photographs of British era are portrayed inside the Victoria Memorial Hall of Kolkata. The National Leader’s gallery displays the relics and portraits associated with Indian independence. The park area of the Victoria Memorial is open for morning and evening walkers. The Victoria Memorial looks beautiful in the evening under the light and sound spread across the garden and Hall. The Victoria Memorial Kolkata ticket price is INR 20 for Indians and INR 200 for foreigners.
Vandiyur Mariamman Teppakulam
Teppakulam is a small pond, built by Raja Tirumalai Naik there is a small Lord Ganesha Temple inside, most of the time it is dry and water is supplied from the vaigai river when there is a festival
National Monument Indonesia
The National Monument, Monumen Nasional or Monas is a 132 m tower in the centre of Merdeka Square, Central Jakarta, symbolizing the fight for Indonesia. It is the national monument of the Republic of Indonesia, built to commemorate the struggle for Indonesian independence.
Nahargarh Fort, Jaipur is the perfect showcase of the royal heritage of Rajasthan. This beautiful and huge architecture stands on the edge of the Aravalli Hills, overlooking the pink city of Jaipur. The Nahargarh Fort’s history says that it was in 1734 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, founder of Jaipur as a retreat place. Along with the Amer Fort and Jaigharh Fort, the Nahargarh Fort formed a strong defense for Jaipur city at that time. The fort is a showcase of Indo-European architecture and has many huge structures inside it. The main entrance gate ‘Tadigate ‘ has a temple dedicated to Jaipur rulers and another one dedicated to Rathore prince. Madhavendra Bhawan in the fort is the summer destinations for the royal family. The Palace has boudoirs for the queens. The fort looks brilliant when floodlit at night. The Nahargarh Fort has been the shooting location of the Bollywood movie Rang de Basanti.
Jaisalmer Fort is one of the largest fortifications in the world. It is situated in the city of Jaisalmer, in the Indian state of Rajasthan. It is a World Heritage Site. Also known as the Sonar Quila due to its color of the sandstone. This fort is a living urban centre, with about 3000 people residing within its walls. It’s honeycombed with narrow, winding lanes, lined with houses and temples – along with a large number of handicraft shops, guesthouses and restaurants.
The Hawa Mahal or the ‘Palace of the Winds’ is one of the most renowned and distinctive landmarks in the Jaipur city of Rajasthan. The Hawa Mahal was built in 1799 by King Sawai Pratap Singh to enable ladies of the royal household to watch and enjoy the life and processions of the city. The main highlight of this unique five-storied palace is its pyramid shape which is also the shape of the crown of Lord Krishna. It’s other main attraction is its 953 windows or ‘Jharokhas’ which are decorated with intricate designs. The Hawa Mahal is built from pink sandstone and this iconic structure serves as a retreat to visitors when viewed completely from outside. The Hawa Mahal images also serve as wallpapers for many desktops. The Hawa Mahal is now under the Archaeological Department of Government of Rajasthan and also houses an archaeological museum in the courtyard. The top offers stunning views of the Jantar Mantar, City Palace, and the Sireh Deori Bazaar.
Shanti Stupa, located on a hill-top, is an architectural beauty by itself. It is a strong symbol of ties between the inmates of Ladakh and that of Japan. It has been an inimitable torch bearer of peace since its genesis, 1991. This structure was built in commemoration of 2500 years of Buddhism. Sunrise and Sunset are believed to be the best views that can be had at Shanti Stupa. If you are a fitness freak, you have a better option to reach the Shanti Stupa than the mostly practiced option of using a four wheeler or a bike to reach the Stupa. There are 500+ steps that take you directly to the Stupa. The deep breathing caused due to the climbing of steps, perfectly enables you to acclimatize to the changing atmospheric pressure. The tiring steady walk of 30-45 minutes will reward you with the best view of city. You can also find a meditation hall there and you’ll find lot of glee, if you are a fervent believer in spirituality.
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