Category Archives: India

Udaipur City Palace Complex the climax of the Mewar opulence

Impossible to miss and even harder to forget, Udaipur City Palace represents the highlight of a visit in what is called (in my opinion exaggerating) the Venice of the East. Venice it is not but the palace will be a literal feast for your eyes. The Mewar dynasty, the oldest serving dynasty in the world, is who we have to thank for this fairy masterpiece.

Not everything is perfect though, all the positive adjectives that you might read everywhere will be fading away as soon as you have to deal with souvenir sellers and ‘friends’. But if you have been in the “Rajasthan tourist trail” for at least a few hours you will be more than used to it. No potential hassle should divert your attention from the orgy of architectural beauty that is awaiting you behind the Badi Pol (Great Gate). Continue reading

Fatehpur Sikri palaces and pavilions: all you need to know

Fatehpur Sikri palaces and pavilions Diwan-I-Khas

Diwan-I-Khas Fatehpur Sikri

Fatehpur Sikri is just forty km’s west of Agra so you don’t have any excuse to avoid this masterpiece of Mughal architecture desired by and created for the emperor Akbar. It doesn’t matter how tight your schedule is, seeing this delicious mix of Hindu, Jain and Islamic architecture where the best craftsmen worked together is a must. The proximity with the most famous Agra (and Taj Mahal) left this place practically tourist-free after 4pm. A good idea is spending the night in one of the few hotels comfortably located outside the World Heritage site perimeter, where you will also be able to enjoy a visit in the village of Fatehpur Sikri with its lively bazaar. Continue reading

Jantar Mantar the Jaipur astronomical instruments collection

Jantar Mantar JaipurOne of the main attractions in the so called ‘Pink’ city of Jaipur is the World Heritage Site of Jantar Mantar astronomical observatory. This impressive collection of astronomical instruments were built by Sawai Jai Singh, a Mughal commander, dated 1728. Sawai Jai Singh built five observatories, one in Jaipur, Delhi, Ujjain, Banaras (Varanasi) and Mathura. By far the Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is the biggest and the best preserved. This was the place where Sawai Jai Singh himself used to sit for astronomical observations. Continue reading

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal Agra Regardless if you are thinking that there are too many tourists, too much hassle, it’s too hot, it’s too cold, the light is not right, it’s too expensive, or it’s a bit out of your itinerary; the Taj Mahal has to be seen if you are traveling in the north of India.

We collected some information and together with some notes and pictures of the Taj Mahal which, thanks both to its romantic aura and exquisite details, attracts millions of visitors each year.

It is because of this everlasting charm that the Taj can boast of being one of the most popular world heritage monuments on earth. Shah Jahan’s own words in praise of the Taj is found in Badshah Nama: “…..The sight of this mansion creates sorrowing sighs, And makes sun and moon shed tears from their eyes. In this world this edifice has been made, to display thereby the Creator’s glory.” Taj Mahal, the seventh wonder of the world, symbolizes India. Taj Mahal means “Crown Palace” and is without any doubt the most well preserved and architecturally beautiful tomb. Described by the English poet, Sir Edwin Arnold, as “Not a piece of architecture, as other buildings are, but a proud passion of an emperors love wrought in living stones.”

The Taj Mahal was built over a period of 22 years from 1632, as a tribute to a beautiful woman and as a monument for enduring love by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Devastated by the death of his wife, the Empress Mumtaz Mahal, Shah Jahan had the Taj constructed to enshrine her mortal remains and be a center of pilgrimage. This shrine of mystique and love was designed by the Iranian architect Ustad Isa. The workmanship on the Taj is said to be purely Indian. Shah Jahan was known to have patronized Indian artisans irrespective of religion and caste. Continue reading

Restaurant Tunday Kababi in Lucknow

Tunday kababi restaurant Lucknow

Tunday kababi restaurant Lucknow

In Lucknow the busy capital of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh tucked away (click here to see the map) in a road covered with all sorts of business activities typical of India, there is a non-vegetarian paradise.

Tunday Kababi emerged as one of the best places in Lucknow to taste meat based dishes of the NawabiinfoMore infoHonorific title ratified and bestowed by the reigning Mughal Emperor to semi-autonomous Muslim rulers of princely states cuisine

as said by their menu:

The Legacy of Tunday Kababi has ruled the hearts of millions right from the common man upto the most magnetic personalities and celebrities for more than a century. With an extraordinary assortment of over hundred spices and herbs, the delicacies have made a mark worldwide Continue reading

ATMs in India – Where to withdraw more then 10000 Rupees per transaction

ATMs in India are as plentiful as the auto rickshaw but the problem that many tourists face is the limit of 10.000 Rupees per transaction. Banks like Axis Bank, Bank of India, HDFC Bank, just to mention some that we personally tried, have this limit and considering the fee that you pay in your country (5 Euro, 3 Canadian dollars or something like that according to your country and your bank account) it’s a little bit excessive especially if you are on a budget. Continue reading