Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Taj Mahal - Agra, India
India's $42 billion travel and tourism industry today has secured itself the fifth rank amongst the 134 most preferred tourist destinations in the world. With over 3 million tourists visiting the the Seventh Wonder of the World - the Taj Mahal - alone every year, the floodlights were focused at Agra, until globetrotters began to look around. They found India studded with delights more than many and gradually the attractions were unraveled, one after the other.
The architectural archipelago that India is, owes its genesis to the various dynasties that ruled different parts of India at different periods. The most significant embossing on the Indian landscape was that of the Mughals and the erstwhile British masters. The Mughals believed in luxuriant living and their palaces were a rich blend of Indo-Islamic and Persian architecture. Their fascination for gardens got a whole legion of them laid at different parts of their territory. The British brought in their Victorian and Gothic elements and built monuments of use (railway stations, educational institutions, museums et al), while the Rajput and the Gupta rulers, keeping in with their jealous territorial stronghold, got some of the most splendid Palaces and Forts built. South India, of the Chandelas and the Pallavas, boasts of some of the most magnificent temples. India's coastline, hill-stations, adventure trails and so on, are recent boosts of the tourism industry and needless to say, they have surpassed the oldies.
We have randomly handpicked the most popular tourist attractions in India so that you know what not-to-miss.