1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

A visit to a historical place

Discussion in 'Travel advice' started by MickyJ, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. MickyJ

    MickyJ New Member

    My cousins are coming from abroad to India and they want to go to some historical place. They only have one or maximum two days with me then they would be heading to Jammu. I need some advice to which historical place I should take them to.

    They will be arriving in Delhi, so please suggest according to my location and the number of days they have.
     


  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hi, welcome to the forum!

    [​IMG]
    (Images from Tom Thai, Lrburdak and Anil Yadav)

    Overview

    For that short amount of time, your best option would be to tour them around Delhi. Having been conquered by the Lodhis, Mughals and Marathas, Delhi has a long history behind it which is reflected on both the older and newer parts of the city. Since your cousins would be arriving in Delhi, there are other heritage cities around the capital that you can also visit. But since their visit is for a short time only, you need to visit the closest ones, under four hours away from Delhi proper. In this guide, we would highlight some of the best historical places that you and your cousins can visit, around the Delhi NCR. If you have a private car, that can help in making your tour and sightseeing more smooth and pleasant. You can also just hire a taxi from the destination proper if you don't own a private car.

    Top 7 Historical Places to Visit (Including and Near Delhi)

    1. Delhi - Delhi is a vast city and exploring it fully requires a few days. However, even with just a day or two, you can enjoy a heritage tour of the city. Delhi is believed to have been inhabited since the 6th century but the city gained prominence when the Mughals conquered it during the 16th century. For those rushed for time, you can divide your sightseeing into two areas, first is for the Old Delhi and second is for the New Delhi. The Old Delhi was once the capital of the Mughal leader, Shah Jahan. Two noteworthy attractions here are the Red Fort and Jama Masjid, located just opposite one another. Both structures were also built by the same leader, which is Shah Jahan. The fort has an imposing red facade, since it was built using red sandstone. Though the structures inside are not as elaborate as the forts in Rajasthan, they are still perfect examples of the Mughal style of architecture. The Mumtaz Mahal, dedicated to Shah Jahan's third wife, Arjumand Banu Begum, or simply Mumtaz Mahal, has now been converted into a museum, showcasing the rich collections of the royals back then. On the other hand, the mosque is one of the largest of its kind in the country. The mosque has a huge courtyard which has a capacity to hold thousands of devotees at the same time. The mixture of red sandstone and white marble give the mosque a unique but stunning look to it. Then, on to the New Delhi area, you would find other attractions that also shaped the history of the city. The Qutub Minar Complex deserves a mention, being the tallest bricked minaret in the country. It was built around the 13th century by Qutub-Ud-Din Aibak, but was completed years and years after by other Muslim rulers. Interestingly, the minaret was built upon the ruins of an old Hindu temple, even the structures around the minaret were built from these ruins. Also worth visiting here is the Humayun's Tomb, built by Haji Begum for her husband, Humayun. The mausoleum has had many comparisons with the famed mausoleum of Agra but there are some differences. This tomb was commissioned to be built by a woman, it has a combination of white and red facade, owing to the use of both marble and sandstone. Its size is smaller than the mausoleum in Agra and further, there are other tombs located around the main tomb of Humayun. Finally, you can't miss the India Gate, a memorial dedicated for the Indian soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the first world war.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Qutub Minar Complex, Humayun's Tomb and India Gate
    2. Alwar - Alwar is about 167 kilometres away from Delhi, so under 4 hours of driving. Often overlooked by tourists, as they venture into the further destinations of Rajasthan like Jaipur and Udaipur, Alwar remains under the radar most of the time. It does boast of some historical sites that can be fully explored within a day or two. A brief background of its history, Alwar was founded in the 10th century by the King of Amer but was ruled by other Rajput conquerors thereafter. Perhaps the most famous attraction here is the Bhangarh Fort, regarded as the most haunted place in India. Don't be scared though, as during day time, the fort is very much like any other fort, but mostly in ruins. That adds to the eerie and spooky appeal of the fort, which was built around the 16th century by King Madho Singh. Also worth visiting is the Bala Quila, also known as the Alwar Fort, built during the 15th century by Hasan Khan Mewati. Much like the former fort, this one is also in ruins but provides one with a great view of the city of Alwar, especially from the Suicide Point of the fort. You can even enjoy a jeep safari here, though it costs slightly higher than bringing your own vehicle. If you still have the time, other forts worth exploring and visiting here are the Neemrana Fort and Ajabgarh Fort. Before you leave the city, take a short glimpse of the City Palace of Alwar, which has now been converted into a government offices centre. You can reach the first floor section where there's a museum showcasing some royal weaponries and arms. Just on the backside of the fort, there's the Moosi Maharani Ki Chhatri, a small umbrella-shaped cenotaph dedicated to Moosi Maharani. This is probably the best maintained attraction of Alwar and the views of the distant Aravalli hills are sure to mesmerise you.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Bhangarh Fort, Bala Quila, Neemrana Fort, Ajabgarh Fort, City Palace and Moosi Maharani Ki Chhatri
    3. Agra - Agra is about 232 kilometres away from Delhi, though the distance is far, the creation of the Yamuna Expressway has made the journey shorter and faster. Thus, you can reach Agra from Delhi within four hours, especially if you leave early in the morning. Does Agra even need an introduction to travellers? It is the home of the iconic mausoleum, the Taj Mahal, an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The beauty of the mausoleum, with its pure white facade, is timeless. It has captured the heart of many history lovers, even the story behind why it was built, for the great love of Shah Jahan, Mumtaz Mahal. As much as possible, reach the Taj Mahal just before sunrise or sunset, so you'd get a glimpse of the reflecting hues of the sun around it. Nearby to the mausoleum is the Agra Fort, a masterpiece by both Akbar and Shah Jahan, it stands in contrast to the pure white marble of the mausoleum. It has a stark red appearance from the outside but thanks to Shah Jahan, the inside structures are gleaming in white as well. A fascinating piece of trivia about this fort is that this was where Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his son, Aurangzeb, during the last years of his life. Also worth visiting is the Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah, built by Noor Jahan for her father, Mirza Ghiyas Beg. Some refer to it as the Baby Taj and yes, there are striking resemblances within the two mausoleums. But keep in mind that this tomb was constructed way before the iconic monument of Agra. The intricate inlay artworks in the tomb proper showcase the feminine side of the creator of the tomb. And finally, you can't miss the Fatehpur Sikri, about an hour away from Agra's city centre. The abandoned fort city was built by Akbar during the 15th century. It stands as a fine example of the earlier Mughal style of architecture, with an assortment of red sandstone structures like the Panch Mahal and Jodhabai Palace.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah and Fatehpur Sikri
    [​IMG]
    Taj Mahal in Sunset (Image from Ranadeep Talukdar)

    4. Deeg - Deeg is a city in Rajasthan, about four hours away from Delhi. Deeg was once the summer retreat of the Bharatpur rulers, the Jat dynasty, so it has less historical sites as compared to the other royal cities of the state. Deeg has two main attractions, the first is the Deeg Palace. Built around the 17th century by both Maharaja Suraj Mal and Jawahar Singh, the palace complex combines both Mughal and Persian architectural styles. A unique feature of the palace is that it has over 2,000 working fountains, making almost thunderous sounds when opened all together. Numerous water ways also line the garden area, giving an illusion of an arid area amidst the desert. There are several palaces within the complex, like the Ghopal Bhawan, Suraj Bhawan and Kishan Bhawan. Many of the areas of the palace are not that well maintained but you can still see the grandeur of the structure despite this. The Deeg Fort is under a kilometre away from the palace. It was also built by Maharaja Suraj Mal during the 17th century. However, much of the fort is already in ruins, though if you climb the top, you can still find some cannons and bastions quite intact. In history, this place was famed because this is where Maharaja Suraj Mal defeated a combined army of the Mughals and Marathas. The huge ramparts and bastions of the fort can truly make you understand the strength and impregnable ability of the structure. The Jat dynasty is not as popular as the Marathas or the Mughals but it is here in Deeg that one can get a glimpse of their architectural style and once mighty power.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Deeg Palace and Deeg Fort
    5. Nuh - Nuh is merely 87 kilometres away from Delhi, barely 3 hours away of driving. Though there are several attractions in the city, it is famed for the Tomb of Sheikh Musa. Sheikh Musa was the brother of Sheikh Salim Chisti, as to whom the Fatehpur Sikri was dedicated to. It is also known as the Dargah of Sheikh Musa, dedicated to the person who brought peace and spirituality to the region. The archeictural style of the tomb is largely Mughal and Rajput. It has an interesting phenomenon wherein if you shake one of its minarets, the other minaret would reverberate the the vibrations. The structure is mostly in ruins though the ancient well and graves are still intact. You can also visit the nearby Ghasera Fort, yet another ruined structure, about 14 kilometres away from Nuh. The fort was built by Hathi Singh Bargujar and was later ruled by his son, Bahadur Singh. Interestingly, Bahadur Singh and Maharaja Suraj Mal of Deeg fought with one another, leading to the latter's conquering of the Ghasera Fort. Bahadur Singh died in the battle and his wives committed sati in this fort. Now, only the gateway and some parts of the walls of the fort remain yet the tragic stories behind it still remain.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Tomb of Sheikh Musa and Ghasera Fort
    [​IMG]
    Tomb of Sheikh Musa (Image from Anil Yadav)

    6. Farrukhnagar - Merely 60 kilometres away from Delhi is the city of Farrukhnagar, once the capital of the Mughal ruler, Faujdar Khan. It was also conquered by the Jat dynasty thereafter, for a short time at least. The town has one major attraction, the Farrukhnagar Fort, ruled by various Mughal rulers but built by Faujdar Khan. It is one of the few living forts in India, where you can find local resident's homes inside. Make your way past the crowds and find the various ancient structures though, like the Sheesh Mahal. The palace was built with sandstone but stands out due to its opulent mirror works inside. There are also old havelis around the fort area that one can visit and explore. The Baoli Ghaus Ali Shah is also worth visiting, an ancient step well made of stone where the royal women of the city used to bathe. The step well has a unique octagon-like shape, which you won't find elsewhere in the region. You can enjoy a tour around Farrukhnagar mainly because you get to enjoy the older sights with the newer sights of the city.
    • Must Visit Attraction - Farrukhnagar Fort
    7. Karnal - Karnal is another city in the state of Haryana, just 117 kilometres away from Delhi. The best feature of Karnal is that you'd find both precolonial and colonial structures in the city. The Karnal Fort built around the 18th century, was conquered by various dynasties of the Marathas, stands as one of the best precolonial attractions of the city. It has been largely maintained as it has been converted into a government offices centre now. On the other hand, the Tomb of Qualander Shah is also worth visiting especially for the believers of Qualander Shah. This tomb was built during the rule of Ghias-Ud-Din Tughlaq, a leader in Delhi. The tomb and surrounding gardens are very picturesque but the dargah is mostly visited due to the revered healing powers of the Muslim sage. And finally, also visit the Cantonment Church Tower, built during the British era rule in the region. The tower is dedicated to Saint James and there was once a church that stood in its previous location, which got destroyed during the transfer of the tower. Nearby the tower is a small cemetery, where European soldiers were laid to rest. The peace and quiet in this attraction is the best way of ending your tour of Karnal.
    • Must Visit Attractions - Karnal Fort, Tomb of Qualander Shah and Cantonment Church Tower
    Conclusion

    If you only have a few days with you and you're passing through Delhi, it's almost a sin not to explore its heritage sites. Around the capital, there are also some heritage destinations that won't take more than four hours to reach. There's no shortage of heritage sites to explore in and around the capital so you're in for a treat. The best part? You won't need more than two days to explore such sites. I hope this helps!

    :)