Being a melting pot of different rulers, empires, and religions, India is a country that’s truly steeped in history, making it a great destination for educational tours. In fact, it has so many remarkable highlights that you might find it difficult to choose which places to go to.
Well, worry not, because listed below are five of the most captivating cultural and historical attractions in the region, making them superb destinations should you go on educational tours to India. These places will surely help you and your students take a trip back to ancient India and learn more about its roots.
1. The Taj Mahal
Looming over the Yamuna River’s banks in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, the Taj Mahal is an iconic building that seems to have come out of a fairy tale. Yet, it is actually a tomb that houses the remains of the beloved wife of Shah Jahan, a Mughal emperor. His wife’s name was Mumtaz Mahal and he had this architectural marvel built in honor of his love for her. The structure dates back 1630 AD, and required at least 20,000 workers and took about 22 years to complete. Made out of marble, its color gradually alters when the light changes throughout the day.
2. The Ajanta and Ellora Caves
Seemingly located in the middle of nowhere, the Ajanta and Ellora caves are carved into the rocks of hillsides. In Ajanta alone, there are 29 caves that go back between 200 BC and 600 AD while in the Ellora, there are 34 caves that date back between 600 and 1100 AD. The Ajanta caves are full of sculptures and paintings while the ones in Ellora are widely known for their amazing architecture. But perhaps the most remarkable thing about all these caves is the fact that they were all crafted by hand using only chisels and hammers.
These days, Hampi is but a laidback village. However, it used to be Vijayanagar’s last capital. Vijayanagar was one of Indian history’s greatest Hindu empires. The region has some incredibly captivating ruins, some of which are intermingled with huge boulders that rise all over the place’s landscape. The ruins themselves go as far back as the 14th century, comprising more than 500 monuments and stretching for about 25 kilometers (approximately 10 miles). This ancient place seems to emit an incredible energy.
4. Fatehpur Sikri
This city used to be the Mughal Empire’s proud capital during the 16th century. Today, it now stands as a ghost town, albeit it is quite well preserved despite being deserted. Its occupants abandoned the area in only about 15 years because water supply in the region was insufficient. The Fatehpur Sikri was built out of red sandstone and is full of regal courtyards and palaces. Being in the mere presence of its old constructions, you’d almost feel as if you were back in medieval times simply by being there.
5. Agra Fort
Also known as the Red Fort of Agra, this structure is a mere 2 kilomteres away from the Taj Mahal. In fact, it is sometimes tagged as the Taj Mahal’s sister monument. Spanning about 2.5 kilometers, it is situated along the bank of Yamuna River. This mammoth of a fort was constructed from red sandstone and it has two gates, the Amar Singh Gate and the Delhi Gate. It was once inhabited by famous Mughal emperors such as Humayun, Aurangzeb, Shahjahan, and Babur, making it a structure of great significance to Indian culture.
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