"The Golden Triangle of India actually covers three of the most beautiful and captivating cities of the country: Delhi (the capital of India), Agra (the city of Taj) and Jaipur (the desert land of Rajput kings). India’s Taj Mahal is an admired masterpiece that combines elements of Indian, Islamic, Persian and Turkish design and style into one of the world’s seven wonders. It was built as a result of “love at first sight” along the banks of the River Yamunaby by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his dear wife and queen Mumtaz Mahal at Agra, India. The purity of the white marble, exquisite ornamentation, precious gemstones used and its picturesque location, all make the Taj Mahal a beautiful structure with the love story behind this outstanding monument giving it life. Agra Fort, built in 1565, has a lovely view of “the Taj” and is made up entirely of red sandstone. The deserted city of Fatehpur Sikri, situated near Agra, was constructed by Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1584 and is considered to be amongst the most majestic cities of the Mughal Empire. All three treasures are considered UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Jaipur is the vibrant capital of Rajasthan and is known as the “Pink City”. In the afternoons kites fly from most rooftops and in the morning, young kite enthusiasts visit the marketplace to resupply their hobby. 15th century Mehrangarh Fort stands sentinel to the city of Jodhpur below and houses a palace intricately adorned with long carved panels and latticed windows exquisitely wrought from red sandstone. Nearby Jaswant Thada is the cremation ground of former rulers with distinctive memorials in white marble which commemorate Jaswant Singh II and successive rulers of Marwar. In Jodhpur, the Clock Tower Bazaar has a network of narrow lanes where vendors sell everything from exotic spices, fruit and vegetables to exquisite Rajashani textiles and handicrafts. The Indian railway is the world’s largest employer with over 1,600,000 regular employees covering over 24,000 miles of railroad track serving in excess of 17,000,000 passengers a year. In the capital city of Delhi, encounter the ancient city walls, Ghandi’s crematorium and the largest mosque in the city, Jama Majid, built in 1650 by Shah Jahan who also created the Taj Mahal. Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India is said to be the most holy city in Hinduism. It is considered by many to be the most sacred place of pilgrimage for Hindus irrespective of denomination. Along the banks of the Ganges River, pilgrims from distant lands have come to Varanasi in search of divine blessings. Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon at nearby Sarnath in 450 BC.
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