World heritage always seemed to amuse me in some or the other way and thanks to my luck I  have friends who have  similar interests in world heritage like me , so as we finished our end semester exams last December we planned to get wild and wasted in our own way , exploring the wonders that history has handed over to us in its legacy , so we has this time frame of 15 days sharp as our next semester was starting in a fortnight , without  wasting any time we planned to commit our entire holidays to the exploring of world heritage and legacy.   Day 1 So as we were much committed to the fact that we were going to leave to have a great time with heritage we booked our tickets well in advance , there were 3 of us , that’s Akshat , Cathrine and me so we kind of had a boy majority and Cathrine was British native but was pursuing her in our college so Indian Culture and Heritage interested her a lot where as Akshat and I were spoilt brats who had a kick of exploring the world and living life off the edge , so on the day one we boarded the Andhra Pradesh Express  from Secunderabad junction at around 7 in the morning and did I mention you the destination , well we thought to start off from Madhya Pradesh what cooler than a place with two world heritage sites , luckily my uncle lives in Bhopal so our stay and food was taken care of we reached at the Bhopal junction around  11 in the night my uncle was there to pick us up and not much of a surprise he was shocked to see a girl with both of us 😛 , and I must say Indians are so sweet with foreigners but equally cranky when they find the same foreigner with their children and especially if she is a female and your child is a male :O 😉 , well we were now there at home and aunt was surprised to see us there with a foreigner girl , she even visualized me marrying her in her thoughts 😛 , as it was late we just had our dinner and off to sleep and we planned to start our adventure the next day   Expenses for the day: Railway tickets for 3 secunderabad to Bhopal : 430×3= 1290 Lemon rice and parathas from home : free 😛 Miscellaneous snacks on board: 500/- Distance covered: 842.6 kms   Day 2 It was a long journey we we planned to start early we woke up around 5 in the morning and got things working to visit the GROUP OF STUPAS AT SANCHI which was a world heritage site listed by UNESCO , we wanted things right and did our homework before hand ,  Distance between Sanchi to Bhopal is 48 km by Road along with an aerial distance of 42 km. No direct flights or trains or buses are available between Sanchi to Bhopal.The convenient, fastest and cheapest way to reach from Sanchi to Bhopal is to take a taxi from Sanchi to Bhopal , so we planned to hire a taxi to sanchi as we didn’t wanted to waste our time in about an hour we reached sanchi stupas .  Sanchi, variously known as Kakanaya, Kakanava, Kakanadabota and Bota-Sriparvata in ancient times, has a singular distinction of having remarkable specimen of Buddhist art and architecture right from the early Mauryan period (c. third century BC to twelfth century AD). Sanchi is famous in the world for stupas, monolithic Asokan pillar, temples, monasteries and sculptural wealth. It was Emperor Asoka who laid the foundations of a religious centre at Sanchi fascinated probably by the location of the hill or because of his Queen Devi, who was the daughter of a merchant of Vidisha. He erected the Great Stupa (Stupa 1) here after redistribution of mortal remains of Lord Buddha for erecting several stupas all over the country in order to spread Buddhism. This stupa was originally a low structure of brick, half the diameter of the present edifice hemispherical in shape with raised terraces at the base. It was enclosed by a wooden rail  and a stone umbrella at the top. This Great Stupa served as a nucleus to the large Buddhist establishment during the later period. We had a great time exploring heritage at sanchi and also visited satdhara ,  a Buddhist site, 10 km south-east of Sanchi besides visiting the archeological museum at sanchi , spend the entire day there had loads of fun with loads of heritage and lots of knowledge bout ashokan and Buddhist architecture.  With exhausted bodies we returned to home exhausted and ready for more next day. Expenses for the day: Taxi to sanchi to and fro: 480/- Food and snacks: 350/- Entry tickets of group of monuments at sanchi: 30/- Distance covered: 96.6 kms to and fro (one way 48.3 kms )   Day 3   After giving a day to Buddhist architechture and heritage we planned to visit a gift from our ancestors THE ROCK SHELTERS OF BHIMBETIKA before going there we heard a lot about the place and how it was a centre of study of how the pre-historic humans lived. We caught one of the painfully slow busses going towards Hoshangabad . We told the bus conductor that we want to get down at the T- junction of BHIMBETKA which is some 41 kms away from Bhopal. Bus will take at least 2 hours to reach there . From the T-point, BHIMBETKA ROCK SHELTERS are some 4 kms and its difficult to get a private auto or a taxi from there. There was a small café where we unwind before finally venturing out in the woods and then went to the woods by lending a ride from one of the bypassing group that was kind enough to give us a lift to the caves. The site spread over 10 km in length and about 3 km in width has more than 700 rock shelters, of which over 400 have paintings. The earliest human activities are known from the numerous stone tools including handaxes, cleavers and also the pebble tools. The rock paintings of Bhimbetka steals the limelight. Of particular interest to the tourist are the Auditorium Rock Shelter, Zoo Rock and Boar Rock in Bhimbetka Cluster. The earliest endeavour here other than for mere run of the mill activities for survival is the engravings of small cup like depressions at the end of the Auditorium Rock Shelter, which is dated to nearly 100000 years. Near the end of this tunnel there is a cluster of painting depicting a hunter, deer, tiger cattle and stylised peacock. Further ahead on the same path one comes across the Zoo Rock Shelter, which qualifies as the most densely painted rock shelter, paintings spanning from the Mesolithic to the Mediaeval. The paintings here include those of A Mesolithic boar painted in dark red, animals like: elephant, rhinoceros, boar, barasingha, spotted deer and cattle and snake, etc. Later paintings include battle scenes painted in red and an elephant painted in white. The Boar Rock, which is the last among the rock shelters accessible for tourist has a depiction of a mythical boar with horns that is many more times larger than the human being chased by it. Returning to home was again a task with a long journey back home but anyways we managed to make it at night and were damn tired with all the rock climbing and the sightseeing that we did Expenses for the day:  Bus to bhimbetika to and fro: 180/- Food and snacks: 300/- Entry tickets of group of paintings at bhimbetika : 0/- Distance covered: 9o kms to and fro (one way 45 kms )   Day 4 Bidding adieu to my uncle and Bhopal we left the next day for Agra from Bhopal again in the Samatha express which left at 6:30 in the morning and reached  at Agra at 2:00 pm we took an auto to the nearby lodge and booked a room for three , exhausted we decided to take a quick nap before visiting the Taj Mahal , leaving around 4:00 In the evening we spent great time at the Taj with all the grandeur and the splendidness of it and witnessed how it changed colors as the night descended on the city of Agra The taj mahal is built as to same way how the paradise is described in the holy quran as it was shahjahans wish that her wife must be placed in heaven and hence the architecture is the perfect example of mughal art and architecture with its splendid minarets and gateways  The best  time to visit the taj is in the evening before the sunset , boarding a bus from the lodge to the Taj entrance and from there electric autos is how a common man is supposed to see taj and we did the same , not to forget the soviegners of taj on the road let you pack the memories of mumtaz and shahjehan symbol of love, home at a very competitive price , the lip smacking petha is to die for , Me and Akshat convinced Cathrine that it was ice 😛 , the street food of agra is well known for its chat and we were foodies , how could we be without having chaat at agra , we filled our tummy till we had to losen our belts and left to the lodge and slept exhausted as we had a great and a fun filled day ahead waiting for us   Expenses for the day: Train tickets to Agra : 147×3 =441/- Room for three at the lodge: 3000/- Bus tickets to Taj Mahal Corridor : 20×3=60/- Electric rickshaw from Taj  Mahal Corridor to Taj Entrance: 10×3=30/- Food and snacks: 300/- Lip smacking petha: 90/- per kg Entry tickets to the Taj Mahal  : 20×3 = 60/- Miniature taj mahals: 100×3 = 300/- Distance covered: 508 kms by rail                                  About 25 kms by public bus and transport     Day 5 Waking up much later than we had planned, after having a quick snack at the nearby tea and breakfast joint , we rushed to Agra Fort the epitome of mughal architecture and culture and the throne of the most powerful empire of India. We went through the most beautiful and striking architecture of the mughal era , from the entrance to the detailed archs and windows and the masjid inside with a royal collection of the thrones of the mughal dynasty , Agra Fort surprised us in each and every way .  The fort, semi-circular on plan, is surrounded by a 21.4 m high fortification wall. Double ramparts have been provided here with broad massive circular bastions at regular intervals. There are four gates on its four sides, one of the gates was called “khizri-gate” (the water gate) which opens to the river front , where ghats (quays) were provided .The fort has survived through the onslaught of time, nature and men. The fort spreads over an area of about 94 acres of land . At present, there exist more than two dozens of monuments  in the Fort. Abul Fazl, a court historian of Akbar, records that 5000 buildings were built here beautifully in Bengali and Gujarati style. Most of these buildings have now disappeared. Shah Jahan himself demolished some of these in order to make room for hiswhite marble palaces. Later, the British destroyed most of the buildings for raising barracks. Hardly 30 Mughal buildings have survived on the southeastern side. Of these, the Delhi-Gate, Akbari-Gate and ‘Bengali-Mahal’, are representative of buildings raised during the reign of Akbar. Jahangir mostly resided at Lahore and in Kashmir, though he visited Agra regularly and lived in the fort. Shah Jahan, a great builder, raised white marble palaces here. He also built three white marble mosques in it: Moti-Masjid, Nagina-Masjid and Mina-Masjid. Aurangzeb imprisoned Shah Jahan, his own father, in the fort for 8 years until he died in 1666 and was buried in the Taj Mahal. The barbicans around the two gates and on the riverside were built by Aurangzeb to strengthen its defences. Though Shah Jahan had formally transferred his capital to Delhi, in 1638, he continued to live here. But after his death, Agra lost its grandeur. Aurangzeb remained busy in the regional conflicts and wars. Yet, time and again, he lived here and held the durbar. Shivaji came to Agra in 1666 and met Aurangzeb in the Diwan-i-Khas. Aurangzeb died in 1707 and 18th century history of Agra Fort is a saga of sieges and plunder during which it was held by the Jats and the Marathas and finally the British captured it from the latter in 1803. After discovering the glory of the Agra fort we relished the celebrated kebabs of agra at a nearby hotel and left to the lodge and buzzed to sleep. Expenses for the day: Room for three at the lodge: 3000/- Bus tickets to Agra Fort Corridor : 20×3=60/- Food and snacks: 300/- Entry tickets to the Agra Fort  : 10×3 = 60/- Kebabs and lovely dinner : 200×3 = 600/- Distance covered: About 15 kms by public bus and transport   Day 6   After taking a good night sleep, we got up next morning went around the Agra market shopped a lot of Agra stuffs and loads of goodies for our friends and lead to the historic fatehpur sikri and the gigantic Buland Darwaza at the Panch Mahal complex of Agra Sikri was the first planned city of the Mughals. The sloping levels of the city were connected into terraces which were utilised for various complexes such as Jami masjid, Buland-Darwazah and tomb of Sheikh Salim Chishti; Khass Mahal, Shahi-Bazar, Mina-Bazar, the Panch-Mahal, Khwabgah, Diwan-i-Khass, Anup-Talao, Chaupar and Diwan-i-Am. The efficient system of drainage and water-supply adopted here suggest an extremely intelligent town-planning by the Mughal emperor. All these palaces were built of red sandstone in the trabeate beam-and-post order, and composed of pillars, ornamental arches, brackets-and-chhajjas, jharokhas, chhatris, chhaparkhats, chaukhandis and so on. Domes have been used sparingly. Sometimes corbelled pendentives have been employed in the transition phase. The architecture of Fatehpur Sikri has a definite all-India character. It is prolific and versatile Indo-Muslim composite style, which is a fussion of the composite cultures of indigenous and foreign origins. After spending another day in Mughal Grandeur  we spent the splendid evening in the magnificent complex of salim chistis dargah feeling close to godhead and holiness of the sufi-saint. With the great day , comes great work and hence great hunger too , and rightly working on to it we filled our stomach with the mughal delicacies at a nearby restaurant.   Expenses for the day: Room for three at the lodge: 3000/- Bus tickets to fatehpur sikri Corridor : 20×3=60/- Food and snacks: 300/- Entry tickets to the Fatehpur  Sikri   : 10×3 = 60/- Mughal Dinner : 200×3 = 600/- Distance covered: About 70 kms by public bus and transport   Day 7   With the new day dawning we took a bus from Agra the next day to Delhi , well do I need to tell anything about Delhi , the perfect match of modern and ancient India . Catherine had already been to delhi for her visa works earlier but it was the first time that Akshat and me were visiting Delhi , yeah being in India we never visited the Indian capital , well we took a bus from Agra to Delhi as both are very nearby , reached there after a long journey of about 5 hours , tired and exhausted we started our hunt for a decent lodge and I Must say it’s very hard to find a lodge in Delhi so after a long quest we found a lodge to live in and decided to have dinner at the much celebrated and enjoyed Parathe wali gali in Chandni chowk , in the close vicinity of the historic red fort , we had a scrumptious dinner and planned to have the same breakfast the next day and went to our lodge and buzzed off to sleep.   Expenses for the day:   Bus tickets from Agra to Delhi : 300×3=900/- Room for three at the lodge: 5000/- Bus tickets to Chandni Chowk Corridor : 20×3=60/- Food and snacks: 500/- Chandni Chowk Dinner : 200×3 = 600/- Distance covered: About 231 kms by public bus and transport to Delhi                                  About 50 kms  to chandni chowk to and fro   Day 8   The next day as we had already set our priorities right we left again to chandni chowk and had a heavy breakfast  followed by  a visit to the iconic and historic visit to the red fort , we witnessed the fort which is of historic importance and of high value even today as the prime minister of India delivers the independence day address every year from here . The Red sandstone walls of the massive Red Fort (Lal Qila) rise 33-m above the clamour of Old Delhi as a reminder of the magnificent power and pomp of the Mughal emperors. The walls, built in 1638, were designed to keep out invaders, now they mainly keep out the noise and confusion of the city. The vaulted arcade of Chatta Chowk, a bazaar selling tourist trinkets, leads into the huge fort compound. Inside is a veritable treasure trove of buildings, including the Drum House, the Hall of Public Audiences, the white marble Hall of Private Audiences, the Pearl Mosque, Royal Baths and Palace of Color. As the night descended on the red sander red fort , we witnessed a magnificent sound and light show which unveiled the legacy of the redfort and its history. After the show had food at the same parathe wali gali this time not parathas but the yummy delhi food there and returned to our lodge with a great day waiting for us the next day.   Expenses for the day: Room for three at the lodge: 5000/- Bus tickets to Chandni Chowk Corridor : 20×3=60/- Entry tickets to the Red Fort: 10×3=30/- Sound and light show at Red Fort: 80×3=240/- Food and snacks: 500/- Chandni Chowk Dinner : 200×3 = 600/- Distance covered:  About 50 kms  to chandni chowk to and fro   Day 9   Ok so new day and a new thing to discover , we left to the qutub minar with all the enthusisasm , left in the early morning as we were very excited and reached around 12 in the noon had some tid bits of lunch and went on a photography spree as soon as we reached the monuments there. Qutab Minar is a soaring, 73 m-high tower of victory, built in 1193 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak immediately after the defeat of Delhi’s last Hindu kingdom. The tower has five distinct storeys, each marked by a projecting balcony and tapers from a 15 m diameter at the base to just 2.5 m at the top. The first three storeys are made of red sandstone; the fourth and fifth storeys are of marble and sandstone. At the foot of the tower is the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, the first mosque to be built in India. An inscription over its eastern gate provocatively informs that it was built with material obtained from demolishing ’27 Hindu temples’. A 7 m-high iron pillar stands in the courtyard of the mosque. It is said that if you can encircle it with your hands while standing with your back to it your wish will be fulfilled. The origins of Qutab Minar are shrouded in controversy. Some believe it was erected as a tower of victory to signify the beginning of the Muslim rule in India. Others say it served as a minaret to the muezzins to call the faithful to prayer. No one can, however, dispute that the tower is not only one of the finest monuments in India, but also in the world. Qutab-ud-din Aibak, the first Muslim ruler of Delhi, commenced the construction of the Qutab Minar in 1200 AD, but could only finish the basement. His successor, Iltutmush, added three more storeys, and in 1368,Firoz Shah Tughlak constructed the fifth and the last storey. The development of architectural styles from Aibak to Tughlak is quite evident in the minar. The relief work and even the materials used for construction differ. The 238 feet Qutab Minar is 47 feet at the base and tapers to nine feet at the apex. The tower is ornamented by bands of inscriptions and by four projecting balconies supported by elaborately decorated brackets. Even though in ruins, the Quwwat Ui Islam (Light of Islam) Mosque in the Qutab complex is one of the most magnificent structures in the world. Qutab-ud-din Aibak started its construction in 1193 and the mosque was completed in 1197. Iltutmush in 1230 and Alla-ud-din Khilji in 1315 made additions to the building. The main mosque comprises of an inner and outer courtyard,decorated with shafts and surrounded by piller. Most of these shafts are from the 27 Hindu temples, which were plundered to construct the mosque. It is, therefore, not surprising that the Muslim mosque has typical Hindu ornamentation. Close to the mosque is one of Delhi’s most curious antiques, the Iron Pillar. After a great day at the qutub minar exhausted and tired we had food at a nearby restaurant and left to our lodge to prepare for a fun filled day following.    Expenses for the day: Room for three at the lodge: 5000/- Bus tickets to Qutub minar Corridor : 20×3=60/- Entry tickets to the Qutub Minar: 10×3=30/- Food and snacks: 500/-  Dinner : 200×3 = 600/- Distance covered:  About 60 kms  to qutub minar to and fro   Day 10   Next day we planned to visit the world famous Dilli haat , the most famous place to visit in delhi for all the shopaholics and shopped a lot till we dropped , had the famous delhi chaat and street food and visited the oxygen pub in the night as we had  heard a lot about delhi’s night life had fun got spoiled and got back to the lodge at 5 in the morning , much to our expectations we had a hangover the next day L ! Expenses for the day: Room for three at the lodge: 5000/- Bus tickets to Delli haat Corridor : 20×3=60/- Food and snacks: 500/- Shopping: 9000/- Entry to the oxygen pub = 1000X 2= 2000/- (eve’s entry free 😛 )  Dinner : 200×3 = 600/- Distance covered:  About 20 kms to dilli haat to and fro   Day 11   Tired after the hangover we planned to go out in the evening to the purana quila or the old fort , the jantar mantar and ended up at the India gate have lovely street food at the India gate and returned to the lodge with a full filled day waiting for us the next day. The old fort was the centre of the mughal throne before the manifestation of the red fort , surrounding around all of the old delhi , the old fort is the place with which the old delhi is known as. The jantar mantar is the perfect example of the delhi architecture that existed before the mughal era and the perfect geometric calculations that our ancestors could do about thousands of years ago and we were astounded by the perfect calculations done there. Not to forget the in the visit we also saw the parliament of India , the president house and the rajya sabha which were the centres of the democratic republic of India.   Expenses for the day: Room for three at the lodge: 5000/- Bus tickets to around the places : 40×3=60/- Food and snacks: 500/- Dinner : 200×3 = 600/- Distance covered:  About 60 kms to all around the places to and fro   Day 12     The next day we planned to have a view of the modern architectural marvels of Delhi as heritage is heritage , irrespective of old or new , so we visited the Amar Jawan Jyothi  , which we had missed the other day and also performed salutations to the great martyrs of India at the Amar Jawan Jyothi which burns round the clock , after a patriotic day we left to witness the greatest architectural marvel of Delhi , none other than the Lotus Temple or Bahai worship Temple , surrounded on four sides with water and in the shape of a blooming lotus , the marvel represents the national flower of India , the beautiful Lotus , with the serene atmosphere of Bahai worship house and the calamity of the prayer hall we realized that we had established a connection with God , the almighty soul Taking the day off , we left for having food at a decent restaurant nearby and then left to the lodge and had a sound sleep.   Expenses for the day: Room for three at the lodge: 5000/- Bus tickets to around the places : 40×3=60/- Food and snacks: 500/- Dinner : 200×3 = 600/- Distance covered:  About 60 kms to all around the places to and fro   Day 13   The next day we left to witness the greatest mausoleum after the great Taj Mahal , The Humayuns Tomb , with lots of enthusiasm we went to see one of the most superseding marvels of delhi architecture.   It was built in 1565 A.D. nine years after the death of Humayun, by his senior widow Bega Begam. Inside the walled enclosure the most notable features are the garden squares (chaharbagh) with pathways water channels, centrally located well proportional mausoleum topped by double dome.There are several graves of Mughal rulers located inside the walled enclosure and from here in 1857 A.D With a great experience of witnessing the magnificent mughal architecture we left for the day having great delhi food at the road side which was to die for and successfully completed out journey to the historic marvels of the world.    Expenses for the day: Room for three at the lodge: 5000/- Bus tickets to around the places : 40×3=60/- Entry tickets to the Humayuns Tomb: 10×3=30/- Food and snacks: 500/- Dinner : 200×3 = 600/- Distance covered:  About 60 kms to all around the places to and fro   Day 14 and 15   As our holidays were coming to an end we left to head to our city Hyderabad and craving for more in the future promised ourselves that at least once every year we would visit the world heritage sites around the world and fulfill the never ending thirst of heritage. We boarded the train around 5 in the evening and had great fun on the way back having platform foods and snacks, and great food from everyplace, and reached the next day around 4 in the evening and were ready to attend the college the next day.   Expenses for the day: Train tickets to Hyderabad: 900×3 = 2700/- Food and snacks: 500/- Dinner : 200×3 = 600/- Distance covered:  About 1,600 kms to Hyderabad      

  • Abhinav Sharma

    if you wanna know about be ask my enimies cos my friends will never tell my bad points

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