#52 best destination in the world

Qutb Complex

Qutub_Minar_in_the_monsoons

  • Ruins of Lal Kot which consisted of 27 Hindu and Jain temples built in 739
  • Qutb Minar is the tallest brick minaret in the world and is an important example of early Afghan architecture which later evolved into Indo-Islamic architecture
  • Built as a victory tower in 1192, marking the beginning of Muslim rule in India
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Humayun’s Tomb

1024px-Humayun's_Tomb_Monument

  • Tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun
  • Commissioned by Humayun’s first wife and chief consort, Empress Bega Begum, in 1569
  • Was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Jim Corbett National Park

Indian_elephant_at_jim_corbett_national_park

  • Oldest national park in India
  • Established in 1936 to protect the endangered Bengal tiger
  • Named after hunter and naturalist Jim Corbett
  • Comprises 201 square miles of hills, riverine belts, marshy depressions, grasslands and a large lake
  • Winter nights are cold but the days are bright and sunny, and it rains from July to September
  • The park has sub-Himalayan belt geographical and ecological characteristics
  • Forest covers almost 73% of the park, while 10% of the area consists of grasslands

Taj Mahal

Taj_Mahal_(Edited).jpeg

  • Ivory-white marble mausoleum on the bank of the Yamuna river
  • Commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, in order to house his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal
  • #6 of the top 25 landmarks in the world
  • Contains a tomb, mosque, guest house, gardens, and crenellated walls
  • The original cost of the building would be approximately $827 million in 2015 dollars
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Agra Fort

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  • Historical walled city
  • Was the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal Dynasty until 1638
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Chand Baori

Chand_Baori_(Step-well)_at_Abhaneri

  • Stepwell which can be dated to 8th-9th century
  • Today,there are remains of old sculptures and carvings, which were suggested to be in the temple or in the various rooms
  • Many of these stepwells served multiple purposes including drawing water and religious or ceremonies activities
  • This unique form of underground well architecture remains constant from the 7th century in the existing monument

Jal Mahal

Jal_Mahal_in_Man_Sagar_Lake

  • Palace in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake
  • The palace and the lake around it were renovated and enlarged in the 18th century

Hawa Mahal

Hawa_Mahal_2011

  • Palace made with the red and pink sandstone
  • Built in 1799
  • Its unique five floors exterior is akin to the honeycomb of a beehive with its 953 small windows called Jharokhas decorated with intricate latticework
  • The original intent of the lattice design was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life and festivals celebrated in the street below without being seen, since they had to obey the strict rules of “purdah”, which forbade them from appearing in public without face coverings
  • Many people see the Hawa Mahal from the street view and think it is the front of the palace, but in reality it is the back of that structure

Ellora Caves

Ellora, cave 16

  • One of the largest rock-cut monastery-temple cave complexes in the world, featuring Buddhist, Hindu and Jain monuments, and artwork, dating from the 600–1000 AD period
  • Cave 16, in particular, features the largest single monolithic rock excavation in the world, the Kailasha temple, a chariot shaped monument dedicated to Shiva
  • The Kailasha temple excavation also features sculptures depicting the gods, goddesses and mythologies found in Vaishnavism, Shaktism as well as relief panels summarizing the two major Hindu Epics
  • There are over 100 caves at the site, all excavated from the basalt cliffs in the Charanandri Hills, 34 of which are open to public
  • These consist of 12 Buddhist (caves 1–12), 17 Hindu (caves 13–29) and 5 Jain (caves 30–34) caves, each group representing deities and mythologies prevalent in the 1st millennium AD, as well as monasteries of each respective religion
  • They were built close to one another and illustrate the religious harmony that existed in ancient India
  • Funding for the construction of the monuments was provided by royals, traders and the wealthy of the region

Marine Drive (Mumbai)

Marine_Drive,_Mumbai,_India

  • Palm tree lined promenade along the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Road in Mumbai, India
  • Constructed by late philanthropist Bhagojisheth Keer and Pallonji Mistry
  • It is a ‘C’-shaped six-lane concrete road along the coast of a natural bay
  • Most of the buildings erected by wealthy Parsis were constructed in an art deco style, which was popular in the 1920s and 1930s

Ramoji Film City

1024px-Ramoji_Film_City,_Hyderabad_-_views_from_Ramoji_Film_City_(102)

  • Film studio complex spread over 1,666 acres, and the largest integrated film city in the world
  • Built by Telugu film producer Ramoji Rao in 1996 as city within a city
  • Contains natural and artificial attractions including an amusement park

Bandhavgarh National Park

2_Tigers_Bandhavgarh_National_Park_Madhya_Pradesh_India

  • National park dedicated in 1968 that then became Tiger Reserve in 1993
  • The tiger population is one of the highest known in India
  • Historically villagers and their cattle have been at a threat from the tigers
  • Rising mining activities around the park are putting the tigers at risk
  • The Park derived its name from the most prominent hill of the area which is said to have been given by Lord Rama to his brother Laxman to keep a watch over Lanka

Dhamek Stupa

Dhamek_stupa,_Sarnath

  • After the parinirvana of the Buddha, his remains were cremated and the ashes divided and buried under eight mounds with two further mounds encasing the urn and the embers
  • Little is known about these early stupas, particularly since it has not been possible to identify the original ten monuments
  • Built in 500 AD to replace an earlier structure commissioned by the great Mauryan king Ashoka in 249 BC, along with several other monuments, to commemorate the Buddha’s activities in this location
  • Said to mark the spot where the Buddha gave the first sermon to his first five Brahmin disciples after attaining enlightenment, revealing his Eightfold Path leading to nirvana
  • In several of the ancient sources the site of the first sermon is mentioned to have been at a sanctuary for animals
  • The stupa was enlarged on six occasions but the upper part is still unfinished
  • While visiting Sarnath in 640 AD, Xuanzang recorded that the colony had over 1,500 priests and the main stupa was nearly 300 feet high
  • The stone facing is chiseled and displays delicate floral carvings of Gupta origin
  • The wall is covered with exquisitely carved figures of humans and birds, as well as inscriptions in the Brāhmī script

ISKCON Temple Bangalore

819px-ISKCON_Temple_Bangalore

  • One of the largest Krishna Hindu temples in the world, affiliated with ISKCON Revival Movement
  • Completed in 1997

Snow Kingdom

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  • India’s largest snow theme park
  • The park provides sterilized, cold weather clothing to allow visitors to cope with the sub-zero temperature inside
  • The snow is made by reverse osmosis of water
  • The prevailing temperature inside the theme park is 18 °F
  • Inside the theme park, there are replicas of seals, penguins, and snow deer

Costs

Number of Days: 37 days

Best Time To Fly: March, Oct

Airline tickets: $1,710

Seattle -> New Dehli (one way) $678
New Delhi -> Pantnagar (round trip) $136
New Delhi -> Jaipur (one way) $16
Jaipur -> Aurangabad (one way) $64
Aurangabad -> Mumbai (one way) $32
Mumbai -> Hyderabad (one way) $26
Hyderabad -> Bhopal (one way) $53
Varanasi -> Bengaluru (one way) $38
Bengaluru -> Chennai (one way) $20
Chennai -> Seattle (one way) $647

Food: $7/day x 37 days = $259

Entertainment/tours: $1,148

Airbnb: $51/day x 35 days = $1,785

TOTAL: $4,902