Browsing the archives for the asia category.


Top 5 Historic Forts In India

asia, history, india travel

India is a land that has been ruled by various kingdoms and dynasties. Most capitals and cities India were traditionally built inside the ramparts of a strategically located fort. While there are many forts that date back to the ancient era of the 4th century BC, most of the old forts have now either been abandoned or have become an important historical monument. The Forts in India due to their distinctive architecture are revered by tourists and attracts millions of visitors. Here are the top 5 historical forts that you must visit in India.

1. Red Fort, Delhi

Red Fort, Delhi

Red Fort, Delhi

Image Credits @ Deivis

The Massive fort is located in the national capital Delhi and is also considered as one of the revered historical monuments in India. It was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1648. Red fort is considered as the prime example of Mughal Style architecture and combines the various architectural styles of Persian, Turkish and Hindu Architecture. The various apartments in the fort are connected through a centrally running canal also known as the ‘Stream of Paradise’. The massive fort is built in red sandstone and spreads across an area of 254.67 acres of land. The brilliant architecture and the various artifacts the fort houses has made it a UNESCO world heritage and also the spot where the prime minister of India hoists the National Flag every year on 15th of august which is India’s Independence Day.

2. Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur

Image Credits @ beech_design

Situated in Jodhpur, the capital of the Rathore Rajputs of Marwar, the fort is situated 122 meters above the city on the top of a hillock known as ‘Bhaurcheeria’ or the Mountain of Birds. The fort was built in the 15th century by the Rathore Ruler Rao Jodha who decided to move the capital of Marwar from Mandore to a strategically secure location of Jodhpur. The fort is exemplary of the fine craftsmanship and architectural prowess of the Rajputs and is considered to be one of the unconquered forts in India. The various apartments and galleries often leave the visitors awestruck and mesmerized. The fort also contains a museum where several historical artifacts, paintings, handicrafts, armor, weapons and firearms are displayed.

3. Agra Fort, Agra

Agra Fort, Agra

Agra Fort, Agra

Image Credits @ jackfrench

This fort is another UNESCO world heritage site in India. The fort is situated near the Yamuna River, the water from which was used to feed the moats around the citadel. It was originally built in the 11th century and was ruled by the Sikarwar Rajput clan. The fort as we see today was built by the Mughals as Agra was one of their capitals. The site was captured several times and was renovated on by various rulers; it was however, the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan who is credited for the fort’s current monolithic structure. It is built in red sandstone which is a trademark of the region. The fort contains various structures which were built to commemorate the various victories of the Mughal Rulers. The architecture of the fort is unparalleled and attracts a huge number of visitors.

4. Gwalior Fort, Gwalior

Gwalior Fort, Gwalior

Gwalior Fort, Gwalior

Image Credits @ iamrawat

The fort is popularly called the ‘Gibraltar of India’ and is one of the most structurally sound forts in India. The fort was built in the 8th century by the rulers of the Tomar Dynasty and is located in Gwalior. The site currently serves as an archeological museum and houses few of the most exquisite collections of historical paintings, handicrafts and artifacts from the various clans that ruled the fort from time to time. The fort complex contains several palaces, temples and water tanks. There are also 11 temples that are dedicated to Buddha and Jain. The fort is also one of the very well maintained historical forts in India. The fort is also famous for being the last stronghold of Rani Lakshmi Bai who achieved martyrdom fighting the British occupation of India.

5. Golkonda Fort, Hyderabad

Golkonda Fort, Hyderabad

Golkonda Fort, Hyderabad

Image Credits @ iamrawat

Fort is known for being the capital of the medieval kingdom of the Qutb Shahi Dynasty and is situated in Hyderabad the state capital of Andhra and the newly christened state of Telangana. The region is also known for its mines that has produced world famous gems like the Koh-I-Noor and The Hope Diamond. The fort is built on a granite hill that is 120 meters above the city. It was originally built by the Kakatiya between 945- 970 AD and flourished under the rule of the Qutb Shahi Dynasty. The fort complex comprises of 4 forts that are interconnected and contain various palaces, temples, halls and gateways etc. The architectural style is unique as compared to the other hill forts found in India as it has traces of Persian, Turkic and Dravidian style of architecture with the majority of structures built in Turkic style.

Being a country with more than 4,000 years of ancient history, India has been blessed by various historical forts and monuments. The 5 forts mentioned above are examples of the finest architectural styles prevalent in India. A visit to these will definitely help you experience the vast history and experienence the times when the illustrious dynasties ruled the lands of India.

Author Bio:

is an avid travel blogger and a traveler who likes to experience and discover new cultures in India. He is also a blogger at Trans India Travels, a website that provides information about the various travel destinations in India.

Top 5 Historical Monuments In India

asia, history, india travel

The tourism industry of India is considered to be among the top 20 out of all the countries in the world. India is a historical country with a vast and deep rooted culture and has seen the reign of various ancient and historical dynasties and kingdoms. Each dynasty and kingdom that ruled the land brought with them a distinctive style of arts, crafts and architecture. India is a home to a huge number of cultures which are strikingly distinctive from each other. The ancient and historical architecture in India has always been popular and attracts millions of tourists from all over the world each year. Here’s a list of the top 5, must-visit historical monuments in India.

1. Taj Mahal, Agra

Taj-Mahal

Image Credits @ Ashutosh

The most famous and elusive of all the monuments in India, the Taj Mahal is one of the most brilliant pieces of Mughal style architecture in the world. Located in the city of Agra, Uttar Pradesh, the building is a mausoleum which was built in the memory of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan’s late wife Mumtaz Mahal. It is built entirely out of carved white marble and the craftsmanship of the various decorative murals and marble carvings is totally unparalleled. The structure is also a part of the 7 wonders of the world and is a UNESCO world heritage site. The Taj Mahal has been covered in various documentaries and books, which explain the details of its design and the story of how it was constructed. Built on the banks of the river Yamuna the white as pearl structure is a symmetrical marvel and is one of the top tourist attractions the country has to offer. Apart from Taj Mahal, there are a few other tourist attractions in Agra which should not be missed on your visit.

2. Gateway Of India, Mumbai

Gateway-of-India

Image Credits @ DewDreams

The monument was built during the British Rule in India and is located in the economic capital of India, Mumbai. The building marks the arrival of the British Majesty King George V and Queen Mary, in December 1911 in India and the reason for the name of the structure. The construction however began in 1915 and the Royal Couple only saw a cardboard model of the structure upon their arrival. The massive gateway is located at the end of the Mumbai Harbor and was opened for public use on the 4th of December 1924 by the Earl of Reading the then viceroy of India. The architecture is a marvelous cross between the Roman arch designs and the architecture of Gujarat in the 16th century. The building is 25 meters in height and 48 feet in diameter and is build from yellow basalt and reinforced concrete. Gateway of India is surely the focal attraction of this city; but you can also checkout other places to visit in Mumbai if you want to get the true picture of this city’s history.

3. Red Fort, Delhi

Red Fort

Image Credits @ Aneta & Mark’s

Situated in the Capital city, Delhi, the Red Fort exemplifies the pinnacle of Mughal Style Architecture in India. The Fort’s design was a template that was used in building various other forts in the country and especially in the north Indian region. The fort was built by the Mughal Ruler Shah Jahan who wanted to move his capital to a more strategic location of Delhi. The Fort housed the Mughal Rulers for a period of 200 years and is a national symbol. The architecture is a cross between various styles of Hindu, Rajputana and Persian style of architecture and is built in Red Sandstone. Located by the river Yamuna, by which the moats around the castle were fed. Every year on the 15th of August, the Fort is used by the President of India to hoist the national flag to commemorate India’s Independence. Apart from Red Fort, there are many more historical places in Delhi.

4. Hawa Mahal, Jaipur

Hawa-Mahal

Image Credits @ RussBowling

Considered to be the finest specimen of Rajputana style of Architecture, Hawa Mahal or the Palace of Winds is located in the city of Jaipur, Rajasthan. The city was the capital of the Majestic Kachwaha Rajputs and is also the capital of the state. The Hawa Mahal is a part of the Royal City Palace and formed the Zanana or the Women’s chambers. The design is inspired by the crown of the Hindu deity Lord Krishna and has an astonishing 953 small windows called ‘Jharokhas’ which are decorated with the most intricate latticework. The place was intended to be the viewing spot for the ladies of the royal family where they could view the world outside. The rooms are of various colored marble stones and the scientific design provides a natural air-conditioning effect in the structure keeping it effectively cool during high temperatures. Apart from Hawa Mahal, the famous forts such as Amer Fort, Nahargarh Fort etc. are among the top tourist destinations of Jaipur for its historical importance.

5. Fatehpur Sikri

Fatehpur-Sikri

Image Credits @ Dan Arif

The now abandoned town of Fatehpur Sikri was once a bustling and glorious capital of the Mughal Emperor Akbar and is considered to be the best preserved collection of monuments from the Mughal Era. The entire city is a larger than life monument built by the majestic emperor and the architectural prowess is simply brilliant. The massive Buland Darwaza is the gateway that welcomes you into this wonderful work of art. The various inscriptions on the monuments exemplify the religious tolerance during Akbar’s reign and the various buildings have distinctive influences of various Indian styles of architecture. The complex contains several buildings including mosques, tombs, assembly halls, living chambers of the Royal Family and is mostly built in red sandstone and concrete.

In a land where you can experience a new culture every few miles you cover, it is certainly a monolith task to make a list of the top monuments in the country. However, this is a humble attempt at compiling the best of the preserved architectural monuments in the culturally diverse land of India.

Author Bio:

is the owner of Trans India Travels and and an Architect by profession. Rohit is on a constant search for new places and enjoys exploring the architectural marvels of India and the world.

History Buff Cruises – guest post from Cruise Web

asia, cruise ships, cruises, europe, shanghai, southeast asia

3 Cruise Destinations for History Buffs

By Austin Gambino, The Cruise Web Team

As vacations go, cruising offers a lot of diversity. There’s something for everyone, whether you’re interested in kicking back on the beach, ready to go on a culinary adventure, or intrigued by the depths of a destination’s history. Let’s take a look at three cruise destinations that are just perfect for history buffs.

Asia/Southeast Asia

Whether you are cruising to China, Japan, or Southeast Asia, there are some unbelievable sites and attractions for those who love to learn about a region’s history. Beyond the classic trips such as the Great Wall, Angkor Wat, and The Forbidden City, there are plenty of options to explore for even the most jaded travelers of Asia, such as the Sultan Mosque (Singapore), Celuk (Bali), or the Usuki Stone Buddha Statues (Beppu, Japan).

Phenomenal Ports-Of-Call

Ayutthaya (Thailand), Tianjin (China), Singapore, Bali (Indonesia), Bangkok (Thailand), Busan (South Korea), Yokohama (Japan), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Port Kelang (Malaysia), and more.

Extraordinary Excursion

Trek into the Batu Caves while at port in Kuala Lumpur (Port Kelang) in Malaysia. This location is a sacred Hindu temple with incredible statues and vibrant wildlife (such as the macaque monkeys) with some equally amazing history. Keep in mind there is a 272-step climb to reach the cave complex, so you’re sure to work out your body and your mind on this excursion.

Northern Europe

Cruising to Northern Europe is well-known to be a history buff’s dream. Castles, museums, and churches can be found all over Ireland, Germany, Northern France, Norway, and other countries you will encounter on a cruise to Northern Europe. In addition to the traditional options, river cruises are a superb option to get acquainted with the historic wonders of the Danube, Main, Rhine, and other European rivers.

Phenomenal Ports-Of-Call

Copenhagen (Denmark), Bergen (Norway), Stockholm (Sweden), Southampton (England), Tallinn (Estonia), St. Petersburg (Russia), Helsinki (Finland), Hamburg (Germany), and more.

Extraordinary Excursion

Certain cruise lines offer a unique excursion while cruising through Russia that allows passengers to become a ‘Cosmonaut for a Day’ at Moscow’s Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center. This is a special excursion for history buffs because this base was used as a secret training base for Soviet Cosmonaut candidates and had a direct connection with the ‘space race’ between the USSR and the United States during the cold war.

Canada and New England

Cruises to Canada and New England are an intriguing vacation option for history buffs because of the diversity of history you can experience. In New England, there are attractions and deep rooted cultural and historical influences from the United States’ early years (pilgrims/indians, Yankees, and Industrial Revolution). In Canada, you can find French and British influences dating from the 15th century, Post-Confederation Canada, and more (quaint villages, landmarks, and historic forests).

Phenomenal Ports-Of-Call

New York City (New York), Newport (Rhode Island), Boston (Massachusetts), Bar Harbor (Maine), Halifax, Novia Scotia (Canada), Quebec City (Canada), Montreal (Canada),  and more.

Extraordinary Excursion(s)

If you want to try something different than the classic ‘Lexington & Concord’ in Boston or Quebec City walking tour, you may want to check out the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow House in Portland, Maine, which was once the headquarters of George Washington during the Revolutionary War. Or, visit the picturesque ‘Peggy’s Cove’ tucked into the eastern shore of Halifax, which boasts a pedigree of fishing excellence since 1811, and has a wonderful lighthouse to explore (Peggy’s Point Lighthouse).

As you can see, history buffs can enjoy history and cultural influence while cruising to the myriad of destinations served by cruises, such as Canada and New England, Northern Europe, and Asia. Remember, this only scratches the surface of history while traveling by sea.   Many other cruise destinations are ideal for historical vacationing, such as the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and Africa. Which history buff cruise destination seems like the most intriguing? Let us know in the comments below, or tell us about your historical cruise vacationing experience!



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