We had the opportunity to visit the Marble World Exhibitors
in Agra, they showed us how marble is decorated and the different marbles from
around the World. The most important is the Makrana Marble which was used to
build Taj Mahal, from Makrana in Nagaur district of Rajasthan. The marble is a
metamorphic rock. It is found in a single deposit in India. The Makrana marble
is 90–98 percent Calcium carbonate
Makrana has various mines in the Aravallis range, popularly
known as Doongri, Devi, Ulodi, Saabwali, Gulabi, Kumari, Neharkhan, Matabhar,
Matabhar Kumari, Chuck Doongri, Chosira and Pahar Kua. The Pahar Kua range is
thought to be the actual mine from which the marble for the Taj Mahal was
The shop sells all kinds of Marble products, from table tops, to decoration and various souvenirs. They even custom make a product if you want. The prices were a bit high compared to other places. In addition, the tour guide will take you to a place they get commission. A lot of bad reviews on Trip advisor on the shop, because of the prices. Although the workman ship was beautiful. Below are the pictures from the trip.
The Red Fort is a historical monument located in the center of Delhi, which is also known as the Lal Qila, was constructed by one of the most famous Mughal emperors, Shah Jahan. Built on the banks of river Yamuna, the fortress-palace was designed by architect Ustad Ahmad Lahauri. It took 8 years and 10 months to build the magnificent fort. The fort served as the royal residence of the Mughal emperors from 1648 to 1857. It took over the honor of royal residence from the famous Agra Fort when Shah Jahan decided to move his capital from Agra to Delhi.
The wall are made of red-sandstone walls, it is over 2.4 km in length and 16 meters in height cascading along the banks of the Yamuna River and surrounded by a canal. Spread across an area of 254.67 acres.
Prominent Structures within the Fort
From: Cultural India
Though as many as 66 percent of the structures within the fort were either destroyed or badly damaged, the Red Fort still houses many historic edifices and some prominent ones are listed below:
- Mumtaz Mahal – Situated in the women’s quarters (zenana) of the fort, Mumtaz Mahal was one of the six palaces within the fort. All these palaces were built along the banks of Yamuna River and were interconnected by the Stream of Paradise. The Mumtaz Mahal was constructed using white marble and embellished with floral decorations. During the British rule, it was put to use as prison camp. Today, Red Fort Archaeological Museum has been set up inside this impressive building.
- Khas Mahal– The Khas Mahal was used as the emperor’s private residence. The palace was divided into three parts namely the chamber of telling beads, sitting room and sleeping chamber. The palace was decorated with white marble and floral embellishments and the ceiling was gilded. Khas Mahal was connected to ‘Muthamman Burj’, a tower from where the emperor would address his subjects or simply wave at them to acknowledge their presence.
- Rang Mahal– The Rang Mahal which literally translates to ‘Palace of Colors’ was built to house the emperor’s mistresses and wives. As the name suggests, the palace was made to look colorful with bright paints and ostentatious decorations. A marble basin, which was installed at the center of the palace, would welcome water flowing from the Stream of Paradise. A basement, under the palace, was used by the women to cool off during the summer.
- Hira Mahal – Built in 1842 by Bahadur Shah II, the Hira Mahal is probably one of the last structures to have been built by a Mughal emperor before the invasion of the British. It is a mere pavilion but has an interesting legend associated with it. According to the legend, Shah Jahan had hidden a diamond, meant for his first wife, in this very place. The diamond, which is not yet found, is said to be even more precious than the famed Kohinoor.
- Moti Masjid– Moti Masjid which literally translates to ‘Pearl Mosque’ was built by Aurangzeb for his personal use. Interestingly, the mosque was also used by the inhabitants of the Zenana. Constructed using white marble, Moti Masjid has three domes and three arches.
- Hammam– The Hammam is basically a building that housed the baths, used by the emperors. On the eastern apartment, stood the dressing room. In the western apartment, hot water used to flow through the taps. It is said that perfumed rose water was used for bathing purpose. The interiors of Hammam were embellished with floral designs and white marble.
It took us about one hour to do the whole walk and the entrance fee was 600 Rupees. We took time reading the different posts about different structures; you can also take a tour guide if you want more information. We decided not to take the tour guide, although we might have missed on some information that wasn’t on the information posts of different structures.
Open: Tuesday to Sunday (Monday Closed)
Hours: 9am to 6 pm
Entrance: Indian National- 50 Rupees Foreigners 600 Rupees
sights from Red Fort:
India Gate is the biggest War Memorial in India; it is located in Rajpath New Delhi. It is in memory of the 70,000 soldiers who died between 1914 to 1921 in first world war in France, Flanders, Mesopotamia, Persia, East Africa, Gallipoli and elsewhere in the Near and the Far East, and the Third Anglo-Afghan War. 13,300 servicemen’s names, including some soldiers and officers from the United Kingdom, are inscribed on the gate. The foundation stone of India Gate was laid by His Royal Highness, the Duke of Connaught in 1921 and it was designed by Edwin Lutyens. The monument was dedicated to the nation 10 years later by the then Viceroy, Lord Irwin. The monument stands at 42 m in height; 9.1m in width; the complex is 625m in diameters and 306,000 m² in area.
The monument is made of yellow and red sandstone and granite. The cornice of the India Gate is inscribed with the Imperial suns while both sides of the arch have INDIA, flanked by the dates MCMXIV (1914 left) and MCMXIX (1919 right). Below the word INDIA, in capital letters, is inscribed:
TO THE DEAD OF THE INDIAN ARMIES WHO FELL AND ARE HONOURED IN FRANCE AND FLANDERS MESOPOTAMIA AND PERSIA EAST AFRICA GALLIPOLI AND ELSEWHERE IN THE NEAR AND THE FAR-EAST AND IN SACRED MEMORY ALSO OF THOSE WHOSE NAMES ARE HERE RECORDED AND WHO FELL IN INDIA OR THE NORTH-WEST FRONTIER AND DURING THE THIRD AFGHAN WAR
Because of memories it holds, many people visit India Gate and take pictures. You will find different vendors selling snacks, hats, sun glasses and etc. There are also photographers who will take your photo at a fee. The best to visit is in the evening, while you see the sunset. The entrance is free and open to anyone. You can spend a few minutes or have a picnic in the nearby gardens. It is one of the stops when you do a Delhi Tour.
Sights from India Gate
The Baha’i House of Worship in New Delhi was inaugurated in December 1986 has drawn more than 70 million visitors, making it one of the most visited edifices in the world. Baha’i is a religion teaching the essential worth of all religions, and the unity and equality of all people. Started by Baha’u’llah in 1863, it initially grew in Iran and parts of the Middle East, where it has faced ongoing persecution. Currently it has worshipers of about 5 and 7 million, known as Baha’is.
The design of the temple is inspired by lotus flower, the symbol of purity associated with the religion in India .The temple was designed by an Iranian architect, Fariborz Sahba. He was approached for the project in 1976, way later than the time when land for it was acquired. He was selected by the Baha’i governing body for the project as he belonged to the Baha’i religion himself. The temple is surrounded by 9 large pools which makes the prayer hall cool, in addition the nine sides symbolizes comprehensiveness, oneness and unity. The construction began April 21st 1980, and completed on the 24th December 1986. The petals are made of white concrete, with the outer layer in white marble panels. There are 27 free standing lotus petals – arranged in three circles with nine petals each. The inner two clusters curve inward over the central dome, while the petals of the outermost ring curve outward, forming canopies over the nine entrances into the temple. The temple is surrounded by green gardens, making the entire temple picturesque.
As you walk into the prayer hall it gives you a sense of calmness as people immerse themselves in silence, you are not allowed to take pictures or make any sound inside the prayer hall. The prayer hall can seat up to 2500 people. The visit can take about 10 minutes or more depending on your prayer. Inside the hall you will find benches where you can seat while you do your prayers, and you can leave at your own accord. I enjoyed the few minutes I was inside; I felt the peace from everyone around me.
Open: Tuesday to Sunday (Monday Closed)
Hours: Winter: 9:00 am to 5:30 pm (Last Entry 5.00 pm. For winter)
Summer: 9:00 am to 7:00 pm (Last Entry 6.30 pm. For summer)
Entrance Fee: Free
Guided tour available
Information Center available for all information (Plus Gallery)
Sights from the temple: