When India is the topic for travel, one would usually Taj Mahal as the destination to visit. With a vast number of visitors each year, there are certain places in India that are also worth the visit.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Ajanta Caves are unusual and completely impressive. The caves consist a series of 29 hand-carved chambers that have been cut out of a solid rock face. It is almost 76 meters above the confined Waghora stream in Ajanta, around 300 miles east of Mumbai. Over a period spanning from 2AD to around 6BC, the Buddhist monks carefully chiseled the caves out of the rock. Each of the caves unlatches into a large hall sheltered from floor to ceiling with extraordinarily detailed paintings depicting the Jataka stories which are more recollective of palaces than caves, which tell of Buddha’s earlier lives. The ceilings are not spared as it is also beautifully enhanced with geometrical and floral patterns.
The Ancient Stepwells
A counter action to a grave shortage of water outside of the annual monsoon seasons the reason why the Ancient Stepwells of India were built. Extensive, stepped wells were built all over the wilted northern regions of Rajasthan and Gujarat as far back as 550 AD to conserve the abundant rainfall during the monsoons. One can witness a really excellent example at Adalaj Vav, about 12 miles north of Ahmedabad although the majority of these majestic structures have fallen into ruin. A full five stories deep and has been beautifully maintained for this step well. You can witness intricate carvings in a mixture of Islamic and Hindu styles as you travel down the series of ornately carved stairs.
City Palace, Jaipur
The grand home of several generations of Indian royalty is a must-visit attraction for every visitor to Jaipur, settled in the heart of the Old Town. The inside of the palace has seen several inclusions and changes over the years and was originally built in the 1700s. Those architecture lovers will appreciate the opportunity to witness an excellent blending of Rajastani and Mogul architectural styles. To enhance your visit, you can wander around at your own pace with the aid of an audio guide or opt to hire a local guide who has all the necessary expertise of the place. There is a textile museum that displays remarkable examples of royal finery and a very fascinating armory museum right inside the elegantly decorated palace.