Explore India

Explore India

The colors, the culture, the food, the people–India is Exotic! From such diverse landscapes as the snow-covered Himalayas to tropical rainforests, your clients are sure to have an experience of a lifetime! 

If you have not sold India before, now is the time to ramp up your knowledge about this popular destination. A great place to start is our destination geography textbook for the travel professional: Exploring the World, 5th Edition!  

This week, we will be taking a closer look at some fascinating cities in India. The following information is taken directly from Exploring the World.

Delhi India’s capital is on the banks of the Yamuna River in an area filled with ancient sites and monuments. Delhi has two distinct parts, New and Old Delhi.

India Gate Memorial - Amit kg/Shutterstock.com
New Delhi was built in 1931 to serve the British colonial administration and provide comfortable living quarters for its rulers. It is a city of skyscrapers, gleaming domes, and Victorian houses. It centers around Rajpath Avenue, which leads to the Rashtrapati Bhawan, the residence of India’s president.

Old Delhi is a walled Muslim city built around the Red Fort, built between 1636 and 1658. Streets are narrow and bustling. Places of interest include the Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque, and the Qutab Minar’s soaring tower.

Agra India’s most popular sightseeing destination is a 4.5-hour car ride south of Delhi and the site of the Taj Mahal (“Crown Palace”). The Taj Mahal is a complex of buildings within a walled rectangle. The famous mausoleum stands on a platform with a slender minaret (prayer tower) at each corner. Passages from the Koran and floral patterns decorate the exterior. 

Agra Fort with Taj Mahal in distance - Roop_Dey/Shutterstock.com

In addition to the Taj Mahal, Shah Jahan commissioned the Pearl Mosque in the Agra Fort and the Peacock Throne. The emperor was deposed by his son in 1658 and kept prisoner in a fort within sight of the Taj Mahal until his death.
 
Mumbai India’s largest city boasts a superb natural harbor on the Arabian Sea. It is India’s most important commercial and industrial city. The Taj Mahal Hotel has been a luxury landmark since 1903. Mumbai is noted for its Victorian buildings. It also is India’s port of entry. The city’s most famous landmark is the Gateway of India, a high arch erected on the spot where King George V (1865 –1936), then emperor of India, first set foot on Indian soil in 1911.

Rock carvings inside one of the Elephanta Island caves - saiko3p/Shutterstock.com
An hour’s ride by motor launch from the Gateway takes the traveler to Gharapuri (Elephanta Island) to see Hindu cave temples from the 7th century. Northeast of Mumbai, the hill town of Aurangabad is the starting point for visits to the temples of Ajanta and Ellora. The 30 Buddhist cave temples at Ajanta date from 200 BC to AD 650. They were untouched for more than 1,000 years until they were discovered by British soldiers on a tiger hunt. The 34 rock-cut caves at Ellora contain religious stories and are Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain in origin.
Varanasi, India - ImagesofIndia/Shutterstock
Varanasi In the center of India, Varanasi is comparable to Rome, Jerusalem, and Mecca. Aged and infirm Hindus come here to die, for nothing is more blessed than to die in Varanasi and thus be released from the eternal cycle of rebirth. Varanasi is on the western bank of the holy Ganga, the river that the god Shiva poured down on the plains from his home in the Himalayas. 

We hope you enjoyed this visit to a few of India’s most intriguing cities. Before booking your clients, remember to always check the varying reopening dates, operating hours, and availability of attractions and accommodations and to consult sources like the U.S. State Department, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO).

And be sure to do more extensive research of India and Asia in the travel professional’s destination geography textbook: Exploring the World, 5th Edition!  

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