Agra Fort

Agra Fort is a historical fort in Agra, India.

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Construction begun in 1565 under Emperor Akbar and was completed in 1573. It was the central residence for four generations of Mughal emperors until 1638 when the capital moved from Agra to Delhi.

It covers an area of 94 hectares. The fort’s double red walls are more than 20 metres in height and 2.5 kilometres in circumference.

Agra Fort is approximately 2.5 kilometres (1.5 miles) from the Taj Mahal, so most tourists visit both sites in the same day. It is open from sunrise to sunset.

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Wagah border ceremony

The lowering of the flags at Wagah border is a daily military practice between India and Pakistan.

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The ceremony takes place at sunset at the Wagah border (its Indian name is Attari), a border town between India and Pakistan. Wagah is 27km from Amritsar on the Indian side and 29km from Lahore on the Pakistani side.

Both sides have visitor galleries. I viewed the ceremony from the Indian side.

The ceremony is very theatrical with the marching involving the soldiers raising their legs as high as possible.

The soldiers march towards the gate at the border, which is opened. The soldiers will then salute each other and the both countries will start lowering their flags at the same time. The flags are then folded and the gates slams shut.

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The Golden Temple – Evening Visit

The Golden Temple is a Sikh place of worship in Amritsar, India.

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This post is about my evening visit to the Golden Temple. Click here to read about my visit during the day.

In the evening the closing ceremony to observe is the sukhasan. Sukh means comfort or rest, and asan means position.

At night the Guru Granth Sahib scripture book is placed on pillow bed decorated with flowers and carried into the Akal Takht amongst chanting to symbolically be put to bed.

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The Golden Temple – Day Visit

The Golden Temple is a Sikh place of worship in Amritsar, India.

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The Golden Temple, also known as Sri Harmandir Sahib, which means ‘abode of god’ is the holiest Gurdwara and the most important pilgrimage site of Sikhism.

Gurdwara, which is a place of worship, means ‘door to the guru’. Sikhs welcome people from all faiths, including those who do not have a faith to their gurdwaras.

There are four entrances to the shrine from four directions signifying this point that all are are equally welcome.

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Construction on the temple begun in 1581. The temple has had to be rebuilt several times after being destroyed by Muslim armies from Afghanistan and the Mughal Empire.

The name Golden Temple came after the temple’s marble exterior was overlaid with gold foil in 1830.

The temple is surrounded by a manmade pool named Amrit Sarova, which translates as ‘pool of holy nectar’. There are many exotic fish in the pool. Devotees who visit the temple may bathe in the holy waters.

My small group visited the Langar, which is a community kitchen that serves free vegetarian food to everyone regardless of faith, gender or economic background. Everyone sits on the floor in rows and food is served by volunteers.

After lunch we visited the food preparation and cooking areas and participated in making the dough for roti.

Later in the afternoon we sat and watched a trio of Sikh musicians perform hymns with traditional instruments.

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Humayun’s Tomb

Humayun’s tomb is the tomb of Humayun, the second Mughal Emperor of India, in Delhi, India.

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Humayun’s first wife, Empress Bega Begum commissioned the tomb. It was designed by Mirak Mirza Ghiyas and his son, Sayyid Muhammad.

It was the first garden tomb in Asia. Construction begun in 1566, nine years after Humayun’s death. It was completed in 1572.

There are around 150 graves in Humayun’s tomb and the surrounding gardens.

Humayun’s tomb is located at Mathura Road, opposite Dargah Nizamuddin, New Delhi, Delhi.

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Lotus Temple

The Lotus Temple, is a Bahá’í House of Worship, in Delhi, India

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The Bahá’í House of Worship, which opened in Delhi in December 1986, is a place of worship where people of all religions can gather. This is one of the key concepts of the Bahá’í Faith – the Oneness of God, the Oneness of Religion and the Oneness of all People.

Abdu’l-Bahá, the son of Bahá’u’lláh founder of the Bahá’í faith, wrote that a House of Worship should be a nine-sided circular shape.

Iranian architect Fariborz Sahba was inspired by the lotus flower, a symbol in many religions. The temple, which is located on a 26 hectare property amongst landscaped gardens, features 27 marble clad petals, that are arranged in groups of three to form the nine sided shape.

Around the petals are also nine pools of water, which gives the impression of a floating lotus flower. There are nine doors that open onto a central hall that can hold 2,500 people (1,300 seated).

Bahá’í writings state that no statues or pictures be displayed within a House of Worship. Photography is not permitted inside the temple.

The Lotus Temple is opened Tuesday to Sunday from 9am. The temple closes at 5:30pm in winter and 7pm in the summer. Last entry is 30 minutes prior to closing.

There is also an information centre but this was closed when I visited.

The Lotus Temple is located at Lotus Temple Road, Bahapur, Shambhu Dayal Bagh, Kalkaji, New Delhi, Delhi.

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Paritutu Rock

Paritutu Rock is a volcanic remnant on the eastern end of New Plymouth’s harbour.

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Paritutu Rock, which sits between Ngamotu Beach and Back Beach, stands at 156 metres. It used to be taller, but the summit was flattened by Māori to make a level site for shelter and food storage pits.

There is a track on the northern side of the rock. It take approximately 15 minutes to reach the top.

The first section of the walk is series of steps. The rest of the walk there is a chain to help you climb.

The summit provides views of the city, the port, Sugar Loaf Island and the Tasman Sea.

Access to the carpark below Paritutu Rock is off Centennial Drive, New Plymouth.

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