The juxtaposition of ancient and modern worlds is perhaps nowhere
more evident than in Delhi, a city of eight million. In the old
part of town, visit the dome-topped mausoleum of Emperor Humayun
and imposing Red Fort built for emperors. Though the solid gold
ceiling and precious gems of its Peacock Throne were looted by
Persians in the 18th century, the immense palace resonates with
the glory and wealth of the Mughal Dynasty.
Agra in the state of Uttar Pradesh was the capital of the great
Mughal Empire and is home of the Taj Mahal, considered one of the
most beautiful buildings in the world. This matchless
architectural gem was built as a mausoleum by the Emperor Shah
Jahan for his beloved queen, Empress Mumtaz Mahal who died giving
birth to his 14th child. The "Dream in Marble" is remarkable for
its perfect balance and proportions. It was completed in 1648 and
marks the most developed state of Mughal architecture.
In classic rags-to-riches fashion, Mumbai grew from mud flats and
marshland to the richest industrial center in the country. A study
in contrasts, Bomby embraces Western-style skyscrapers at Nariman
Point, historic buildings from the last century's "Golden Period"
around Bombay Fort, the festival atmosphere of contortionists and
vendors at Chowpatty Beach and numerous cultures and creeds.
Countless whitewashed churches, Spanish-style villas and red tile
roofs lend a Mediterranean feel to Goa, the result of 450 years of
Portuguese rule. Goa once served as a rich trading center for
exotic spices, Persian coral, and Oriental silks and porcelain.
From here, pilgrims journeyed to Mecca in the 15th century. Now,
mango and cashew groves line verdant hills, and red sand beaches
fringe the blue-green Arabian Sea for some 60 miles in this