The Forbidden City is the largest palace complex is the world. It was home to the two last dynasties before The Chinese Republic. For 500 years when Emperors ruled China, no ordinary citizen was allowed to enter the city, with instant execution as punishment for attempting; hence the complex received its western name “The Forbidden City”. It is referred to as Palace Museum or Ancient Palace by the Chinese. The complex is divided into two parts: royal residence and ceremonial court. Continue reading “The Forbidden City “
From Beijing, Christopher, Meg, and Katie took a tour to see and hike the Great Wall of China. The sections we saw were Mutianyu and Jiankou. The wall was built over multiple millenia, to protect China from horse-riding invaders from the Mongolian steppe, including Huns and Mongolians. Continue reading “The Great Wall of China “
Our first stop in the district of Agra was Fort Fatehpur Sikri. We stopped here while driving into the city of Agra. This fort was founded by Emperor Akbar as the capital. They started construction in 1569. It took 15 years to build the fort, but the royal family left the fort in 1585, 19 years after beginning construction. They were forced to leave their new home and return to the city of Agra because the spring-fed lake had gone dry.
The fort has been used since by other families and governments. It is in good condition today. It has a five mile walk around the fort and a mosque inside, built for the original royal family. Continue reading “Agra “
Udaipur is known as the city of lakes: it has seven lakes which are all connected by canals. The city is also is surrounded by the Aravalli Mountain Range.
Our first site was the impressive City Palace of Udaipur. This palace was built over 400 years by 4 Maharajas starting in 1553. The first Maharaja decided to move his capital to Udaipur due to the safety of the surrounding mountains and water supply. The palace sites next to the Pichola Lake, which is the biggest lake in Udaipur.
On our way to Sardargarh we stopped to visit Ranakpur Jain Temple. Jainism is an ancient Indian religion that teaches the way to a life of liberation and bliss is by harmlessness and renunciation. The goal of Jainism is liberation of the soul. The temple was magnificent. It was built in 1447 and is made of white marble. There are 1,444 marble pillars inside the temple and no two are the same.
We went from the pink city to the blue city on about 6 hours of driving. Jodhpur is a city in the Thar Desert, in Rajasthan. The old city is painted blue to help reflect the intense sun and keep the buildings cooler. Our guide also told us that during summer locals mostly sleep on roofs to try and keep cool! The night we spent in Jodhpur the nighttime low was 90 degrees.