Akshardham is a Hindu temple complex in Delhi, India. Also referred to as Delhi Akshardham or Swaminarayan Akshardham, the complex displays centuries of traditional Indian and Hindu culture, spirituality, and architecture. The building was inspired and moderated by Pramukh Swami Maharaj, the spiritual head of the Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha, whose 3,000 volunteers helped 7,000 artisans construct Akshardham.
Delhi's most innovative structure, the Baha'i House of Worship is a world where silence and order prevail. Designed by Iranian architect Fariburz Sahba and completed in 1986, the arresting shape of its unfurling, 27 - petalled, white marble lotus has given it a more popular name, the Lotus Temple. The edifice is circled by 9 pools and 92 ha (227 acres) of green lawns. Its lofty auditorium can seat upto 1,300 people. Followers of all faiths are invited to meditate in the auditorium.
Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur, a keen astronomer built this observatory in 1724, because he wanted to calculate planetary positions and alignments accurately in order to perform sacred rituals. Out of the five observatories he built, Jantar Mantar's instruments are large and fixed, making them resistant to vibration and therefore exact. Today it still works with the same precision as it did when it was first built. One of the most recognized sites of Delhi, it was the official logo of the 1982 Asian Games.
17th centuries, before the capital was shifted to Delhi, the city flourished under the patronage of the emperors Akbar, Jahangir and Shah Jahan, attracting artisans from Persia and Central Asia and also from other parts of India, who built forts, palaces, gardens and mausoleums. Of these Taj mahal, the Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
One of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died in 1631. Its perfect proportions and exquisite craftsmanship have been described as "a vision, a dream, a poem, a wonder". This sublime garden-tomb an image of the Islamic garden of paradise, cost nearly 41 million rupees and 500 kilos (1,102 lbs) of gold. About 20,000 workers laboured for 12 years to complete it in 1643.
A labyrinth of fascinating bazaars, opulent palaces and historic sites, Jaipur is often called the "Pink City" because its prominent buildings are washed in this colour. Tradition and modernity exist side by side here. On its colourful streets, motorbikes jostle for space with camels, and turbaned village elders rub shoulders with youngsters in jeans. There are many places worth seeing but the focal point remains the Hawa Mahal.