Visit the Taj Mahal!
The Taj Mahal is considered the jewel of Muslim architecture in India and is also a symbol of the love that the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan had for his favourite wife.
When Mumtaz Mahal died at the age of 37 in childbirth, her husband, Shah Jahan, had the Taj Mahal built as her mausoleum. Shah Jahan’s reign is viewed as the golden age of Mughal architecture – other buildings he commissioned include the Red Fort and the Jama Masjid, but the Taj Mahal remains his most famous contribution.
It’s estimated that it took over 20 years to build the Taj Mahal, and even longer to complete the other buildings in the complex. Over 1,000 elephants were used to transport materials and more than 22,000 labourers and craftsmen were involved in its construction.
Did you know? Scaffolding has been erected around the building several times to protect it during wartime – first in 1942 for fear of aerial attacks by the Japanese, and then again in 1965 and 1971 during the India-Pakistan wars
See the Qutab Minar!
Considered one of the finest Islamic structures ever raised, the Qutab Minar has inspired many subsequent minarets throughout India.
Part of the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque in Delhi, one of the earliest surviving mosque complexes on the Indian subcontinent, this 12th century minaret is of huge cultural significance.
At 72.5m it is the highest brick minaret in the world, and there are 379 steps inside. A visit here offers your students the opportunity to learn more about the rise of Islam in India.
Did you know? There is some dispute over who the minaret was named after – it seems likely that it was either Qutb-ud-din Aibak, the first Muslim ruler of India, or Khwaja Qutb-ud-din Bakhtiar Kaki, a Sufi saint.
Visit the Buddha Jayanti Park!
This lovely park was built to celebrate the 2,500th anniversary of Gautama Buddha’s enlightenment!
Buddha Jayanti is an annual Buddhist festival that commemorates the birth of Prince Siddartha Guatama, who went on to become the Gautama Buddha and founder of Buddhism. It also celebrates the enlightenment and death of the Buddha.
At the centre of the park sits a beautiful gilded statue of the Buddha, sheltered by a magnificent pavilion on its own little island.
Did you know? Sri Lanka gifted a sapling of the Bodhi tree which grow in Anuradhapura to the park. And that tree is said to be the southern branch of the historical Sri Maha Bodhi, under which the Gautama Buddha achieved enlightenment.