Iconic Places: Agra to Amritsar
India has no shortage of temples, forts and tombs of various religious and historical importance. The Taj Mahal, in Agra, is one of the most recognizable and famous representation. Made of marble and semi-precious stones, the mausoleum was built for an emperor’s deceased wife. How’s that for a show of love? The structure is as massive and impressive as one might imagine.
Agra also boasts a massive fort known as the Agra Fort, built by the Mughals, standing since the 11th century. The massive walls are built with red sandstone and inside, beautiful, intricate marble fill the space, making for an unexpected and interesting contrast.
A perhaps lesser known but incredibly important structure to the Sikh community is the Golden temple in Amritsar. The temple itself is beautiful, but it’s the operations and ceremony behind this gem of a landmark that really make it stand out. This temple embodies love, kindness, and humanity. It buzzes with action 24 hours a day, as it never closes and is open to everyone and anyone from all walks of life. The temple’s most amazing feature is it’s always open, always free kitchen that feeds upwards 700 people at one time and all are welcome.
Last but certainly not least of the temples seen so far, is the Mata Mandir Temple. This Hindu Temple is an extravagant display that resembles a fun house more than a serious religious site. It’s a labyrinth filled with colorful displays, mirrored mosaic walls and ceiling, and tunneled walkways. Though it looks playful and light the temple is a very serious place for women hoping to start a family.