Aachen is a city that lives and breathes Europe. It is practically Europe in miniature. Aachen, on the border with Belgium and the Netherlands, has encapsulated the spirit, values and ideals of Europe since the days of Charlemagne. Indeed the Charlemagne Prize for services to European unity has been awarded at Aachen’s town hall since 1950.
Aachen Cathedral is both a local landmark and a monument to Europe’s illustrious past. After starting out life as the imperial palace’s chapel in 800 AD (the year of Charlemagne’s coronation), the completed building became the first cathedral in northern Europe and for many centuries served as the church of coronation for nearly every German king.
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Image and story source: German Tourism
This Central Asian nation is full of mountain peaks. One can easily find mountain in any part of Kyrgyzstan once you leave the capital city Bishkek.
After a little bit of research, I made up my mind to take a short trip to Orchha, a small town in Tikamgarh district of Madhya Pradesh. I chose Orchha as it is within easy reach from Delhi, but the main factor was – my deep affection for ancient temples. Three days are enough to see the main attractions of this beautiful town, which lies on the Betwa River.
Some of the must-visit places are – The Fort of Orchha, The Chaturbhuj Temple and Raja Ram Temple. While the fort was built by the Bundela Rajput chief, Rudra Pratap Singh, the temple was built by the Queen of Orchha Ganeshi Bai during the reign of Emperor Akbar. I was so fascinated by the fantabulous architecture of these structures that I spent many hours just gandering at them.
The Orchha Fort complex: The complex has many ancient monuments, including palaces and temple. The fort and other structures were built by the Bundela Rajputs.
The Ram Raja Temple: Commonly known as the Orchha Temple, this place welcomes thousands of devotees everyday.
Chaturbhuj Temple: It is yet another masterpiece of Orccha. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, this stunning temple has a multi-storied complex.
Cenotaphs: Situated on the bank of the Betwa river, Cenotaphs or Chhatris were constructed in the honor of its rulers. A total of 14 ‘Chhatris’ can be found here. Basically, these structures are empty tombs of past Orchha kings.
Things to remember: Orchha is a spiritual place, so it is advisable to wear modest clothes. Alcohol and meat eating is prohibited around the Raja Ram Mandir. Accommodation ranging from budget to luxury hotels are available. So one can easily book a room on spot. Considering that it is a small town, don’t expect any fancy nightlife.
You can read more about Orchha here.
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