Additional Information on Places Visited
We will be visiting the following sites. The information below comes from selected travel books and reference material. Our favorites are National Geographic’s Traveler India, and Frommer’s India.
Previously known as Bombay, Mumbai is the capital city of the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is the most populous city in India, and the fourth most populous city in the world, with a total metropolitan area population of approximately 20.5 million. Along with the neighboring urban areas, it is one of the most populous urban regions in the world. Mumbai lies on the west coast of India and has a deep natural harbor. It is also the richest city in India, and has the highest GDP of any city in South, West or Central Asia.
The seven islands that constitute Mumbai have been home to communities of fishing colonies. For centuries, the islands were under the control of successive indigenous empires before being ceded to the Portuguese and subsequently to the British East India Company. During the mid-18th century, Mumbai was reshaped by the Hornby Vellard project, which undertook the reclamation of the area between the seven constituent islands from the sea. Completed by 1845, the project along with construction of major roads and railways transformed Bombay into a major seaport on the Arabian Sea. Economic and educational development characterized the city during the 19th century. It became a strong base for the Indian independence movement during the early 20th century. When India became independent in 1947, the city was incorporated into Bombay State. In 1960, following the Samyukta Maharashtra movement, a new state of Maharashtra was created with Bombay as capital. The city was renamed Mumbai in 1996, the name which is derived after the Koli goddess—Mumbadevi.
Mumbai is the commercial and entertainment capital of India, it is also one of the world's top 10 centers of commerce in terms of global financial flow, generating 5% of India's GDP, and accounting for 25% of industrial output, 70% of maritime trade in India, and 70% of capital transactions in India. The city houses important financial institutions such as the Reserve Bank of India, the Bombay Stock Exchange, the National Stock Exchange of India, the SEBI and the corporate headquarters of numerous Indian companies and multinational corporations. It is also home to some of India's premier scientific and nuclear institutes like BARC, NPCL, IREL, TIFR, AERB, AECI, and the Department of Atomic Energy. The city also houses India's Hindi (Bollywood) and Marathi film and television industry. Mumbai's business opportunities, as well as its potential to offer a higher standard of living, attract migrants from all over India and, in turn, make the city a melting pot of many communities and cultures.
Kochi, which was formerly known as Cochin, is a major port city on the west coast of India by the Arabian Sea. Kochi is in the state of Kerala.
The city of Kochi (pop. 601,574) is Kerala's second largest city and is part of an extended metropolitan region (pop. 2.1 million), which is the largest urban center in Kerala. The state government is trying to make Kochi a metropolitan city by extending the Kochi metropolitan area and forming a Metropolitan Authority for Kochi with a total population of 4.6 million.
Kochi ranks first in the total number of international and domestic tourists in Kerala. Kochi has been ranked as the sixth best tourist destination in India according to a survey conducted by the Nielsen Company on behalf of the Outlook Traveler magazine.
Heralded as the Queen of Arabian Sea, Kochi was an important spice trading center on the Arabian Sea coast from the 14th century. Occupied by the Portuguese Empire in 1503, Kochi was the first of the European colonies in India. It remained the main seat of Portuguese India until 1530, when Goa was chosen instead. The city was later occupied by the Dutch and the British, with the Kingdom of Cochin becoming a princely state.
Kochi is home for the Cochin Stock Exchange, International Pepper Exchange, major chemical industries like the FACT, TCC, IREL, HOCL and Kochi Refineries, industrial parks such as the Cochin Special Economic Zone and Infopark. Kochi is home for the High Court of Kerala and Lakshadweep, and the Cochin University of Science and Technology.
For insights about Kerala, Kochi and the Backwaters as described below, take a look at Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations visit to the area, which can be viewed here.
The Backwaters of Kochi are a chain of lagoons and lakes lying parallel to the Arabian Sea coast (known as the Malabar Coast) of Kerala. In Cochin, the serene backwaters are popularly known as Veeranpuzha. It is the northern extension of Vembanad Lake, which is India's longest lake. To enjoy our visit, we will take a cruise on the lake with lunch served on board.
New Delhi is the capital city of India. As the national capital, New Delhi is the seat of executive, legislative, and judiciary branches of the Government of India. It also serves as the center of the Government of the National Capital Territory of Delhi. New Delhi is situated within the metropolis of Delhi and is one of the nine districts of Delhi Union Territory.
The foundation of the city was laid on December 15, 1911. We will arrive on the 102nd anniversary of this founding. The city was planned by two leading 20th century British architects, Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker. The new Capital was christened "New Delhi" in 1927, and subsequently inaugurated on February 13, 1931, by British India's Viceroy Lord Irwin. On December 12, 2011, New Delhi celebrated 100 years of being the capital, making it another landmark year in the long history of the historic capital of the region of Delhi. New Delhi is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Humayun's Tomb and the Qutub complex. There are areas like Old Delhi and Mehrauli in New Delhi which have a number of heritage structures.
New Delhi is a microcosm of India and is one of the world’s top global cities. The metropolis of Delhi is the 2nd most populous in India with a total population nearing 17 million residents, the capital city being the 10th most populous city in the world by city proper and has the 7th biggest urban agglomeration in the world with a population of 23 million people. The metropolis has the highest urban spread in the country with a total area of the city being 1482 square kilometers. In 2011, Knight Frank's world city survey ranked it 37th globally. The National Geographic's Traveler Magazine describes it as "one of the Ultimate Cities of a Lifetime to visit and explore." In a report jointly prepared by Institute for Competitiveness and Confederation of Indian Industry, the city is listed as the best to live in India. According to Mercer, New Delhi is the most expensive city in India for expatriates in terms of cost of living, figuring 113th in the list of 214 cities. New Delhi is known for its wide, tree-lined boulevards and is home to numerous national institutions, museums and landmarks.
The Taj Mahal is a white marble mausoleum located in Agra, India. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is widely recognized as "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage". It is also regarded by many as the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Islamic and Indian architectural styles.
In 1983, the Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While the white domed marble mausoleum is the most familiar component of the Taj Mahal, it is actually an integrated complex of structures. The construction began around 1632 and was completed around 1653, employing thousands of artisans and craftsmen. The construction of the Taj Mahal was entrusted to a board of architects under imperial supervision, including Abd ul-Karim Ma'mur Khan, Makramat Khan, and Ustad Ahmad Lahauri. Lahauri is generally considered to be the principal designer.
Agra Fort, a monument, is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. It is about 2.5 km northwest of the Taj Mahal. The fort can be more accurately described as a walled city. After First Battle of Panipat, in 1526 Mughals captured the fort and a vast treasure - which included a diamond that was later named as the Koh-i-Noor diamond - was seized.
Please visit the following website to obtain your visa for travel to India: www.abriggs.com
You can contact the U of L Travel Clinic at 502-813-6359 to find out what immunizations you will need to travel to India.