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India’s Independence Day is a national holiday, commemorating the nation’s independence from British rule on 15 August 1947. India attained freedom following an independence movement noted for largely non-violent resistance and civil disobedience led by the Indian National Congress (INC) and most famously, Ghandi.  Independence coincided with the partition of India, in which the British Indian Empire was divided along religious lines into the Dominions of India and Pakistan. (Wikipedia).

India Flag image

Here are some of the most iconic and beautiful images from  the ancient land of India for you to enjoy.  They are courtesy of luxury travel company Indus Experiences, reminding us of the many reasons this country excites and stimulates the curiosity and delights the senses.

Amritsar Golden Temple - photo c/o www.indusexperiences.co.uk

The Golden Temple – photo c/o indusexperiences.co.uk

The Golden Temple is officially known as the Harmandir Sahib  or Darbar Sahib in the heart of Amritsar in the Punjab province in northern India. It was built by the fifth Sikh guru, Guru Arjan. In 1604, he completed the Adi Granth, the holy scripture of Sikhism, and installed it in the Gurdwara (temple). There are four doors to get into the Harmandir Sahib, which symbolize the openness of the Sikhs towards all people and religions.The present day temple was rebuilt in 1764 by Jassa Singh Ahluwalia with the help of other Sikhs. In the early 19th century, Maharaja Ranjit Singh secured the Punjab from outside attack and covered the upper floors of the Gurdwara with gold, which gives it its distinctive appearance and English name.

The Taj Mahal India - photo c/o indusexperiences.co.uk

The Taj Mahal – photo c/o indusexperiences.co.uk

The Taj Mahal, “crown of palaces”, is a white marble mausoleum located in Agra in Uttar Pradesh province. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Started in 1631 it was finished in 1638.  kiThe Taj Mahal is  regarded by many as the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements from Persian, Ottoman Turkish and Indian architectural styles.

Bengal tiger India - photo c/o indusexperiences.co.uk

Bengal tiger – photo c/o indusexperiences.co.uk

The Bengal Tiger; who cannot fail to be impressed by this powerfully beautiful, stripily gorgeous, majestically lithe creature? The Bengal tiger is found primarily in India with smaller populations in Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, China and Myanmar. It is the most numerous of all tiger subspecies with fewer than 2,500 left in the wild. The creation of India’s tiger reserves in the 1970s helped to stabilize numbers, but poaching to meet a growing demand from Asia in recent years has once again put the Bengal tiger at risk. (World Wildlife Fund)  William Blake wrote a poem to ‘The Tyger’ and International Tiger Day was established to raise awareness of conservation.  Hopefully we can save this creature for future generations to marvel at.

The taste of India spices and other food - photo c/o indusexperiences.co.uk

The taste of India – photo c/o indusexperiences.co.uk

Well, who needs an explanation of Indian food? Having spread throught the world, India’s cuisine appeals to all the senses and is a culinary journey on a plate – or banana leaf.

Indian women in traditional dress - photo c/o indusexperiences.co.uk

Indian women in traditional dress – photo c/o indusexperiences.co.uk

And now an admission – I have never been to India.  But one day I will visit and, like millions of other people, I shall no doubt be left speechless by its beauty, history, poverty, natural wonders, architectural heritage and sensual passion.  For the moment, I join in celebrating India’s Independence Day with many others around the world …