28 Do the Cliche

Published: Oct 11, 2009, 11:16 IST | Janaki Viswanathan |

The sight of it can make you speechless with emotion or fiercely proud. Wagah village on the Grand Trunk Road was split into two by the Radcliffe Line post Independence

Wagah Border, Punjab 
The sight of it can make you speechless with emotion or fiercely proud. Wagah village on the Grand Trunk Road was split into two by the Radcliffe Line post Independence: its eastern half lies in India, western in Pakistan. Every evening, our Border Security Force officers and the Pakistan Ranger Soldiers carry out a parade.

The Wagah Border


India Gate, Delhi
A visit to the war memorial is quintessential. In the heart of Delhi is what the army calls the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier or Amar Jawan Jyoti, which lies at the base of the India Gate. Unveiled in 1931, the names of the 80,000-odd Indian soldiers who died during World War I and the Afghan Wars are inscribed on the India Gate. 

Raj Ghat, New Delhi
The black marble stone which marks Gandhi's cremation spot, with his last words 'Hey Ram', is characteristically simple. And testimony to the fact that Gandhi isn't only in our history textbooks. 

Taj Mahal, Agra 
Nothing prepares you for the thrill you feel when you step out of the Darwaza-i-rauza and make eye contact with the Taj Mahal. The best time is twilight on a foggy winter's day, so the monument of love has a ghostly aura, a feeling of it being there but not quite. See it while you still believe in romance.

Kerala Backwaters
After dropping anchor for the night, the wooden-cane houseboat traces involuntary circles in the moonlit backwaters. Of course, you can't span the near-900 km system of waterways in the one-day houseboat ride. Visit a traditional race boat, snack on fried bananas and spend the day on the sun-deck doing nothing.

Basilica of Bom Jesus, Old Goa
It's fascinating how the remains of a sixteenth century Spanish Jesuit priest are preserved in our beach state. Saint Francis Xavier travelled to Mozambique, India (Goa where he stayed for three years and then the Cape of Comorin), Ceylon, Indonesia, Japan and China to preach Christianity. Today, his mortal remains except his right forearm (that he used to baptise and bless) which is on display at the main Jesuit church in Rome are enclosed in a silver casket. You may not be a believer, but this is still history.

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