How Katie Couric Plays Tourist In India, And LOVIN’ IT!

BY JST NEWS

 

American journalist Katie Couric is having an incredible time in India, with her financier husband John Molner. The couple’s trip began in Agra visiting the Taj Mahal then traversed over to Jaipur, aka: Pink City.

SEE ALSO: Inside Catherine Zeta-Jones’s Holiday Family Trip To India

In each IG post, the renowned author describes every landmark in vivid details jam-packed with historical facts. Couric shows us that traveling is an education all on its own, when school’s officially over, we can continue to learn about history and other cultures while having a total blast!

1. Start in Agra with an amazing day at Agra Fort. 

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Hi everyone from Agra! We’ve had an amazing day here so far and we haven’t even been to the Taj Mahal yet! This was taken at Agra Fort, a huge, expansive place that’s considered one of the finest Mughal forts in all of India. It goes on forever! Construction began in 1565 by emperor Akbar (he’s got a crazy family tree…that’s a whole other story!) and his grandson, Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal added to it using his favorite white marble. (His power hungry son Aurangzeb ended up imprisoning his dad for eight years AFTER killing his three older brothers…nice guy huh? 😳) Aurangzeb ruled India for 49 years but I hope he had a guilty conscience because he sounds like a real jerk! I loved this place! I’m going to give you more info in stories but I love this photo of Molner and felt it was definitely insta-worthy! Off to the the Taj Mahal! More later in this space! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️🇮🇳🙏🏻 PS @lynseyaddario what do you think??? 😊

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Until 1638, India’s capital was in Agra instead of today’s Delhi. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Agra Fort was the main residence of Mughal Dynasty’s emperors. The walled city is the sister monument of the famous Taj Mahal, they’re located 2.5 kilometers apart.

2. Post a kissing shot in front of the Taj Mahal. 

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When I first laid eyes on the Taj Mahal, I was so moved. It took my breath away. (I was surprised by my reaction!) Rudyard Kipling described it as “the embodiment of all things pure” while the poet Tagore called it “a teardrop on the cheek of eternity.” Emperor Shah Jahan built it to honor his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth to their 14th (!) child in 1631. The entire complex took 22 years to complete and 20,000 people worked on it using semi translucent white marble carved with flowers and inlaid with thousands of semi-precious stones. (Thank you @lonelyplanet😊) Shah Jahan, who supposedly turned gray overnight he was so distraught, said the Taj Mahal made “the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes.” He had a sad end to his life (see previous post) but is now buried next to his wife (thanks to his daughter and not that awful son!) Meanwhile, wives one and two are buried nearby in two separate domes. Guess he wasn’t that into them! 😳 Meanwhile, I found out that kissing in public is frowned upon AFTER we took this photo, so I apologize! ( I’m really not into PDA, but what can I say? I told you I was moved!) I will post some more of our TWO visits here but don’t want to overwhelm you all! Meanwhile as I write this, I’m having tea in Jaipur at the most amazing place! I love 🇮🇳! 😘 #bucketlist

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The white marble mausoleum was a gift of love by Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan who reigned from 1628 to 1658. The monument was built to house the tomb of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The 42-acre complex includes a mosque, a guest house, formal gardens enclosed by three sides of crenellated walls. Costing 32 million rupees (approx. USD $827 million), the construction of the Taj Mahal took 20,000 artisans to complete. Referred to as “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage,” the Taj Mahal is a symbol of India’s undeniably ample history.

3. Have afternoon tea at the Rajmahal Palace in Jaipur.

Since 1729, Rajmahal Palace has always been owned by Jaipur Royals even after SUJÁN luxury hotel group took over management in 2015. 14 gorgeous and unique guest rooms include The Royal Suites named after the likes of Jackie Kennedy and Queen Elizabeth. Rajhamal’s 24-hour restaurant The Colonnade is lit with natural light, set in a room oozing of ritzy grace and charm.

4. Hang out at Jaipur’s City Palace.

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Just hanging out in this low-key room in the City Palace in Jaipur! The City Palace was built between 1729 to 1732 and has a series of magnificent rooms, this one being the least ornate. (JK!) I’ve been on a self-imposed (well actually Molner-imposed) social media break but I couldn’t take it anymore so I’m going to give you all a little taste of our time in Jaipur on stories today! Known as the Pink City (when it literally painted the town pink when the Prince of Wales visited in 1876) it’s beautiful and vibrant! When candles are lit in this room the reflection looks like a million little stars! The 20 year old King of Jaipur allows tourists to visit parts of the palace (couldn’t see his bedroom!) We’re off to a Hindu temple and then a cooking class (good luck to us) and then I’m going to check out the gem factory. Hope Molner brings his wallet! 😁 Happy Saturday! #jaipur #bucketlist PS sorry for al the !!!!!!s. I’m feeling very enthusiastic!!!!!! I ❤️🇮🇳

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City Palace in Jaipur includes both Chandra Mahal and Mubarak Mahal palaces. The Chandra Mahal now has a museum featuring collections of Rajasthani dresses, Mughal and Rajput swords and weapons. Built between 1729 – 1732, a large part of the palace is still used as a royal residence. It gives visitors a look inside the past ritzy era of this Pink City.

5. Check out the Hawa Mahal.

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This is Hawa Mahal, or Palace of Winds, a five story tall building with 365 windows where women from the royal court would hang out, gossip and check out the action on the street below. It was built in 1799 but along with other structures, the reigning maharaja painted the town pink to honor the Prince of Wales (Prince Albert Edward, the eldest son of Queen Victoria) when he visited the city in 1876. The King of Jaipur took it a step further and made it illegal for buildings in the old city to be painted any other color than “Jaipur pink” which is really more of a salmon or terra cotta color. The city is an experience in sensory overload…I tried to capture it in stories but you really have to experience it for yourselves! We are now on to Varanasi! Happy Sunday to all of you from India 🇮🇳!!!! ❤️❤️❤️ #nofilterpermolner #matchymatchy

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Also called the “Palace of the Breeze/Winds,” the magnificent Hawa Mahal is completely built by red and pink sandstone. Inspired by the structure of Khetri Mahal, Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh wanted his palace to be extravagant and to live through time. The five-story exterior looks like a beehive’s honeycomb, consists of 953 small windows adorned with refined latticework. This was meant to allow royal ladies to look at daily lives of locals, and watch festivals from the windows without being seen. Back then, they were required to follow purdah, the rule of never appearing in public without their faces covered.

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