Baby Taj Mahal or Itimad ud Daulah Tomb | Agra, India | India Travel Blog

Baby Taj Tour Agra, India

Baby Taj (also known as Jewel Box) or The Tomb of Itmad-ud-Daulah is the tomb of Mizra Ghiyas Beg. Mizra Ghiyas Beg was the chief minister of Emperor Jehangir, father of Jehangir’s wife Nur Jahan, and grandfather of Mumtaz Mahal (Emperor Shah Jahan’s wife and the inspiration for the Taj Mahal).

Nur Jahan built the Baby Taj between 1622 – 1628. The designs of the Taj Mahal were inspired by the Baby Taj, but taken to the next level on a much larger scale. You can still easily see the resemblances of the big Taj Mahal in the Baby Taj.

Some striking similarities between the Baby Taj and the Taj Mahal:

- Both have 4 towers

- Both are made of marble

- Both are perfectly symmetrical

- Various other design aspects

In this episode, I will take you to the Baby Taj and give you a tour. This is one of my India travel videos. You can watch my full India trip here:

India Travel Vlog | Destination New Delhi & Agra

Jama Masjid Tour, New Delhi | India Travel Blog

Historic Jama Masjid in New Delhi

The largest mosque in India, the Jama Masjid was built by the Mogul Emperor Shah Jahan between 1644 and 1656. Shah Jahan is the same Emperor who also built the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort.

It took more than 5000 workers to build the Jama Masjid, which is made of red sandstone and marble. The mosque is 80m in length and 27m in width, has three gates and four towers and two 40-meter-high minarets.

It is simply an awesome display of Mogul architectural splendour. With its magnificent façade, the Jama Masjid can hold 25,000 people at a time.

My 2017 Asia Business Class Trip

India – Bangladesh Trip

After travelling Asia for almost 3 weeks, I am finally home for Christmas and New Year. This trip was different from any other trips I have done in the past. In the past, I would travel to do leisure activities and sightseeing, but it’s no longer the reason I travel.

For the last couple of years, I have been vigorously active on my YouTube channel and travel videos are a big chunk of my content. This is the first time I have travelled to create more video content and with all my camera gear. I talk about credit cards and rewards points on my channel as well. Also, this trip was a full business-class trip that was funded by various rewards points and airline miles.

The strategies and tips I provide on my YouTube channel work and my trip was a testimony to that. As I will be posting various travel videos, including business class flight reviews, you will have insights on exotic tropical countries like India and Bangladesh and various business class flights and lounges.

Because I am publishing videos on YouTube, I will not be publishing detailed travel articles on Ahmed Dawn Dot Com.

You can visualize the full trip, day by day, on my YouTube and Instagram. Click on the link provided. As we are moving into another year, there will be more articles and video content on various topics providing value and insights. I hope 2018 brings everyone new perspectives and lots of success.

Why So Many Complaints about Indian Visa and BLS?

My Indian Visa Experienc

My Indian Visa Experienc

My Indian Tourist Visa Experience

Last week, I wrote about how to obtain an Indian visa from Canada. Today, I will talk about my overall experience going through the visa procedure.

Before starting to apply, I was researching the rules and requirements online for Canadians getting an Indian visa. I noticed enormous amounts of negative reviews and ratings on the Indian Consulate and BLS International, the 3rd party outsourcer that looks after Indian visa processing. This made me very nervous and I was almost certain that these guys would put me through lots of headaches and hassle issuing me an Indian tourist visa.

So the day I reached the BLS Toronto location, I didn’t know what to expect. I was ready to accept a lengthy wait time both at the BLS office and, after the submission, waiting for the visa to arrive. To my surprise, no such things happened. At the BLS centre, I was done with everything within one to two hours and the staff was friendly and accommodating. I didn’t find anything to complain about or see anyone else going through any hassle or difficulty.

Another big shock was waiting for me after two days when I received my passport with my Indian visa via FedEx. Yes, I got it in just two business days when I was told by many people it could take weeks or more than a month.

And for those days I was waiting for the visa, I was updated by BLS via texts and emails on the status of my application, such as, my visa app was received at the consulate, my passport was released by the consulate, my passport was dispatched to FedEx, and so on.

Before writing this article, I thought it going to be another negative review. However, throughout the whole process, I found nothing to complain about and would like to give these guys (BLS and Indian Consulate) the credit they deserve for a job well done. I don’t know why others had so many problems and I understand that everyone’s experience is different. But mine was fantastic and I thank you for everyone’s hard work and friendly service that I received at the BLS and Indian Consulate.

How to Apply for Indian Tourist Visa

India Tourist Visa from Canada

For my upcoming trip to Asia in November, I just finished going through the process of applying for an Indian tourist visa. And I decided to write about it to give those who will be visiting India in the future some ideas. I will only mention my own experience obtaining a regular tourist visa.

There are other types of tourist visas (such as e-Visa, medical visa, etc.) and/or different procedures for obtaining them, which I am not talking about here. This process is applicable in Canada and possibly very similar to other European countries or the USA. The process and links mentioned below to obtain a visa from the country you are reading from could be very different. For that matter, the process in Canada may have totally changed by the time you are reading this. So check the Consulate General of India website first before starting your application.

To break it down to its simplest terms, here are the steps you need to go through to obtain an Indian tourist visa:

1. Except for a handful countries, citizens of most other countries require a visa before arriving in India. See the BLS link for those countries whose citizens can be issued a visa upon arrival. Link 1: http://www.blsindia-canada.com/touristvisa.php

2. You need to fill out and submit an online visa application and get a printout. Link 2: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/index.html Obtain other documents, such as an appropriate picture, passport, fees, and anything else mentioned under the Requirements tab on the Link 1 website.

3. BLS International, an outsourcing company, looks after India visa processing, and you need to submit everything required to BLS Centres assigned to your area. You can find your BLS Centre by visiting the Contact section under Link 1. If you have any questions, call BLS to clarify before going there.

4. Once you submit, your passport with visa will be mailed out to you or you can pick it up at BLS once available.

There is the option to mail out everything to BLS instead of physically going there, but I do not recommend this because everything will be delayed if they found any mistakes on your application. The benefits of physically submitting an online printout at BLS is that if there are any errors, BLS will tell you right away and you can correct it by submitting another online application on the same day if time permits.

My application was declined the first time, as I put Canada as place of issue instead of Gatineau. I had one hour left before the cut-off time for that day. I rushed to a computer store next door to resubmit online with a new printout (once you apply online it cannot be modified if there was a mistake and you need to redo the whole thing again) and was still able to make it.

The full process is not that difficult. However, with a Canadian passport I am not used to getting a visa because I can travel most places without a visa. For those few countries where a visa is required, I feel slightly weird about going through the process of obtaining it. I have a video on this as well for which I will provide a link on the top left of this article.