Amber Fort, Jaipur, Rajasthan
The Amber Fort serves as the backdrop for this light and sound show in Jaipur. Held below the fort, near the Maota Lake, the show depicts the history of Jaipur as well as the fort. The use of folk music and coloured lights across the fort heightens the experience. Show timings differ in summer and winter. In winter, the shows begin at 6.30pm (English; tickets at Rs 200/head) and 7.30pm (Hindi; tickets at Rs 100/head). Tickets are available at the fort and other places, including Albert Hall.
Agra Fort, Uttar Pradesh
The Agra Fort, also known as the Qila-i-Akbari, is only second to the Taj Mahal in attraction. This 16th century Mughal fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Know about the Mughal era through the daily one-hour light and sound show. The show in Hindi starts at 6.30pm and that in English at 7.45pm. Tickets cost Rs 50/adult for Indians.
Cellular Jail, Port Blair, Andaman & Nicobar Islands
The 45-minute show is a bitter testimony to India’s struggle for independence. Few people had any idea of what was going on beyond the high walls of the Cellular Jail in Port Blair during the British rule. So the tale is narrated by the sun, an old tree, and the gallows, who were witness to the torture meted out to the Indian freedom fighters jailed here. A lesson for the younger generation who have little idea about the sacrifices made by a lot of people to get India her freedom. The show in Hindi is held at 6pm daily and again at 7.15pm on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the 7.15 show is held in English. Tickets cost Rs 50/head.
The tales of Rani Padmini and Meerabai have made Chittorgarh Fort a popular attraction. You will learn about them as well as the founding of the fort in this nearly hour-long show that is held at 7pm. Held near the Victory Tower, the tickets are priced at Rs 50/adult.
City Palace, Udaipur
The Yash ki Dharohar is a one-hour show that compresses 1500 years of history of Udaipur. Some of the highlights are the founding of the Mewar dynasty, the tale of Rani Padmini, and the story of Panna dhai. Tickets are available at the fort and the price ranges from Rs 100-400/head for adults; the price varies depending on the language (Hindi/English) and the seating (ground/upper tier). The show in English starts at 7pm from September-March. http://www.hrhhotels.com/.
Dhauli, Bhubaneswar, Odisha
The 35-minute show covers one of India’s most important chapters in history. It describes the history of Kalinga (now Odisha) and the battle between the ruler of Kalinga and Emperor Ashoka. It was this battle that brought a change of heart in the war-mongering emperor and made him embrace Buddhism. Conducted in Odiya, Hindi and English, the show is held on all days except Monday. Tickets cost Rs 25/head. The show timings are 7pm and 7.45pm.
Golkonda Fort, Telangana
Another of India’s best light and sound show. Golkonda Fort is about 12km away from Hyderabad. The show recounts the history of the Qutb Shahi dynasty and that of the fort. There are two shows daily, at 6.30 pm and 7.45pm from November to February; the first show is always in English. On Mon, Wed and Fri, the second show is in Telegu and on the remaining days, the second show is in Hindi. Tickets cost Rs 10/head for Indians.
Gwalior Fort, Madhya Pradesh
Magnificently produced, the light and sound of Gwalior Fort is very popular with visitors. So go early if you want a seat of your choice. Amitabh Bachchan is the narrator Gopachal, while Pt. Jasraj, Bhimsen Joshi and Kumar Gandharva recreate the spiritual grandeur of the Dhrupad tradition as sung by Baiju and Tansen. As the red-gold, blue-green lights illuminate every nook and cranny of the superbly tiled Man Mandir (near the Elephant Gate), you will be transported to a different time and place.
Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar, Punjab
There is no entry fee for this light and sound show which recounts one of the saddest chapters of Indian history. Narrated by Amitabh Bachchan, the show is a lesson for the younger generation—how the people suffered as they fought for India’s freedom. The show is temporarily suspended.
Jhansi Fort, Uttar Pradesh
This sprawling fort in Uttar Pradesh was witness to the famous escape by the brave Rani Lakshmibai of Jhansi when the fort fell under British attack. She tied her infant son to her back, jumped on her horse and rode off the high fort. See the history of Jhansi come alive in a light and sound show. The timing of the show is 6.30pm in winter and 7.30pm in summer but the show can be irregular at times.
Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh
With the famous Western Group of temples of Khajuraho as the background, the light and sound show will take you through the history of the Chandela rulers and the temples (including the associated myths). The hour-long show is held in English (6.30pm) and Hindi (7.40pm).
Few forts in India can match the beauty of Kumbhalgarh. Learn about the history of this fort built in the 15th century by the Sisodia dynasty at the light and sound show. Usually the show starts at 6.45pm and is in Hindi only. Tickets cost Rs 100/adult.
Museum Art Gallery, Chandigarh
The light and sound show depicts the evolution of Chandigarh through its modern architectural plan. There is no entry fee for this show held at the Sector 10-C Museum Art Gallery. The show is held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (except government holidays) at 6.30pm (winter timing).
Mysuru Palace, Karnataka
Want to know more about the grand Mysuru (Mysore) Palace and the rulers who lived there? The 40 minute light and sound show will give you all the answers. The show is temporarily suspended.
Orchha, Madhya Pradesh
The light and sound show, essentially depicting the history of Bundelkhand, is held at different places in Orchha—the Chaturbhuj Temple, the Jehangir Mahal, the Raj Mahal, the cenotaphs, etc. Between November and February, the one-hour shows begin at 6.30pm (English) and 7.45pm (Hindi). Tickets cost Rs 75/head for Indians.
Purana Qila, New Delhi
Titled Ishq-e-Dilli, the show is a consolidated history of Delhi. An amazing tale of how Delhi has metamorphosed into its present state after being founded by Prithviraj Chauhan in the 11th century. The shows are held in Hindi (7-8pm) and English (8.30-9.30pm). The timing changes periodically. Tickets (Rs 100/head for adults) are available from the ticket counter at the Qila an hour before the show.
Red Fort, New Delhi
The light and sound show at the Red Fort began way back in 1965. The focus is more on narration, which tells you about the history of Delhi. The excitement is built through little touches such as the clip-clop of a horse or the trumpeting of an elephant. The life and times of the Mughal emperors come alive through their conversations. The shows are held in Hindi (7-8pm) and English (8.30-9.30pm). Tickets cost Rs 60/adult for weekdays and Rs 80/adult on weekends and government holidays. However, there is no show on Mondays.
Somnath Temple, Gujarat
Trace the history of this famous Shiva temple of India in the one-hour long show. Held after the evening worship, the show usually begins at 8pm. The temple, located on the Arabian Sea coast, was ransacked by Muslim invaders and rebuilt several times between 11th and 18th century. The present temple was built after India gained independence. The narration is in English and tickets cost Rs 25/head.
Victoria Memorial, Kolkata
The show entitled Pride and Glory is held in Bengali (6.15pm) and English (7.15pm) and describes the history of Kolkata (or Calcutta). Tickets (Rs 10/Rs 20) are available from the East Gate counter (opposite St Paul's Cathedral) from 5pm. Shows are not held on Mondays and national holidays.
Warangal Fort, Telangana
The nearly one-hour show reveals the history of the Kakatiya rulers of Telangana. The colourful laser lighting against the backdrop of the architecturally superb fort adds to the historical narrative. The show is held in Telegu and English and begins at 6.30 pm (Telegu) and 7.30pm (Telegu/English). Tickets cost Rs 40/adult.
Information: Before planning to visit any of the light and sound shows, check for the current timings and ticket rates. The price of tickets mentioned here may vary from current rates. The light and sound shows are held in the open and hence may be suspended due to inclement weather. Sometimes, the shows are not held if there is not enough visitors. If you do not have your own vehicle, then check if public transport is available at the end of the show or you may find it difficult to return from the venue.