To impress and to profess, some will go as far as their legs can carry, while others will stop at no length for the one they love. What will you do to say ‘I love you’? These passionate tales from around the world show us that love is not just a word, but cast in actions and genuineness. So, take your partner by his or her hand for a couple’s getaway at these monuments of love that are bound to stir your senses and inspire a great romance.
Kodai-ji temple, Kyoto, Japan
Visit during Spring or Autumn and you can stroll hand in hand around the garden under pastel cherry blossoms or deep maple trees
Situated in Kyoto, the Kodai-ji temple is an emblem of a wife’s devotion to her husband. In the early 1600s, Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu granted this temple to the widow of pre-eminent feudal Lord Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Kuano Madokoro (also known as Nene), who resided there as a nun to pray for the soul of her husband. The love she had for him saw her through each day, and in the temple courts, you’ll get the chance to witness firsthand their grand affection for each other.
As you enter the temple, your eyes will catch the lavish furnishings and the Kodai-ji-styled lacquer that decorates the entire space — a testament of Nene’s love for her late husband. Behind the temple, you can also find the enshrined lovers at a Memorial Hall named Otamaya, which Nene visited to pray for her beloved. Quiet, serene and highly symbolic, The Kodai-ji temple is an ideal place to visit when you're on your anniversary getaway.
After combing the grounds of the temple, walk through a small bamboo grove believed to ward off evil spirits
Address: 5 2 6 Shimokawaracho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 605-0825, Japan
Mon – Sun: 9:00am to 5:30pm (last entry at 5:00pm)
Admission Fee: From 600 yen
Taj Mahal, Agra, India
Taj Mahal truly brings to faith the extent one would go to create a sanctuary for their beloved
If you ever questioned love at first sight, take a look at the majestic construction of the Taj Mahal. Shah Jahan, the fifth emperor of the Mugal Empire, was instantly smitten with his wife at a royal bazaar, and even though they weren’t permitted to see each other, that didn’t stop them from falling in love. When they finally married, she became his favourite wife and was given the title Mumtaz Mahal, which means ‘the chosen one’. Upon her passing, Shah Jahan channeled his fondness towards his beloved wife by commissioning the building as a tomb; in some ways, the Taj Mahal was built to set his love quite literally in stone! 370 years later, this glistening beauty still stands before us, a testimony that true love will forever shine.
An architecture buff, Shah Jahan made sure that the entire compound was up to par with his love for his wife
The intricacy of love makes for a very elegant Taj Mahal
Constructed from white marble from the quarries of Makrana, Rajasthan, the attention paid to every detail of this palace is mesmerising, yet often missed. The gateway, mausoleum, mosque and guesthouse have marble stones inlaid with floral details, while its floors are tiled with patterned stones and different coloured marble. Arabic inscriptions of the Quran are also beautifully etched in the walls with black jasper. If you listen intently, you might even hear the soothing ripples of the River Yamuna close by!
Address: Dharmapuri, Forest Colony, Tajganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh 282001, India
Mon – Thurs, Sat – Sun: 6.00am to 6.30pm (opens 30 minutes before sunrise and closes 30 minutes before sunset)
Closed on Fridays
Admission Fee: From 1100 rupees
Boldt Castle, Alexandria Bay, New York
After being abandoned for 73 years, the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority acquired the property and finished the castle
In the early 1900s, George Boldt, a millionaire, was inspired to build a full-size Rhineland castle to publicly display his love for his wife, Louise. But when news of his wife’s death hit right before the end of its construction, Boldt couldn’t bring himself to finish his masterpiece — not when its recipient was no longer around to share the abode.
The Grand Staircase made from white Carrara Marble took two years to complete after the property was acquired. Photo credit: Michael Gatti
The castle was finally completed decades later, and if you take a walk inside, the first thing that greets you is a framed wedding portrait of Louise Boldt atop the fireplace. Surrounded by flower beds and Italian gardens, this vintage gem holds a deep, symbolic love many romantics can attest to. So, revel in the romance at one of New York’s unexplored destinations when you’re there with your partner.
Address: 1 Heart Island, Alexandria Bay, NY 13607, United States
11 May 2019 – 20 October 2019: Check timings here
Admission Fee: US$10 for adults, US$7 for children (aged 12 and below), and free for infants (aged 4 and below)
Love is such a beautiful emotion that has resulted in the construct of several monuments and structures around the world. Most of these buildings have withstood the test of time and have weathered damages and even vandals. So, visit these places with your partner, perhaps as an anniversary getaway to appreciate the incredible beauty, pledge your commitment, and most importantly, rediscover and celebrate your love for each other.
Useful Travel Information
Best time to visit
Although the weather in Kyoto is moderate all year round, the best times to visit are during Spring (March – May) or Autumn (October/November).
Public transport (trains, subways, buses and taxis) are easy ways to get around.
The official currency of Japan is the Japanese Yen (JPY).
Fly to Osaka (nearest airport to Kyoto) with Singapore Airlines, Japan Airlines, Scoot and Jetstar and more. Search for airfare deals and book your tickets now!
Best time to visit
October to March is the best time to visit the Taj Mahal as the temperature is moderate and the weather is clear.
Hiring a private car with driver, is a safe and relaxed way to travel around Agra. For example, Driver India Private Tours offers car rental, taxi services and tailored day tours too.
The official currency of India is the Indian Rupee (INR).
Fly to New Delhi (nearest airport to Agra) with Singapore Airlines, Air India, Jet Airways and Indigo. Search for airfare deals and book your tickets now!
Best time to visit
April to June and September to early November are the best periods to visit as the weather is warm and pleasant.
Taxis, buses and hired cars are easy ways to get around
The official currency of the United States is the US Dollar (USD).
Fly to New York with Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Qatar, All Nippon Airways and United Airlines. Search for airfare deals and book your tickets now!