India is a land of History and Adventure. Every corner and nook here spills the scent of the bygone era. With, influence of the different tradition and cultures and the remembrance of enemy captures it’s a historical Potboiler. The monuments here speak of war, tragedy, romance, politics, love, strength, power and bravery. These monuments are a proof of the confluence of so many cultures mixed together to become the India of today. People here take pride in their monuments. It’s not possible to jot down all the monuments in this vast land. But here are some must visit monuments of India that can take you to the past and back.
Taj Mahal, Agra
No mention of Indian monuments starts without Taj-Mahal. It’s a place that is an example of true love. A man building it in memory of his dead wife is what this mausoleum signifies. Shahjahan the 5th Mughal Emperor of India commissioned this marble architectural wonder in 1632 for Mumtaz Mahal his late wife. This monument looks surreal and oozes love in every corner. Its beauty has inspired poets and gave it an eternal place in the history.
Red Fort, Delhi
It’s another historical architecture built by Emperor Shahjahan. The beautiful red building is the sign of power of Mughal in India. Previously, known as Qila-e-Mubarakh, it was built as the capital of Mughal Empire was shifted from Agra to Delhi. Unlike Taj mahal it took 11 years to build. The monument was previously built with white limestone. But owing to the chipping off of the limestone the British painted it Red, hence, “Red-Fort”.
Khajuraho Temples, Madhya Pradesh
This monument signifies love, depiction of sensuality and other carvings of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. Each and every sculpture here has a story and significance behind the portrayal. One can easily get lost in the majestic variations of the creative arts depicted here. The sculptures are beautified amalgamation of both Hindu and Jain mythologies.
Rani ki Vav, Gujarat
If Taj mahal is a monument in memory of a Husband for his wife, then Rani Ki Vav is just the opposite. The 24mt deep stepwell was built by Rani Udayamati in memory of her late husband King Bhimdev. The gorge is an efficiently designed stepwell that has intricate carvings of Nakakanyas, Yokinis and Apsaras. The central gallery is also known as the Dasaavatars the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu. Built in 11th Century AD the monument is still pretty unexplored.
Hawa mahal, Jaipur
Also known as Palace of Winds this place gets its name due to the windy atmosphere inside the palace. The palace has around 953 windows in such a way that the air inflow makes it magnificent. The shape of the monument is pyramid style. It is the tallest building in the world that doesn’t come with foundations.
The Sanchi Stupa, Madhya Pradesh
It was commissioned by King Ashoka the flag bearer of the Maurya Dynasty. The Sanchi Stupa explains the creation of Buddhism through its intricate carvings. The dome has etching that describes the life and times of Lord Buddha. One of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites this monument stands as an example of Buddhist era in India.
Konark Temple, Odhisa
Konark Temple or the Black Pagoda is a temple devoted to the Sun God “Surya”. The architecture of Konark temple has significance of Hindu Mythology and a touch of Odiya influence in it. The wall, pillars and the chariot is a magnetism that reflects the charisma of the historical value that it holds.
Victoria Memorial, Kolkata
A relic of the erstwhile British India. The White marble structure was built and named after Queen Victoria. This colonial architecture is a remembrance of the erstwhile British occupation. It’s situated among the lush greenery of a 64 acre land and is a distinct landmark of Kolkata. The museum inside Victoria memorial is also of great historical value.
The Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Aurangabad
A history quietly tucked in the remains of the huge cave of Ajanta and Ellora. The Caves were found by accident in 1819 by a British officer named John Smith. The carvings in the wall are said to be age old and describes old tales of Hindu Mythology. There are 29 caves in Ajanta and 34 caves in Ellora. The varied blend of Buddhism, Jainism and Hinduism mixed in these caves gives away a surreal experience.
Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
The 11 temples or Mandaps are an exquisite Dravidian style architectural monument. It was built by the Pallava Dynasty in 7th Century. It depicts the Mythological tale of Hinduism finely carved in its stone architecture. The architecture also has some Buddhist elements that give this monument a different variation. As per legend the stone carvings on the temple took around 200 years to complete.
Qutub Minar, Delhi
It was built in 19th century by Qutub-ud-din-Aibak. It is one of the tallest monuments in India. The minaret is influenced by Iranian Architecture and has carvings in Nagari and Parso-Arabic Characters. This red-sandstone made tower is about 240ft in height and is a must visit.
Situated among the bustling city of Hyderabad this monument spells history in the four corners. Built in 1591 by Mohammad Quli Qutub Shah was to honor the blessings of Allah. The monument was built to signify thanks and mercy to the divinity as the city saw the end of Plague. The unique monument has four minars or towers on each side. Each of these arches has a clock.
Gateway of India, Mumbai
Situated in the Mumbai Harbor. This historical monument is one of the iconic landmarks of India and was built in 1924. Overlooking the Arabian Sea on one side and the Hotel Taj on the other makes it even richer.
The list above is just a handful of what lies within India’s past. The history and legend in its every sphere spells wonder. Some of these monuments are architectural genius whereas others look surreal. But every brick and stone of these monuments have a story to tell and a tale to pass on.