The Taj Mahal is one of the seven wonders of the world and is considered to be the most popular tourist attraction in the country. A symbol of love, the Taj was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his queen Mumtaz. Tagore described the Taj as a "teardrop on the cheek of eternity". The monument attracts a lot of tourist all around the year.
The Red Fort was the official seat of Mughal rule and authority from 1648 onwards, when the 5th Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, decided to move the capital of the empire from Agra to Delhi. Constructed using red sandstone, it remains one of the architectural marvels of the Mughal era. In 2007, it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The All India War Memorial, popularly known as the India Gate, is a war memorial located in New Delhi. It is dedicated to the 82,000 soldiers, both Indian and British, who died during the First World War and the Third Anglo-Afghan War. The Amar Jawan Jyoti is the burning structure, right underneath the archway, which symbolizes the eternal, immortal soldiers of India.
At a height of 234 feet, this minaret is the tallest individual tower in the world and is a perfect display of Mughal architectural brilliance.
A protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India, Agrasen ki Baoli is a 60 meter long and 15 meter wide historical step well on Halley Road, New Delhi. Baoli, also referred to as Baori is a hindi term for step well.
Amber Fort, situated 11 kms from Jaipur, is a fort built with great artistic taste. Cradled on the top of a hill forming a beautiful reflection in Maotha Lake, it is popularly known as Amer Fort.
The Hawa Mahal stands at the intersection of the main road in Jaipur, Badi Chaupad. It is regarded as the signature building of Jaipur and was built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh.
Also known as Lal Qila, Fort Rouge or Red Fort of Agra, the Agra Fort is a UNESCO world heritage site. It is situated at a distance of about 2.5km northwest of the famous Taj Mahal. The construction of the massive fort of red sandstone by the banks of Yamuna river was started by emperor Akbar.
A city, predominantly made of red sand stone, Fatehpur Sikri was once the capital of Mughal Emperor Akbar. It is now a UNESCO world heritage site and a famous tourist attraction. The city offers a fine example of Akbar's architectural finesse.
Apart from being known for its stunning architecture, this is the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site declared in 1993, and has undergone widespread restoration work since then. The tomb was custom-built by Humayun's son Akbar during 1569-70, and is also the first structure to have made the use of red sandstone at a massive scale.
The Mahabodhi Temple serves to be the main and most important attraction in Bodh Gaya. It was built in the 7th century, surrounding the Bodhi Tree that Buddha sat under whilst he attained enlightenment.
Also called Sri Harmandir Sahib or Swarna Mandir, the shrine was designed by Guru Arjan Sahib and its foundation laid by Muslim saint Hazrat Mian Mir ji of Lahore on 1st December, 1588.
Known For : Kashi Vishwanath Temple Ganga Aarti, Varanasi Dashashwamedh Ghat
A city as old as time itself. A city that has stayed in place and watched as the world has turned and the tides have changed. A city that has stood the test of time for thousands of years. In the words of Mark Twain, "Older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, And looks twice as old as all of them put together." Varanasi, the city that is more than just the spiritual capital of India. The city which can be aptly described as a melting pot where both life and death come together. The city that you only need to visit once for it to stay with you forever.
Best Time: October to March
Bala Quila Fort stands majestically about 1000 feet above the Alwar city. The fort has 15 large and 51 small towers and the entire structure is adorned with marble columns and lattice window balconies.
Known For : The Ridge Jakhu Temple Mall Road, Shimla
Probably the most popular hill station in northern India, Shimla is the capital city of Himachal Pradesh famous for its Mall road, the Ridge, toy train etc. among honeymooners and families alike.
Best Time: October to June
Kangra, the land of ancient Trigarta, occupying the lower valley of the Beas and its tributaries, was in ancient times, one of the leading hill stations of Punjab and Himachal. With numerous names who've said to have held the ownership of the Fort, it has got quite some history in its account. With many years of Mughal ownership and at the last being ruled by an Indian emperor, this place is a must-visit for any history enthusiast.
Known For : Brahma Sarovar Jyotisar Bhishma Kund
Famous for being one of the centre-points of the Epic Mahabharata, Kurukshetra- the field of righteousness traces its past to King Kuru, who laid the foundation of a domain that has its roots on uprightness and benevolence.
Best Time: July to March
Known For : Ram Janmabhoomi Hanuman Garhi, Ayodhya Kanak Bhawan
Assumed to be the birthplace of Lord Rama, Ayodahya has been surrounded by controversy since about a decade now but yet, has so much colour and spirituality to see for its tourists taking form of various attractions here including Ram janmabhoomi and various other temples.
Best Time: October to March
Located in the Parliament Street, south Connaught Circle of New Delhi, Jantar Mantar is a vast observatory built to help and improve upon the studies of time and space as was known. It was built by Maharaja Jai Singh in the year 1724 and forms a part of a collection of five such observatories located in Jaipur, Ujjain, Varanasi and Mathura.
The Mehrauli Archaeological Park serves as a glimpse into a bygone era, and its proximity to chief localities in south Delhi make it an easy on-the-go stop with distinctive architecture to captivate your eyes at every step of your way. Not more than a kilometre away from the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Qutb complex lies this magical gem of history tucked away and spread over a 200-acre area, which includes the ruins of the Lal Kot built by the Tomar Rajputs in 11th century A.D.
The magnificent City Palace in Jaipur is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the city. Built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh during the years 1729 to 1732, the vast complex of the palace occupied one-seventh of the walled city. In fact, it was once the seat of the Maharaja of Jaipur. Planned with precise intricacies, the palace is divided into a series of courtyards, buildings and gardens including the Chandra Mahal and the Mubarak Mahal. The museum showcases various unique handcrafted products and other things that belong to the royal heritage of the City Palace. The historical structure is located in the old part of Jaipur city and can be easily located and reached by any means of transport.
Jaisalmer Fort, nestled on the golden sands of Thar Desert, is not just a fort but a mini-town with houses, temples, shops, and restaurants. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it falls under the category of 'Hill Forts of India'. Built in 1156, Jaisalmer Fort gets its name from the former Bhati Rajput ruler Rao Jaisal. More than three thousand people live within the fort walls with multiple entrance gates on the path up top, the last of which directs you to the popular public square named Dashera Chowk. The fort stands at an impressive height of 250 ft. and is surrounded by a 30 ft. tall walls.
The Leh Palace, also known as 'Lhachen Palkhar' is one of the most historically rich edifices that can be found in the country and is located in the breathtakingly beautiful Kashmir, in the town of Leh in India. This grand structure was built in the 17th century by King Sengge Namgyal as a royal palace, and the King and his family were the former residents of the majestic mansion. The Leh Palace is also one of the tallest buildings of its time with nine stories in all, and offers marvellous panoramic views of the entire town of Leh, as well as of the Stok Kangri and Zanskar mountains of the mighty Himalayan ranges, thereby giving the palace a strategic position.
Located near the famous Golden Temple of Amritsar, Jallianwala Bagh is a public garden that also houses a memorial to commemorate the massacre of peaceful celebrators by the British forces. Spread over 6.5 acres of land, Jallianwala Bagh is associated with one of the saddest days in Indian History when thousands of innocent people were killed on the orders of General Dyer as they gathered for a peaceful celebration of Baisakhi. Established by the government of India in 1951, the massacre memorial was inaugurated by Dr Rajendra Prasad on 13th April 1961.
Located at a distance of 22 km from Lahore and 28 km from Amritsar, Wagah Border marks the boundaries between Indian and Pakistani borders. It runs along the Grand Trunk Road between Amritsar in Punjab, India, and Punjab in Lahore, Pakistan. People from all over the country visit this place to witness the Beating Retreat Ceremony that is held every day before sunset. This ceremony includes the closing of the international gates and lowering the flags of both countries. It is a spectacle to be witnessed and is an occasion where the heart of every Indian is filled with pride and enthusiasm. The flag ceremony has been conducted by the Indian Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers since 1959.
Nahargarh Fort is located in the Pink City of Jaipur and is one of the many countless palaces and beautiful historic buildings that speak of the magnificent and rich history of this city. Embellished with delicate carvings and stonework, the Nahargarh Fort is an impregnable structure, that together with its two neighbouring forts - Amer and Jaigarh, once stood as the strong defence of Jaipur city. The Fort was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II in the year 1734 as a retreat. With some breathtaking views of the city, the Nahargarh Fort is known for its extended wall that connects it to Jaigarh Fort.
Mehrangarh, also known as Mehran Fort was built by Rao Jodha in 1459 in Jodhpur, is one of the largest forts in the country. It is situated at the top of a 410 feet elevated hill and guarded by massive walls. One of the most easily recognisable forts in Jodhpur, it has appeared in many Hollywood and Bollywood productions such as The Lion King, The Dark Knight Rises, and the more recent - Thugs of Hindostan. The entrance of the fort, atop a hill, is majestic and has seven gates. These are called Victory Gate, Fateh Gate, Gopal Gate, Bhairon Gate, Dedh Kamgra Gate, Marti Gate and finally Loha Gate.
Famous for the historical ruins and the ghost stories, Bhangarh has been regarded as the most haunted place in the country. It is located on the way between Jaipur and Delhi. The Bhangarh Fort is a 17th Century fort built in the Alwar district of Rajasthan. It was built by one of the Navratans of Akbar's court, Man Singh I for his grandson Madho Singh I. It was named by Madho Singh after his grandfather Man Singh or Bhan Singh.
Kumbhalgarh Fort is one of the five hill forts of Rajasthan that were declared the UNESCO world heritage site in 2013. It is situated in Rajsamand district of Rajasthan and lies 82 kilometres northwest of the city of Udaipur. Constructed on the foothills of Aravalli ranges, it is surrounded by thirteen hill peaks of the ranges and is perched at an elevation of 1,914 m. The magnificent fort is situated in the middle of a forest which has been turned into a wildlife sanctuary. It is the second largest and the most important Mewar fort of Rajasthan after Chittorgarh palace.
Located close to the Indus river, it was built in 1825 AD by King Tsespal Tondup Namgyal. Well known for its architecture and design, beautiful gardens and amazing views, the palace presents a collection of royal attires, crown and other royal materials. Easily reachable through jeeps and shared taxis, the palace is a worth seeing place. Spituk Monastery is a nearby attraction to visit.
Qila Mubarak is a monument of great historical importance and is situated in the city of Bathinda in Punjab. The origin of the fort can be traced back to the period between 90 and 110 AD, and the Qila Mubarak is the oldest surviving fort in India, known to historians. This majestic piece of architecture merges perfectly with the surrounding desert area and looks subtle and elegant. This is perhaps why the Qila Mubarak continues to be a significant tourist attraction in Punjab till date.
Also known as the National Museum of India, the National Museum in New Delhi is one the largest museums in India, situated on the corner of the Janpath and Maulana Azad Road. Established in 1949, the blueprints of the majestic repository were prepared by the Gwyer Committee set up by the Government of India in 1946. Today, the museum boasts of possessing a whopping 200,000 artworks, both Indian and foreign, and is maintained by the Ministry of Culture, Department of India. Covering an extensive range of products from the prehistoric times to modern works of art, the museum traces the rich cultural heritage of nations across the world, from over 5000 years ago.
Which of these historical places in North India have you visited? Let us know in the comments below!