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 an eardrop on the cheek of eternity. The monument attracts a lot of tourists all around the year. "It is one of the most important Indian monument.
The soaring and brave tower that allures tourists despite being destroyed by ravages of natural apocalypses several times, Qutub Minar is the tallest individual tower in the world and second tallest monument of Delhi. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is located in Mehrauli and its construction was started in 1192 by Qutb Ud-Din-Aibak, founder of Delhi Sultanate. Later, the tower was built by various rulers over the centuries. The sight of this glorious monument takes you back to the rich history of India.
Known For : Ajanta Caves Grishneshwar Temple, Ellora The Buddhist Caves, Ellora
Ajanta and Ellora caves are among the major attractions in the state of Maharashtra. These ancient caves are considered to be one of the most important monuments of India owing to the magnificent paintings of Ajanta and well-carved sculptures of Ellora. The rock-cut caves containing carvings are the finest example of Indian paintings and sculpture.
Best Time: June to March
One of the most distinguished monuments of India, The Gateway of India was built in 1924. Now it has become a popular tourist hub in the city. Located at Apollo Bunder Waterfront, the monument overlooks the Arabian Sea in the most beautiful way.
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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.
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.
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.
Commonly known as Lotus temple, this monument is one of the seven Baha'i Houses of Worship. The Lotus Temple is one of the most visited attractions in the city and is open to all, regardless of religion, or any other distinction. It is situated near mandir marg in Kalkaji, New Delhi.
The former residence of the royal family of Mysore, the Mysore Palace is an extremely breath-taking example of the Indo-Sarcenic style of architecture. It was built in the year 1912 for the 24th Ruler of the Wodeyar Dynasty, and is till date one of the biggest palaces in the country. It's one of the most popular and well known tourist attractions in India.
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 2.5 km north-west 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.
Known For : Light and Sound Show, Khajuraho Dulhadev Temple Kandariya Mahadev Temple
Khajuraho is known around the world for its stunning temples adorned by erotic and sensuous carvings.
Best Time: July to March
Charminar is the most important landmarks in the city of Hyderabad. The monument was erected when Quli Qutb Shah shifted his capital from Golconda to Hyderabad. The monument got its name from its structure as it consists of four minarets. The monument looks amazing during the night when it is illuminated.
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. It is one of the monuments in India which has been granted the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was awarded this distinction in 2007.
The Victoria Memorial is a large marble building, which is considered to be the pride of Kolkata. Built between 1906 and 1921, it is dedicated to the memory of Queen Victoria. Presently it is a museum and a popular tourist spot under the Ministry of Culture.
One of the best architectural marvels in the state of Rajasthan, the City Palace in Udaipur is located on the banks of Lake Pichola. One of the most picturesque monuments in India, the palace looks straight out of a fairy tale. The grand white City Palace is a heritage building, and it showcases the best elements of Rajput Culture and arts.
A city, predominantly made of red sandstone, 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.
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 term Maharaja Palace actually refers to a series of palaces in Vadodara, Gujarat, India, constructed since the Gaekwad a prominent Maratha family started ruling the Baroda State. The first one was a building known as the Sarkar Wada. This building, not really a palace, was given up for the Nazarbaug Palace built in old classical style. (br) After this the Lakshmi Vilas Palace, an extravagant building of the Indo-Saracenic school, was built by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III in the year 1890.
Also known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the Victoria Terminus is a modern railway station in Mumbai. Constructed in the Victorian-Gothic style of architecture, the railway station is a declared as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. The station is one of the most famous historic landmark symbolizing the pre-independence British Raj in India.
Located in Jodhpur, Mehrangarh Fort is one of the largest forts in the country. It is located at the top of a 410 feet elevated hill and guarded by huge walls. The fort encloses a museum now which exhibits various belongings of the royals. The palace was built by Rao Jodha in 1459.
Dedicated to Lord Surya, this 13th century temple is an architectural marvel and the quintessential example of Oriyan form of architecture. It is believed that the temple was constructed by king Narasimhadeva I of Eastern Ganga Dynasty. The shape of the temple is of a massive chariot with sumptuously engraved stone wheels, pillars and walls. A major part of the structure at present is in ruins. The temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Perched high at the top of a vast rocky massif, Gwalior Fort is a place hard to miss being visible from every nook and corner of the city. Regarded as one of most impregnable fortress of north and central India, the place is a must visit.
Also known as the Delhi Akshardham, this temple complex was built in 2005 and sits deftly near the banks of River Yamuna.
Rani ka Vav or 'Queen's Stepwell' is a unique step well located in the small town of Gujarat called Patan. Located on the banks of River Saraswati, it is not only a distinctive form of water resource and storage system but also represents a unique craftsmanship. Now a World Heritage Site as well, Rani ki Vav is a prime example of the rich architectures of stepwell and similar monuments of India.
Known For : Shore Temple Mahabalipuram Beach Five Rathas
Famous for its intricately carved temples and rock-cut caves, Mamallapuram or Mahabalipuram as it is famously known, is a historically important and well-loved tourist location situated on the Coromandel Coast along the Bay of Bengal, in the state of Tamil Nadu.
Best Time: November to February
Located over the Hooghly river in West Bengal, Howrah Bridge or the Rabindra Setu is the main connection between Howrah and Kolkata. It is a cantilever bridge and is regarded as one of the busiest ones among them.
Nalanda University Archaeological Complex is the excavated site of the ancient university. It is spread over an area of 14 hectares and is a major place of tourist attraction. The university complex had red brick buildings hemmed by gardens.
Built in the 3rd century, the world renowned Sanchi Stupa is a remnant of Sanchi's glorious past. Also a World Heritage Site, this stupa speaks volumes of Sanchi's rich cultural and architectural grandeur and the rich legacy of buddhist aesthetics.
Murud-Janjira is the local name for a fort situated on an island just off the coastal village of Murud, in the Raigad district of Maharashtra. The Fort is situated on an oval-shaped rock off the Arabian Sea coast, about 165 kms to south of Mumbai. Janjira is considered one of the strongest marine forts in India. Another fortress named Ghosalgad is located on top of the hill around 32 kms east of Murud-Janjira, and was used as an outpost for the rulers of Janjira.
Golconda Fort is a massive fortress whose ruins stand proudly even today displaying the glory of its rich past and some untold sagas of the city's history. The place oozing charm is a must visit. There are many fascinating features and stories about this fort which makes it one of the top monuments in India.
Known For : Virupaksha Temple, Hampi Vithala Temple Lotus Palace
Hampi, the city of ruins, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Situated in the shadowed depth of hills and valleys in the state of Karnataka, this place is a historical delight for travellers. Surrounded by 500 ancient monuments, beautiful temples, bustling street markets, bastions, treasury building and captivating remains of Vijayanagar Empire, Hampi is a backpacker's delight. Hampi is an open museum with 100+ locations to explore and a favourite way to see the city from the perspective of its history.
Best Time: October to March
The biggest attraction of Thanjavur - The Brihadeshwara Temple, also known as the Big Temple. Built during the reign of the Great Chola emperor, Raja Raja Chola, this temple is an architectural marvel.
Known For : Cave Temples Agastya Lake Badami Fort
Located in a valley of rugged red sandstone, surrounding the Agastya Lake, Badami is an archaeological delight owing to its beautifully crafted sandstone cave temples, fortresses and carvings.
Best Time: October to Apr
This is a historic Hindu temple located on the southern bank of the Vaigai River, Madurai, Tamil Nadu. It is primarily dedicated to Parvati, known as Meenakshi, and her spouse, Shiva. What makes this one of the unique monuments of India is that this is a temple different from the others, where both God and Goddess are worshipped together.
Gol Gumbaz, also known as Gola Gummata in literal sense means a circular dome. It is the mausoleum of Mohammed Adil Shah, Sultan of Bijapur. The tom is located in Bijapur, Karnataka and was built by architect Yaqut in 1656. It is considered as the structural triumph of Deccan architecture.
Standing tall in its full glory, Shaniwar Wada was once a stately mansion. Built as a dwelling for Peshwas, its foundation was laid by Bajirao I in year 1730 AD. Today it gives a chance to peak into its great past.
This historic church is located in Goa and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Basilica of Bom Jesus houses the tomb and remains of St. Francis Xavier. Even after 400 years, the remains are in a good condition and are taken out once every decade.Up untill half a century ago, Goa was the capital of Portuguese rule in India and this is part of their heritage.
Vivekananda Rock Memorial is a well-known tourist monument placed in Vavathurai, Kanyakumari, India. The memorial stands on one of the two rocks, about 500 metres away from India's southern most tip. It was constructed in honour of Swami Vivekananda who is said to have attained enlightenment on this rock.
The Cellular Jail aka Kala Pani word is derived from Sanskrit words 'Kal' which means Time or Death and 'Pani' which means Water. The Jail was a colonial prison in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, India. The prison was used by the British especially to exile political prisoners to the remote archipelago. Many notable dissidents such as Batukeshwar Dutt and Veer Savarkar were convicted and jailed here during Indian independence struggle. Today, the construction serves as a national memorial monument.
The Bara Imambara of Lucknow is one of the most famous monuments of the city. Also known as Asfi Imambara, after the name of the Nawab of Lucknow who got it constructed, it is an important place of worship for the Muslims who come here every year to celebrate the religious festival of Muharram. The Imambara is specially known for its incredible maze, known as Bhul Bhulaiya locally, which is located in the upper floor of the monument.
Known For : Virupaksha Temple, Pattadakal Kashiviswanatha Temple Jain Temple
Famous for its temples and other world heritage sites depicting a fusion architectural style, Pattadakkal is a town close to Aihole and Badami.
Best Time: October to March
Jaisalmer Fort, nestled amid the golden sands of Thar Desert, is steeped with rich past and heritage. Displaying the brilliant craftsmanship, Jaisalmer Fort is one of the most renowned forts in the world.
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.
Being one of the largest forts in India, Chittorgarh fort is a world heritage site. The fort was previously the capital of Mewar and is now situated in Chittorgarh. It is one of the most historically important forts in the entire north India and it reverberates with tales of heroism and sacrifice. It also displays the Rajput culture and values in the true sense.
Located in Jaipur, The City Palace is the main palace from where the Maharaja reigned. The palace includes the Chandra Mahan and Mubarak Mahal along with various other buildings within the complex. It is located towards the north-eastern side of Jaipur.
Located in New Delhi, the Jantar Mantar was one of the five sites built by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur. The site consists of 13 architectural astronomy instruments. The main purpose of the observatory was to compile the astronomical tables and to predict the movement and timings of the sun, moon and planets.
Kumbhalgarh fort is one of the five hill forts of Rajasthan, among the many monuments in India that were declared the UNESCO world heritage site. This distinction was granted in 2013. It is situated in Rajsamand district of Rajasthan and lies very close to 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. It is the second largest and the most important Mewar fort of Rajasthan after Chittorgarh palace.
Jallianwala Bagh is a place of great historical importance during the Indian struggle for Independence. It is a public garden in Amritsar which houses a memorial of national importance that was established by the government of India in 1951 to commemorate the massacre of peaceful celebrators by British forces on April 13,1919.
Known For : Nalanda University Hiuen Tsang Memorial Hall The Great Stupa
The most popular Mahavihara of the ancient times, a significant Buddhist seat of academic excellence and a modest pilgrim center, all wrapped in a wisp of spirituality, Nalanda continues to be an equally enriching location in the present. It offers vibrant substance of spirituality, history, culture, architecture, and tourism.
Best Time: October to March
Known For : Kalika Mata Temple Pavagadh Fort Jain Temples in Pavagadh
Being included in the elite list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites across the globe, this marvellous archaeological park set in the heart of the city of Champaner and amidst the Pavagadh hills is one of the most sought after places in Gujarat.
Best Time: October to February
This post was published by Surbhi Parashar