India is known for its rich heritage, culture, and its architecture is decorated with many forts, palaces, archaeological ruins, temples, churches. With thousands of years of rich history, India is blessed to have many beautiful and historically important monuments spread all over India. In the north, we have a lot of forts, palaces, minarets and mausoleums made during the Mughal period and during some other rulers in the 11th-12th century. In the west, there are many beautiful and might forts and palaces made by Rajputs and other royalty of Rajasthan. In the south, we have so many historical temples that are no less than any monument. And during the British rule as well, there were many rich additions to this list of top monuments in India.
Here is the list of 51 Top Historical Monuments of India That Should Be In Your Wishlist
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 eardrop on the cheek of eternity"". The monument attracts a lot of tourist all around the year. "
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 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.
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.
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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.
Charminar is the most important landmark 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 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.
One of the best architectural marvels in the state of Rajasthan, the City Palace in Udaipur is located on the banks of Lake Pichola. The grand white City Palace is a heritage building, almost like a fairy-tale, and it showcases the best elements of Rajput Culture and arts.
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
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.
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.
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 in India.
Known For : Ajanta Caves | Kailasanatha and other temples, Ellora | Grishneshwar Temple, Ellora
Ajanta and Ellora caves are considered to be one of the most important tourist destinations in the world 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
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
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 | Vithala Temple | Elephant Stables
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 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.
Known For : Durga Temple | Lad Khan Temple | Ravanaphadi Cave Temples
Well known as the temple complex of Karnataka and home to about 100 temples, this city is a popular tourist destination.
Best Time : October to March
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 temple different from the others is the fact that 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.
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.
Known For : Light and sound show | Kandariya Mahadev Temple | Lakshman Temple
Khajuraho is known around the world for its stunning temples adorned by erotic and sensuous carvings.
Best Time : July to March
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 | 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
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 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 that were declared the UNESCO world heritage site 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 | Fort of Pavagadh and the ruined Hindu and Jain Temples | Jain temples
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
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