What is widely considered as the most beautiful building in the world, Taj Mahal is located in the historical city of Agra. It was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial for his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Constructed entirely out of white marble in the 17th century, it is among the finest edifices of Mughal architecture. Recognised by the UNESCO as a world heritage site, this monument is also considered to be one of the seven wonders of the modern world. Every year visitors numbering more than the entire population of Agra pass through the magnificent gates to catch a glimpse of this breathtaking monument, and only a few leave disappointed. Shah Jahan said about the Taj that it made "the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes".
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 Red Fort is a historical fortification in the national capital of New Delhi. Located in the center of the city, it was the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal dynasty. It was constructed by Shah Jahan in the year 1939 as a result of a capital shift from Agra to Delhi. This imposing piece of architecture derives its name from its impregnable red sandstone walls. In addition to accommodating the emperors and their households, it was the ceremonial and political center of the Mughal state and the setting for events critically impacting the region. Today, this monument is home to a number of museums that have an assortment of precious artifacts on display. Every year, the Indian Prime Minister unfurls the national flag here on the Independence Day.
In the Pink City of Jaipur, cradled on the top of the Aravali Hill lies the Amer Fort, one of the most magnificent palaces in India. Also commonly known as the Amber Fort, this majestic building with its maze-like passages and serpentine staircases is an architectural masterpiece and with significant importance in Indian history. Only 11 kilometres away from the capital city of Jaipur, Amer Fort is clad in pink and yellow sandstone and is a part of an extensive complex. Built by one of the most trusted generals of Akbar, Maharaja Man Singh I in the year 1592, Amer Fort served as the main residence of the Rajput Rulers.
Known For : Kumarakom Bird Sanctuary Backwaters Vellavali
Situated on the banks of Vembanad Lake, Kerala's largest lake, Kumarakom is a cluster of many small man-made islands reclaimed from the lake.
Best Time: September to March
A city, predominantly made of red sandstone, Fatehpur Sikri was founded in 16th century by Mughal Emperor Akbar. It is essentially a fortified city built by the king and had been the capital of his Empire for fifteen years. Now a UNESCO world heritage site and a famous tourist attraction, it is a fine example of Mughal architecture. Fatehpur Sikri is home to Jodha Bai's palace, Jama Mosque, Buland Darwaza, and a Tomb of Salim Chisti among many other famous monuments, each of which, is an integral part of the Indian heritage.
The Mahabodhi temple, also called the "Great Awakening Temple", is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Bodhgaya, Bihar. It is a Buddhist temple that marks the location where the Lord Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment. Lord Buddha holds a very significant place in the religious history of India as he is believed to be the 9th and the most recent incarnation of Lord Vishnu to have walked the earth. The temple spreads over an area of a whopping 4.8 hectares and is 55 meters tall. The Bodhi Tree is situated to the left of the temple and is believed to be the direct descendant of the actual tree under which Lord Gautam Buddha meditated and attained enlightenment and laid down his philosophy for life. The original temple was built by Emperor Ashoka after he turned to Buddhism in order to seek peace and solitude from war and conquests.
As the name suggests, Humayun's tomb is the final resting place of the Mughal Emperor Humayun. Located in the Nizamuddin East area of Delhi, it is the first garden tomb in the Indian subcontinent. This splendid piece of architecture was commissioned for construction by Humayun's chief consort empress Bega Begum in the year 1569-70 and is one of the very few structures that used red sandstone on such a massive scale at that time. The design of Humayun's tomb is a typical Mughal architecture with Persian influences and was conceptualised by Persian architect Mirak Mirza Ghiyath. Owing to its magnificent design and illustrious history, Humayun's Tomb was featured in UNESCO's World Heritage List in the year 1993.
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.
The captivating Colva Beach, located in south Goa, 6 Km away from the city of Margao, is the most visited beach of Goa. Its 25 Km long coast, extending from Bogmalo in the north to Cabo de Rama in the south, has the powdery white sand and is flanked by swaying coconut trees that add to its beauty. It looks more stunning with shacks, nightclubs and souvenir stalls all around. The beach area also suggests the luxurious lifestyle of the elite class who owns striking houses or villas that speck the village. With the nonchalant ambience, mesmerizing view of the endless beach and spirited people, Colva Beach is perfect to feel life in its true sense.
Home to two-thirds of the world's one horned rhinoceros population, this national park has been declared as a World Heritage Site.
Made unique with a vibrant, well preserved and sustained ecology this park has a very versatile bio diversity which makes Kaziranga National Park a very important and popular tourist destination. Other than the one horned Rhino which almost defines the area, the park also offers pleasant surprises to tourists as they spot Swamp deer, elephants, wild buffalos, Chinese pangolins, Bengal foxes, gibbons, civets, sloth bears, leopards and flying squirrels are a few animals that can be spotted here. The park is also home to the Indian tiger and it is a tiger reserve.
Best Time: October to June
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
It is one of the largest remarkable excavations of the Indus Valley Civilization which was one of the most developed civilization roughly 4500 years ago.
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
Known For : Ajanta Caves Grishneshwar Temple, Ellora
Ajanta and Ellora caves, considered to be one of the finest examples of ancient rock-cut caves are located near Aurangabad in the state of Maharashtra, India. Adorned with beautiful sculptures, paintings and frescoes, Ajanta and Ellora caves are an amalgamation of Buddhist, Jain and Hindu monuments as the complex includes both Buddhist monasteries as well as Hindu and Jain temples. The Ajanta caves are 29 in number and were built in the period between 2nd century BC and 6th century AD whereas the Ellora Caves are more spread out and 34 in number and dates to the period between 6th and 11th Century AD.
Best Time: June to March
Known For : Somnath Temple Somnath Beach Paanch Pandav Gufa
Somnath, literally meaning 'lord of the moon' is a pilgrim center and is home to one of the 12 Jyotirlingas. It is a town which derives much of its identity from the mythology, religion, and legends that surround it.
Best Time: September to March
This post was published by Shalaka Sreekesh