India is a country known for its cultural and historical importance. The Indian civilization, also known as the Indus Valley Civilization, is one of the most ancient civilizations, dating back to 3300 to 1300 BCE. The different eras of Indian civilization were marked by different dynasties like the Mauryas, the Guptas, the Cholas, the Pallavas and the Mughals.
Various historical monuments and buildings were built by the rulers of these dynasties, which continue to enthrall people even after years of their construction. The beautiful towers, structures and getaways scream of the lavish lifestyle and grandeur of this country. Most of the historical monuments have also been declared the UNESCO World Heritage Site due to their cultural importance.
Are you wondering which historical places of India to visit on your trip to India? Then this article is just for you. Here is a small list of 10 historical places that you must visit on your tour to India.
1. The Taj Mahal:
The Taj Mahal is one of the seven wonders of the world and India’s most recognized monument. This beautiful white marble monument is located in the city of Agra, along the banks of Yamuna river. It is a tomb that contains the body of Mumtaz Mahal, the wife of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. This pinnacle of Mughal architecture was built as an ode to his love for her. The construction of Taj Mahal took 22 years and 20,000 workers to complete. A captivating thing about Taj Mahal is that its color alters in the changing light of the day.
Hampi was the capital of Vijaynagar and the greatest Hindu empire in India’s history. It was a center of the Hindu culture in the 14th century. The ruins of Hampi stretch over 25 kilometers with over 500 monuments and ancient buildings. These captivating ruins are intermingled with large boulders that rear up all over the landscape. The ruins of Hampi may be vast or barren, but they offer an incredible view of the landscape. The most striking attraction of Hampi is the Vittala Temple, a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The town in located in Karnataka and is easily accessible via train and road. You will feel an incredible vibe in this ancient place.
3. Khajuraho Temples:
The Khajuraho Monument is a group Hindu and Jain temples located in Khajuraho town in Madhya Pradesh. It provides a peek into the ancient Hindu faith and tantric practices. The Khajuraho monuments had around 85 temples spread over 20 square kilometers, but only 20 temples have managed to survive. The temples are best known for their Nagara style, erotic sculptures that are devoted to sexuality. The temple celebrates love, life, and worship. Nowhere in the world will you find such unique temples with detailed carvings. Khajuraho is one of the famous destinations in India and is also listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
4. Ajanta and Ellora Caves:
Ajanta and Ellora Caves are located in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra. They were built around 600 CE. The caves have sculpture and paintings that highlight the masterworks of Buddhist spiritual art. The place boasts of monumental caves, viharas, mathas and rock cut temples. There is a total of 34 caves at Ellora and 29 caves at Ajanta. Some of the caves date back to over two thousand years. The Ajanta caves are renowned for their sculpture and paintings while the Ellora caves are renowned for their extraordinary architecture. These caves were crafted by hand, using hammer and chisel. Even the Ajanta and Ellora caves are listed in UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
5. Fatehpur Sikri:
Fatehpur Sikri is a famous city of Agra, Uttar Pradesh. The city was founded by Mughal Emperor Akbar. It was once a proud capital of the Mughal Empire, but now stands deserted as a well-preserved town. Fatehpur Sikri is a place full of regal palaces and courtyards made of red sandstone. It is secured by five miles long fort wall. The palace was built in 1500 by Hindu Serial Rajput Rajas. You will feel yourself transported back to the medieval times as you enter Fatehpur Sikri.
6. Varanasi Ghats:
Varanasi, also known as Kashi and Banaras, is one of the oldest living cities in India. Varanasi Ghats are a holy spot, situated on the banks of holy river Ganges. There are around 85 Ghats in Varanasi, each presenting a combination of physical, metaphysical and supernatural elements. It is believed that Varanasi liberates soul from the human body to the ultimate. Hence, the Varanasi Ghats are always full of pilgrims who flock to the place to take a dip in the holy Ganges. Visit the place to see the vastness of the steps along the river, where people bathe, pray, meditate and relax. The burning Ghats of Varanasi are the most popular tourist attractions.
7. Victoria Memorial:
The Victoria Memorial is a British monument, located in the capital of West Bengal. It is one of the major tourist attractions of Kolkata. It represents the combination of classical European architecture and Mughal motifs. The monument was built to honor Queen Victoria. The large, marble monument serves as a museum with its amazing collection of paintings, manuscripts, and sculptures. The Victoria Memorial lies on the Maidan, by the banks of the Hooghly river. If you want to explore the museum and artifacts, then visit the monument in the afternoon, and if you want to take a stroll in the Maidan and enjoy the local delicacies, then visit the place in the evening.
Charminar is Hyderabad’s most well-known landmark. It was built in 1591 by Sultan Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah to celebrate the end of a deadly plague and epidemic. It is said that the Sultan had vowed to build a mosque if the plaque was eradicated. It lies near the bank of river Musi and is situated in the heart of the old walled city. The monument is surrounded by lively bazaars, making it one of the most densely populated regions. The 56-meter high triumphal arch is notable for its elegant balconies, stucco decorations, and a small mosque. The structure has a blend of Indo-Islamic architecture with Persian elements.
9. Sanchi Stupa:
The Great Stupa of Sanchi is situated in Sanchi town, in the state of Madhya Pradesh. It is around 52 kilometers from the city Bhopal. The stupas at Sanchi were founded by Mauryan Emperor Asoka in the honor of Lord Buddha. Its nucleus is the simple hemispherical brick structure built over the relics of the Buddha. Some of the major attractions of the Sanchi Stupa are Buddhist monasteries, temples, stupas and pillars. These structures date back to 3rd century BC. Sanchi Stupa is also included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
10. Hawa Mahal:
The Hawa Mahal, also known as the Palace of Winds, is renowned as the entrance to the City Palace, Jaipur. It was built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in 1779. It is an epitome of Rajputana architecture. This splendid, five-storey monument with 935 small windows is a major tourist attraction in India. The high screen wall was built so that the women of the royal household could enjoy the street festivities while remaining unseen from the prying eyes. The architecture of this monument is a blend of splendor and beauty. It is made entirely of red and pink sandstone.
These historical sites will surely take you on a trip back in time to the ancient India. It will also teach you about the historical past of this country. Do let us know how you feel about our compilation of the ten historical places in India.