Famous Indian Monuments – Historical Monuments of India
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There are 116 Indian monuments that can be visited, across 19 states. Out of them, 17 monuments of India are located in Uttar Pradesh. Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World is located in Agra, in this state. Following this are 16 in Maharashtra, 12 in Karnataka, 10 in Delhi, 8 in Madhya Pradesh, 7 in Tamil Nadu and 6 in Gujarat. These Indian monuments are maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India. So let’s learn about them.
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Historical Indian Monuments
Let us now see some of the important Indian Monuments and their features.
1. Taj Mahal
Dating back to 1630, built by the Mughal emperor – Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz, this monument attracts the most tourists in India because it is enlisted among the 7 Wonders of the World. Carved out of marble. This monument located in Agra (Uttar Pradesh) took 22 years to be completed. Quick Fact: Shah Jahan cut off the thumbs of all the workers of the Taj Mahal so that they could not build a second striking Taj Mahal.
2. Red Fort
Delhi’s most famous monument, the fort can be traced back to 350 years symbolizing the Mughal power which prevailed in India years ago. On 15th August 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, hoisted the tricolor flag and gave “Freedom at Midnight” speech. Since then, every Independence Day, this tradition has been preserved.
3. Qutub Minar
Located in Delhi as well, it is believed to date back to the 13th century. It was built by Qutub-Ud-Din-Aibak. This monument is the tallest brick minaret in the world and serves an exotic example of Indo-Islamic architecture. It is also recognized as UNESCO world heritage.
4. Golconda Fort
Situated in Hyderabad, Telangana, this was founded by the Kakatiya Kings of Waranga in the 13th century. Most of the most precious diamonds have said to be found in this region.
5. Ellora and Ajanta Caves
Situated in Maharashtra, there are 34 caves at Ellora which can be traced back to the 6th century to 11th century. The caves at Ajanta are Buddhist while the caves at Ellora are a mixture of Hindu, Jain and Buddhist.
6. Konark Sun Temple
Located in Konark in Orissa, it was built in the 13th century by King Narasimhadeva of the Eastern Ganges Dynasty. It is structured in such a way that it depicts the Sun God of the Hindu mythology (Surya), with its 24 wheels chariot. It is considered as the largest brahmin sanctuaries in India and shows the Kalinga architecture which prevailed during that reign.
7. Iron Pillar
23 feet and 8 inches in height and 16 inches in diameter, this was constructed by a “Chandra”, in most probability Chandragupta II. This structure is dedicated to the Hindu God – Vishnu. It is famous for its rust-resistance composition of metals. It has not never till date been galvanized yet it stands tall in the Qutb Complex at Mehrauli, Delhi
8. Safdar Jang Tomb
Situated in Delhi, it is made of sandstone and marble mausoleum. It was built in 1754 for Nawab Safdarjang, who was the Nawab of Oudh, in the Mughal Empire style. He was made the Prime Minister of Mughal Empire when Ahmed Shah Bahadur came to the throne in 1748, The monument is extremely spacious with its doom and arched red and white-colored structures.
9. Raj Ghat
Situated in Delhi, it is a memorial for Mahatma Gandhi. The memorial was designed by Vanu G. who wanted to reflect the simple lifestyle of Gandhi. Gandhi’s last words ‘Hey Ram’ are inscribed on this memorial. A remembrance ceremony is held every Friday along with prayers on his birth and death anniversaries.
10. Jamia Masjid
It is one of the biggest mosques in India. It was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan between 1650 and 1656. The monument has 3 gates with two 40 m high minarets constructed with strips of red sandstone and white marble. It is also considered as the “National Mosque of India.”
Important Indian Monuments
Here is the list of more historical monuments in India –
|Agra Fort||Agra, Uttar Pradesh||Built by Akbar in 1565-75, it is recognized as UNESCO World Heritage. It encloses Jahangir Mahal, Khass Mahal, Diwan-i-Khass, Diwan-i-Am, Machchhi Bhawan, and Moti Masjid, with its 70ft wall made of red sandstone.
|Fatehpur Sikri||Agra, Uttar Pradesh||Built by Akbar, in 1571-85, it is made of red sandstone. There are special monuments here – Buland Darwaza, Diwan-i-Khass, Panch Mahal, Tomb of Salim Chisti, the Palace of Jodha Bai, Birbal Bhawan, Diwan-i-Aam and Karawan Serai. It is included in the UNESCO World Heritage site.|
|Humayun’s Tomb||Delhi||In 1569 it was built by Humayan’s wife Hamida Banu. It displays Persian architecture. It is made of red sandstone.|
|Golden Temple||Amritsar, Punjab||Founded in 1577, it is gilded with 750kg of pure gold – hence known as the Golden Temple. It was founded by the fourth Sikh Guru – Guru Ram Das.|
|Hawa Mahal||Jaipur, Rajasthan||This was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh of the Kacchwaha Dynasty. It is a five-story building made of pink and red sandstone. There are nearly 953 windows, hence often referred to as the Palace of Winds.|
|India Gate||Delhi||Built with yellow, red sandstone and granite, this is a war memorial to honor the sacrifices made by soldiers of the Indian Army. Amar Jawan Jyoti situated below the India Gate is dedicated to soldiers martyred during the Indo-Pak war 1971.|
|Amer Fort||Jaipur, Rajasthan||It was built by Raja Man Singh I. This is the exemplary finest Rajput architecture in Rajasthan. It has Hindu and Muslim architecture style – made of red sandstone and marble|
|Charminar||Hyderabad, Telangana||Built-in 1591 by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah, it is located on the banks of the River Musi. It is made of granite and lime mortar. It has 4 minarets of 56m height each hence it is called Charminar.|
|Meenakshi Temple||Madurai, Tamil Nadu||Built-in 1623-1655, it is a Hindu Temple dedicated to the Goddess Parvathi (Meenakshi) and Lord Shiva. It is situated on the banks of the river Vaigai.|
|Hampi||Karnataka||Built by Harihara and Bukkaraya, it is situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra. It was the capital of Vijaynagar. Hampi is one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.|
|Gol Gumbaz||Bijapur, Karnataka||This tomb is known as the Taj Mahal of South India. It is built with dark gray basalt stone and is circular in structure. It was completed in 1656 by Yaqut of Dubal.|
|Mahabalipuram||Tamil Nadu||Located in the district of Kanchipuram, this place has structures carved out of rock – Rathas, Mandaps, the descent of Ganges, the caves of Govardhanadhari and Mahishasuramardini, Shore Temple and Arjuna’s Penance. It is also a UNESCO world heritage site.|
|Tirupati Balaji||Andhra Pradesh||Also known as the World’s Richest Temple, it is situated in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. The temple is dedicated to Lord Sri Venkateswara. Structured in Dravidian form, the work was started at 300 AD.|
|Chola Temples||Tamil Nadu||The temples were constructed during the Chola Dynasty during the 11th-12th century. They display Dravidian Architecture as well. The temples are – Brihadisvara Temples at Thanjavur, Gangaikondacholisvaram and the Airavatesvara temple at Darasuram. The Brihadisva temple at Thanjavur is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.|
|Vivekananda Rock Memorial||Kanyakumari, Kerala||Built-in 1970 as a tribute to Swami Vivekananda who was believed to have come to Kanyakumari to meditate before his departure to Chicago for his conference, this has a memorial statue of Swami Vivekananda. It also has two main structures – Vivekananda Mandap, Sripada Mandap.|
|Padmanabhapuram Palace||Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu||Built by the Travancore Rulers in the 16th century, it has several structures such as – Mantrashala (King’s Chambers), Thai Kottaram (The Queen Mother’s Palace), Natakshala (Performance Hall), a four-storeyed mansion and the southern palace.|
|Mahabodhi Temple||Bodhgaya, Bihar||Built-in the 3rd century, this is the UNESCO World Heritage site. Lord Buddha attained his enlightenment under a fig tree (known as the Bodhi Tree). Around 260 BC Emperor Ashoka visited this place and built a temple near this Bodhi tree. This temple was the first Buddhist temple to be built entirely from bricks.|
|Nalanda University||Nalanda, Bihar||The world’s first University, built by the Guptas, this university hosted foreign students like Hueng Tsang. However, this university was destroyed by Bakhtiyar Khilji in 1193. 800 years later, in 2006, Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam (then President of India) initiated the idea of reconstructing it.|
|Udaygiri and Khandagiri caves||Orissa||Udaygiri consists of 15 caves and Khandagiri consists of 18 caves. The hills have been mostly carved out by Jain monks and artisans.|
|Lingarja Temples||Orissa||Dedicated to Lord Shiva it was built by King Jajati Keshari of Somavamsi dynasty in 617-657 AD. The architecture was of Kalinga style. It is surrounded by 150 other temples depicting different Hindu Gods.|
|Victoria Memorial||Kolkata, West Bengal||Built by Lord Curzon, the then Viceroy of India, it was dedicated to Queen Victoria. Situated on the banks of Hooghly River, it was built in 1906-1921.|
|Jagannath Temple||Puri, Orissa||It was built in the year 1078. The temple is famous for Rath Yatras. Millions of devotees visit this temple every year. King Chodagangadeva initiated the construction and it was then constructed by his grandson Anangbhimadeva. Gods Balaram, Jagannath, and Goddess Subhadra are worshipped here.|
|Howrah Bridge||Kolkata, West Bengal||It is the world’s 4th busiest cantilever bridge. It does not have any nuts and bolts and is also called Rabindra Setu named after Rabindranath Tagore.|
|Indian Army Memorial||Manipur||It was founded by Captain Mohan Singh. This was dedicated to the soldiers of the Indian Army.|
|Shaheed Minar||Kolkata, West Bengal||Built-in 1848 to honor Sir David Ochtornoly, it was later dedicated to Indian freedom fighters.|
|Gateway of India||Mumbai, Maharashtra||It was built in the 20th century to commemorate the visit of George V and Queen Mary to Bombay (Mumbai). It is made of yellow basalt and is also known as the Taj Mahal of Mumbai.|
|Lakshmi Vilas Palace||Vadodara, Gujarat||Built by Maharaja Sayajirao Gaekwad III in 1890, this palace has a remarkable collection of armors and sculptures in bronze, marble, and terracotta.|
|Se Cathedral||Goa||Dedicated to Catherine of Alexandria, this is the largest church in Goa. It is located in the banks of the Mandovi river. The southern tower of this church has a famous bell – Golden Bell. It is a UNESCO world heritage site.|
|Jhulta Minar||Ahmedabad, Gujarat||Known for its unique construction, this was built in 1452 but destroyed in 1753 because of war between Marathas and Khans.|
|Hutheesing Jain Temple||Ahmedabad, Gujarat||Built using white marbles, this is a dedication to the 15th century Jain Tirthankar, Shri Dharmanath – this was built in 1848 by a merchant Seth Hutheesing.|
|Basilica of Bom Jesus||Goa||This church was built during the 17th century by the Portuguese. It consists of the remains of St. Francis Xavier. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.|
|Bibi ka Maqbara||Aurangabad, Maharashtra||Built-in 1651-1661, this was built by Aurangzeb’s son Prince Azam Shah in memory of his mother Rabia-ul-Daurani. It resembles the Taj Mahal hence it is known as the Taj Mahal of the Deccan.|
|Aga Khan Palace||Pune, Maharashtra||This was built by Sultan Mohammad Shah, Aga Khan III in 1892. Sorted as an act of charity, this was done to help the poor in the neighboring areas.|
|Ruins of St. Augustine’s Tower||Goa||This was built in 1602 AD by 12 Augustinian monks. It is dedicated to Our Lady of Grace.|
|Sanchi Stupa||Madhya Pradesh||This was built by Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd Century. It is a semi-circular stupa in which the relics of Buddha are kept. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.|
|Bastar Palace||Chhattisgarh||This was constructed by the kings of Bastar. The roots of this structure can be traced back to its prehistoric times when the capital was shifted to Jagdalpur from Barsur. Figurines and drawings can be found here as well.|
So we have seen Important Indian Monuments. The monuments which are constructed across India show us the rich culture and vivid architecture in our nation. Monuments are important milestones to comprehend the history of our nation. It signifies the contribution of different dynasties and freedom struggles. It brings in the fusion of the land of different cultures and faith.