From East to west and from north to south India is full of different colors, cultures, languages, traditions, beliefs and religions, so is their style of buildings and architecture they follow which has made India flourish of great historical monuments and heritage sites with a rich history and many different theories behind them.
A buddhist monument built by the great emporer Ashoka in 3rd century BC Stupa in Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh is the oldest stone structure in India. It was built to honour and shelter the relics of the Buddha. Sanchi was also the place for the wedding of emporer Ashoka. Sanchi was entually forgotten after the 13th Century until 1818, when a British Officer rediscovered it, half buried but remarkebaly preserved and later on Director General of Archeology ordered the restoration work at the site. Now UNESCO has included them as one of the heritage sites of the world.
After the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, Lord Curzon then the viceroy of India was given the task to build a memorial to queen which was supposed to be a historical museum where people could see the pictures and statues of men who played an important part in the history of this country. Completed in 1921 the construction of this memorial amounted about one crore and five lakh rupees at that time.
It still serves as a museum and a great tourist attraction and Even today the Memorial is the largest repository in India for a visual history and It also has a major collection of paintings, sketches, sculptures and manuscripts from the time of British rule.
Built in 1193 by Qutab-ud-din Aibak Qutub minar is still the tallest minar of India standing elegantly in the capital city Delhi. Made from red stone and marble, it has a soaring height of 72 metres and consists of 379 stairs. Some people believe that it was made signify victory and the beginning of the Muslim rule in India, but some believe it was supposed to serve as a centre to call the faithful prayer.
Earlier the public could climb to the top of Qutub Minar but on 4 December 1981 an accident occurred which led to death of around 45 people in the stampede that followed the electricity failure with Most victims being children and after that public access has been forbidden.
Constructed in 1591, Char minar is a mosque built by Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah and is located in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. One theory is that Qutb Shah prayed to the gods to the end of a plague which was ravaging his city at that time and if his will be done he promised to build a Mosque at the very place where he prayed. Other theory says in the event of beginning of the second Islamic millennium year which was being celebrated in the far Islamic world, Qutb Shah founded the Hyderabad city to celebrate the event of millennium year with the construction of Charminar while according to the book “Days of the Beloved” charminar was built in 1589, on the place where Qutb first saw his wife to be queen Bhagmati and after her conversion to Islam, he renamed the city as “Hyderabad”, but soon this theory was discarded by the historians.
Located on the shore of Mumbai started on 31 March 1911 and completed construction in 1924 this monument was built to celebrate the landing of the King George V and Queen Mary at Apollo Bunder, when they first arrived India in 1911. In earlier times this Gateway was the first structure that visitors arriving by boat in Mumbai would see. Few years later the Gateway became a ceremonial entrance to India for Viceroys and the new Governors and it also served to allow entry and access to India. Also been referred to as the Taj Mahal of Mumbai and is the city’s top tourist attraction the gateway even after surviving three terror attacks still stands tall as it has always been.
Built in 17th-century the fort was constructed by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan to serve as the residence for the Mughal Emperors in old Delhi and also a great reason to move his capital from Agra to delhi to provide more opportunity to his interests. Till 1857, Delhi served as the capital of the Mughals and red fort as the centre of governance. The construction of the Fort began in 1638 and was completed by 1648.
Every year on 15 August, the Independence day, Prime Minister of India hoists the national flag at the Red Fort, followed by a speech. Today it is the largest monument in Old Delhi and one of the most popular tourist destinations in India.
The most renowned temple of India Konark sun temple is a 13th century sun temple located in Odisha. It was constructed from oxidized sandstone by King Narasimhadeva but there exist some legendary stories about it that it was indeed constructed by the son of Lord Krishna and Jambvati called Samba. Legends say that he suffered a deadly disease which he was cured of by Surya, the Sun God, after 12 years of suffering and in his honour he built this magnificent Temple. Well whatever the truth maybe but after so many years this temple is still as magnificent as it might have been hundreds of years ago and now has been recognized as a world heritage site and serves as great tourist spot.
Most popular tourist destination of Jaipur, built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799 inspired from the crown of Lord Krishna, Hawa Mahal is a unique five storey structure standing in the old part of the city with a tremendous 953 number of small windows built specifically for the royal women to provide them with a view of the city without being seen but still providing with a sense of freedom, as they were not allowed to go in public places.
Built from red and pink sandstones the structure provides a striking view for the tourist in the broad shining day light and also it provides cool air caused by the venturi effect and serves as a way of air conditioning for the whole area during the high temperatures in summers.
The most popular tourist destination of India after Taj Mahal, Mysore Palace is the official residence of royal family of Mysore (city of palaces) whose construction started in 1897 and completed in 1912. It a place you will never find anywhere else in this world, royalty is delivered from every part of it, it is like the Indian version of royal palace for the Queen of England.
It consists of Audience Chamber, Hall of Private Audience, a Public Durbar, the Diwan-e-aam where the king would listen to the grievances of his people, a Royal wedding hall and an Armoury, which contains a collection of different types of arms used by the members of the royal family.
Regarded as “a teardrop on the cheek of time” by Rabindranath Tagore Taj Mahal is a World heritage site since 1983. It is a marble masterpiece situated in the heart of Agra, Uttar Pradesh. It was built as a mausoleum in 1648 by Shah Jahan, the great Mughal emperor, in the memory of her beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal who died in 1630 and after his own death he was buried next to her wife.
Started in 1631 it took seventeen years and twenty two thousand workers to complete this piece of art. It consisted of jasper from Punjab, Turquoise from Tibet, Lapis Lazuli and Sapphire from Sri Lanka, jade and crystal from China and 28 different kinds of precious stones and the total cost for building this marvel was about 3.2 crore rupees at that time.
Today it stands proudly as one of the seven wonders of the world and attracts more than 30 lakh tourists every year.