Academically, civil engineering may have come into existence in the 19th century, but the flamboyancy of architectural skills are been in practice from the days of the very first civilization.
And, surely there are no brownie points to guess which civilization was the very first to come into existence. Of course, the Indus Valley Civilization!
The Indian history goes as deep as more than 5000 years back, leaving an umpteen number of historical places in India. These places are mostly religious monuments which not only showcase its rich culture and heritage, but also the marvels of ancient India.
It is nearly impossible to visit and cover all such historical places in India on a single short visit. So, let’s take a look at some of these historical marvels of ancient India which you should definitely visit on your next visit.
1. Taj Mahal
What!? Were you expecting a different place?! How can you? It’s, figuratively, the boss of all heritage and historical places in India. So, any list you find about heritage sites in India would begin with only one name; Taj Mahal.
Location – Agra, Uttar Pradesh
Built In – 17th Century
USP – Entirely made of white marble, and one of world’s 7 wonders
2. Qutub Minar
Delhi is the entry gate in India for most of the foreign tourists. Not only is it the capital, but also a hub for several heritage sites in India. Qutub Minar is one such historical place in India, you simply cannot skip. The structure has earned the top spot for the tallest single standing minaret in the world. But it is only when you visit this place that you will realize it is much more than just a single standing tower.
Location – Delhi
Built In – 12th Century
USP – Tallest minaret in the world
3. Caves of Ajanta & Ellora
How would you react if you get to know that there are a series of caves which are entirely rock-cut out of mountain from human hands? Unbelievable I suppose! Well, believe it and see it for yourself on your visit to the caves of Ajanta and Ellora; one of India’s most astonishing heritage and historical sites.
Location – Aurangabad, Maharashtra
Built In – 5th Century CE
USP – A series of around 64 rock cut caves in total
4. Chatrapati Shivaji Terminus
The famous Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus is a very old railway station in the magnificent city of Mumbai. How can a railway station be a historical place? You may wonder! Well, not only the terminal is a landmark site and a signature of Mumbai city, but also the entire structure is exalted.
Location – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Built In – 1888
USP – The structure is an amalgamation of Victorian Italianate gothic revival architecture and classical Indian architecture.
5. Konark Sun Temple
One of the most revered historical places in India, the Konark Sun temple is a gem of architectural brilliance. A popular heritage site in India, the temple is dedicated to the God Sun and witness thousands of local and foreign tourists flocking here every year.
Location – Puri, Odisha
Built In – 13th Century CE
USP – The entire structure of Sun Temple is in a shape of a Chariot.
6. Khajuraho Temples
You all must very well be aware of the famous Kamasutra! Welcome to the home of Kamasutra. The temples of Khajuraho are a series of Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist temples spread across a vast area of 6 sq.kms. Originally, it comprised of more than 80 temple structures over 20sq.kms. area, but several invasions and natural calamities left only a few which survives till date.
Location – Chattarpur, Madhya Pradesh
Built In – 1050 CE
USP – The temples are famous for their Nagara-style architectural symbolism and their erotic sculptures
7. Hawa Mahal
From the royal land of Rajasthan, which is famous for its prodigious forts and buoyant sand dunes, if you see a something like a huge wall made of red and pink sandstone appearing in the list of historical places in India, you know that there’s something really special about it. With Hawa Mahal, everything is special!
The structure is a historical landmark and a signature of the city of Jaipur. One simply cannot skip visiting this place on a visit to India.
Location – Jaipur, Rajasthan
Built In – 1799
USP – A total of 953 beautifully decorated windows makes the façade of this majestic structure.
Also Read: Things To Do In Jaipur in a Two Days Trip
8. Victoria Memorial
If the British ruled and took a lot away from India during the British Raj, there were a few memorable things they left as well. The grand Victorial Memorial building is one of them. Constructed in the honor and memory of Queen Vistoria, this magnificent white marble building stands at the banks of river Hooghly.
Location – Kolkata, West Bengal
Built In – 1921
USP – A museum showcasing the history and heritage of ancient India and British empire
9. Jallianwala Bagh
The history of Indian independence struggle has several famous personalities listed in it. However, if there has to be named a place which played a very influential role in the struggle for India’s independence, it can none other than be the Jallianwala Bagh. A small place of gathering for locals, the place has been a witness to one of world’s most barbaric events in the history of mankind.
In 1919, under the command of Col Reginald Dyer, a horrendous massacre was executed leaving thousands of innocents injured and dead.
Location – Amritsar, Punjab
Built In – The garden is a memorial now setup in 1951
USP – One can still find bullet holes on the walls of the garden
10. Gateway Of India
When it comes to enlisting the historical places in India, how can one not include the grand Gateway Of India!? Another architectural gift which the British left for India, this gigantic gate stands tall at the shores of the Arabian Sea. One of city’s top attraction site, Gate of India is fondly termed as the Taj Mahal of Mumbai.
Location – Mumbai, Maharashtra
Built In – 1924
USP - The Gateway of India was built to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Mumbai.
If Qutub Minar, with just one single minaret could thrill your senses, imagine what would a structure with 4 minarets would do?! A gem of a structure standing 160ft tall, Charminar is one of the greatest architectural treasures of India. The place is a monumental mosque located in the heart of the city, and an iconic symbol of the region.
Location – Hyderabad, Telangana
Built In – 1591
USP - Four grand arches/minarets stand jointly with the main structure fundamentally pointed in directions that open into four streets.
12. Humayun’s Tomb
Mughal dynasty has been a significant part of the India history, with them ruling the sub-continent for close to 300 years. The current capital, Delhi, remained the main center of administration during the time, making it the hub for several architectural marvels constructed during the Mughal rule. Qutub minar is one such historical place in India which reflects the epitome of civil engineering during ancient times.
Location – Delhi
Built In – 1571
USP – First ever garden tomb on the Indian subcontinent
So, there you have it! These are just 12 of the many historical places in India which showcase the pure genius of architectural designs and skills from ancient India. If you are an admirer of handart and marvelous structures, then a visit to these places on your visit to India is a must.
Have you been to any of these historical places in India? Share your experience in the comment box below.