The ancient structures and monuments built by different rulers in India reflect the country’s rich heritage and serve as a window to the past. For obvious reasons, these places attract many people, especially history buffs. Take a look at seven beautiful architectural wonders from the past.
Taj Mahal, Agra
Taj Mahal deserves to be on the top of the list! This ivory-white marble mausoleum was built on the orders of the Mughal ruler Shah Jahan in the memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. The construction of the monument started in 1632 AD and ended in 1648 AD. The outer courtyard and its cloisters were added subsequently.
Red Fort, Delhi
Started in 1639 and completed after nine years, the Red Fort is a huge walled citadel with red sandstone walls. It is an asymmetrical octagon, with two long sides on the east and west, and with two main gates – one on the west and the other on the south. This magnificent fort was the seat of the Mughal Empire for over 200 years. In 2007, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi
Fun Fact: Humayun’s Tomb was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent. This tomb established some of the vital norms for later Mughal mausoleums. It is located in a geometrically arranged garden crisscrossed by various water channels. Humayun’s Tomb was built on the orders Humayun’s wife.
Hawa Mahal, Jaipur
Erected in the 18th century, the Hawa Mahal was built as a 5-storey palace for the women of the royal household. They could check out the street festivals while remaining unseen. ‘Hawa Mahal’ means ‘Palace of the Winds’ in English and it is aptly named as the palace has a unique cooling system, which allows gentle breeze to flow through the inner rooms even during the intense Rajasthan summers.
Konark Sun Temple, Odisha
Konark Sun Temple was designed in the shape of a colossal chariot with seven horses and 24 wheels, carrying the Sun god Surya, across the heavens. Built in the 13th century by King Narasimhadeva, it turned into an important landmark for European sailors who named it as ‘Black Pagoda’.
The biggest attraction of the city, Charminar was constructed in the 16th century by Mohammed Quli Qutab Shah to celebrate the end of a bad outbreak of plague. This structure is a wonderful example of Indo-Islamic architecture mixed with Persian elements. The area around it is popular for eating joints selling Muslim dishes and for buying multi-coloured bangles and stunning jewellery.
Airavateswara Temple, Darasuram
The Airavateswara Temple was built in 12th century AD by Rajaraja Chola II. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva – The God of Destruction. This Hindu God was worshipped at the temple by Airavata – a mythical white elephant who carries Lord Indra. The God of Death called Yama also prayed to Lord Shiva here.