As a tourist destination India really does have it all, and you’ll find a wealth of shopping opportunities, places to sample mouth-watering Indian cuisine and ample opportunity to spot some of the world’s rarest animals. It also boasts a vibrant history too, and what better way to learn about it than at some of its most important and spectacular monuments? Here’s our rundown of some of India’s most amazing historical monuments.
One of the most iconic buildings in the world, the TajMahal was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (1628-1658) in memory of his queen, and is the pinnacle of its era’s architecture. Known as MumtazMahal, the emperor’s wife died during the birth of her fourteenth child and her remains were temporarily buried in the Zainabad garden before her body was transferred to the Agra to be enshrined in the crypt of the TajMahal’s main tomb six months later. This popular monument is now the mausoleum of both MumtazMahal and Shah Jahan.
Built during British rule, the magnificent Gateway of India was built in Indo-Sarcenicstyleto commemorate King George V and Queen Mary’s visit to Bombay. Standing at the Apollo Bunder – an important meeting place in Mumbai – the Gateway of India is one of the finest examples of colonial architecture in India and was designed by British architect George Wittet before being opened to the public in 1924.
Victoria Memorial is one of the country’s most beautiful monuments, and represents a unique infusion of classical European architecture and Mughal motifs. This white marble museum is domed and is set over 64 acres in a landscaped garden on the southern side of the Kolkata’s maidan.
Also known as the Maharajah’s Palace, Mysore Palace is one of Mysore city’s most fascinating monuments and can be found at Mirza Road in the city centre. Not content with two names, it is also known as Ambas Vilas and is one of India’s largest palaces in India. It was also once the home of Mysore’s WodeyarMahararajas.
Though the palace was rebuilt in 1912 by the 24th Wodeyar Raja, the original palace was built well before this, but its carved wooden structure was accidentally burnt in 1897. These days it is another example of the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture
Standing as the entrance to the City Palace in Jaipur, HawaMahal is the epitome of the Rajputana architectural style and is one of the city’s most important landmarks. Known as “The Palace of the Winds”, this spectacular five storey building boasts a fantastic combination of the beauty and splendour of the Rajasthan culture and was built by Maharaja SawaiPratap Singh in 1779. Its iconic pyramid shape has 953 small windows and is a major tourist attraction.
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Also known as KālāPānī meaning ‘black water’, The Cellular Jail was once a colonial prison situated on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Mostly used by the British to exile prisoners, BatukeshwarDutt and Veer Savarkar are amongst several notable inmates who were imprisoned here during the country’s struggle for independence. Nowadays it serves as a national memorial.