In India, tourism is a booming industry. As a result, there are many beautiful sights that one can visit in the country. These famous Indian monuments are places that describe the country’s history and culture.
From natural wonders to historical places in India, here are some of the popular landmarks in India and interesting facts about them.
Top Indian Monuments And Landmarks In India
As one of the top tourist destinations in the world, there are plenty of historical Indian monuments to visit. Plan ahead, so you don’t miss your favorite places and have time for all your activities. It is important to know the top most visited landmarks in India that you should not miss when traveling.
Taj Mahal, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
The Taj Mahal is one of the most famous examples of Indian architecture. Every year, millions of tourists visit the Taj Mahal, making it one of the world’s most popular tourist attractions.
Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal to memorialize his wife, Mumtaz, who died during childbirth. This Indian monument was a work of architecture and art that took 22 years to complete.
The Taj Mahal is a tourist spot where history and modernity mix. It shows how important love is. It is closed on Fridays to maintain peace and quiet during prayer.
The Taj Mahal is one of the historical monuments in India that will always be remembered for its heavenly beauty and perfect structure. White marble and red sandstone make up most of the building’s external walls.
Shah Jahan ordered this tomb’s 22-year construction in 1632. This iconic landmark of India is commonly known in English as the “Crown Palace .”
There are four minarets at each corner and two massive bulbous domes at each end, joined by arched windows in an elevated platform of white marble. Right-facing corner Jali or decorative screen rises around 70 meters, with lotus flower buds and leaves as ornaments.
Taj Mahal’s manicured garden and long-lasting fountain make it the perfect backdrop for any photograph. Be sure to visit this beautiful historical place that India is famous for.
Anecdotes: Shah Jahn planned to build a second mausoleum across the river, legend says. A black marble bridge was intended to connect the Taj Mahal to the tower.
Qutb Minar, South Delhi
Qutub Minar, India’s first monument and UNESCO world heritage site, is an ancient Islamic monument in Delhi. One of India’s most famous landmarks, the Qutub Minar complex, symbolizes Sufi culture.
The traditional function of the Qutub Minar is to serve as a place of prayer for the believers. Qutub Minar attracts millions of tourists from all around the globe each year.
Qutb Al-Din Aibak commissioned Qutub Minar in 1193 AD in Delhi. It was finished by Iltutmish, who was his successor. This landmark in India is one of Asia’s highest minarets. It reached its final height of 72 meters back then. It has since been reduced to 53 meters due to time and natural erosion.
Qutub Minar was built at the site of his victory over Pagan Chhatra. The tower’s inscription implies that it served as a victory memorial. The 2.75-hectare edifice has a 30-by-40-meter courtyard with a 54-meter tower in the center. This famous monument in India was loaded with pure silver recovered from Hindu temples during his conquest of India.
Anecdotes: Islamic invaders from Central Asia destroyed 27 Hindu and Jain temples and built the “Qutub Minar.”
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Golden Temple, Amritsar, Punjab
The Golden Temple is an iconic and renowned Sikh temple located in Amritsar. It’s known for its stunning architecture and its captivating history. It is one of the many landmarks in India that has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The main attraction of India’s Golden Temple is its dome, which is covered with gold-plated sheets. The Golden Temple is a symbol for many Sikhs and represents religious tolerance. The golden crown, two other domes, and the five arches represent faith, devotion, humility, and charity.
The Golden Temple was made out of Indian sandstone called Chhishta-Kirpan, native to Amritsar. The whole temple complex is an outstanding architectural marvel. Its brilliant architecture and spiritual aura have made it one of India’s most famous landmarks over the past few centuries.
Many tourists visit Amritsar annually, seeing it as one of India’s most revered sites. The Golden Temple is also a favorite site for photographers & travelers.
In addition to being called Harimandir or Darbar Sahib, it’s also known as Harimandir. “Sacred Audience” (Darbar Sahib) is the Punjabi translation of the term.
Arjan, the fifth Sikh Guru, established the first Harmandir Sahib in 1604 and was credited for its establishment. No matter how dedicated, a lower entrance was set up so anyone could get in. The temple sits on an island in the Amrita Saras pool, connected by a marble causeway.
The Golden Temple has five “pars” ‘entrances’: north, south, east, west, and in front. It’s also renowned for its marble inlay work. In addition, many artists have used this famous Indian monument as the setting for their paintings because it has such a beautiful view. Harimandir Sahib is one of the holiest sites in Sikhism and one of the largest temples in India.
Unfortunately, Afghan invasions repeatedly attacked the temple before it was permanently restored in marble and copper with gold foil throughout Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s rule during 1801–39.
Anecdotes: Lahore Sufi Muslim Saint Baba Sain Mir Mohammed Sahib laid the foundation stone for the building.
Alleppey Backwaters, Alappuzha, Kerala
Alleppey, also known as Alappuzha, has been dubbed the “Venice of the East” For good reason.
The region is surrounded by beautiful landscapes, sparkling rivers, lush flora, freshwater lakes, lagoons, rivers, coconut trees, and rice farms. National Geographic Traveler magazine ranked Alleppey as one of the most beautiful destinations in India in 2018.
The backwaters of Alleppey are a network of lagoons and canals that flow through the city. Vembanad Lake is just 5 meters below sea level and encompasses 26 square kilometers of land. Alleppey Backwaters are part of Kerala’s Vembanad Lake, the state’s most significant backwater.
The landmark has been designated as an Indian monument and is renowned for its picturesque landscapes. Calicut Market, the largest floating market in Asia, is located in Alleppey. 700 boats and 10,000 sellers provide this market with seafood, fruits, and vegetables.
Houseboats like the historic “Kettuvallams” that once sailed the seas off the coast dot this length. It’s easy to rent a sail aboard one of these ancient boats. If you’ve never been to Kerala, renting a little cottage on deck will be an unforgettable experience.
Anecdotes: World-famous backwater boat races include the Aranmula snake boat race annually in Alleppey, Kerala, which is the most popular.
Spiti Valley, Manali, Himachal Pradesh
The region of Spiti has been labeled ‘Little Tibet’ because of its beauty. Spiti Valley offers family vacations, romantic getaways, and all in between.
Spiti means “midland.” This valley shares boundaries with India and Tibet. It is home to spectacular biodiversity, making it a popular tourist destination and landmark in India.
This valley’s rich cultural legacy is one of its most distinctive qualities. It features Buddhist, Hindu, and Christian monasteries that date back to the 15th century AD in terms of religious connection.
In addition, there are Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain sculptures and paintings in old caves. These are all treasured heritage monuments of India. When it comes to the peaceful coexistence of several civilizations, there is no better example than the Spiti Valley.
The valley opens into a plateau with an average elevation of over 4500 meters above sea level. Famous landmarks in North India include Khor-la-La Pass, Khardung La, Khangchendzonga National Park, Shingo Gompa Temple, Tamo La, and Thiksey Monastery.
Anecdotes: A mummy in Spiti valley is believed to be a 500-year-old monk Sangha Tenzin.
Famous North Indian Monuments And Landmarks
Lotus Temple, New Delhi
The Lotus Temple is one of the most well-known landmarks in India. It is a prominent Bahai temple located in New Delhi, India. The Lotus Temple attracts thousands of pilgrims daily with its iconic architecture, and beautiful wall paintings adorn the interior walls and pillars.
The Indian monument is encircled by nine pools of water illuminated by the sun. In the evening, when floodlights illuminate the structure, it is breathtaking. The Lotus Temple was named after its distinctive design. This beautiful Indian landmark is constructed entirely of pure white marble.
The lotus is a sacred flower in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Islam. A symbol of humanity’s togetherness and the Baha’i Faith’s simplicity, purity, and freshness is reflected in its design. There is no fear of judgment at the temple, where worshipers of all religions can gather to pray or meditate.
The Lotus Temple is a major tourist attraction that draws many to admire its beauty. It has nine sides to honor the number nine’s mystic symbolism. With 26 acres of manicured gardens around it, the Indian landmark rises more than 130 feet.
The temple complex has 27 marble “petals” arranged in threes and nines to form nine sides and three concentric rings. Canopies cover nine orifices created by first-ring petals. This is the second ring in the outside hall.
The innermost ring’s petals partially surround a 2,500-person prayer hall. A glass-and-steel roof above the open top of the building allows natural light inside the structure. Like a floating, about-to-bloom lotus flower, the impression is enveloped by the flower’s leaves.
Anecdotes: The Lotus Temple is one of 14 (and increasing) Baha’i temples worldwide.
Thar Desert, Rajasthan
The Thar Desert is one of the world’s most significant and vast deserts. The cultural heritage of the Thar desert is one of its biggest draws to tourists and natives alike.
One of the most captivating treasures is its folk music and dance, performed by ethnically diverse tribes. The costumes, jewelry, and dance are intricately linked to the region’s history and ancient customs.
Many famous landmarks of India are found in the Thar Desert, which is marked by sand dunes. Mohenjo Daro and Harappa were two ancient towns in the Indus Valley, which later became a desert here. They were part of a culture that flourished simultaneously in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Minoan Crete.
The Thar desert is home to many wildlife species, including the blue bull, blackbuck, wolves, leopards, foxes, hyenas, and Indian gazelle. These animals live in groups of ten to twenty at a time. In the past, there were many more lions and cheetahs in the southern regions. Now, they are heavily endangered and seen as relics of the past.
The Thar Desert is one of the most important landmarks in India geographically and culturally. Many tourists visit to take in the breathtaking nature or explore historic sites like these ancient cities. It covers a vast stretch of land on the border between Pakistan and India.
About 85% of the desert is in India, and 15% is in Pakistan. It spread across four Indian states (Rajasthan, Gujarat, Haryana, and Punjab) while two Pakistani provinces (Sindh and Punjab) share the rest.
Anecdotes: It has been proven that 47 million years ago, the Jaisalmer desert had a sea. A group of paleontologists unearthed marine fossils dating back 47 million years, indicating that the landscape was once submerged underneath the sea.
Ranthambore National Park, Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan
Located in Sawai Madhopur, Rajasthan, the Ranthambore National Park is one of the most famous landmarks in India. Ranthambhore National Park is spread across eight districts in Rajasthan and is named for the ancient Indian prince.
It is a World Heritage Site and a protected area. This is a must-see Indian landmark and one of the country’s top tourist destinations. Known for its biodiversity and lush forests, Ranthambore National Park has been a sightseeing spot for decades now.
There are 1,334 square kilometers of vibrant jungles and animals in the Ranthambhore National Park. One-horned rhinoceros, Siberian tiger, jungle cat, leopard, wild boar, sloth bear, sambar deer, elephant, and crocodile are just a few more than 1,000 kinds of flora and fauna that call this place home.
Both the natural and man-made attractions in Ranthambore National Park are famed for their mysterious beauty. Since its inception in 1980, the park has served as a regular site for wildlife enthusiasts and conservationists worldwide.
An ancient fort dating back to the 10th century is just one of many notable structures in this area. This Indian monument rises 700 feet above the surrounding landscape. Inside its walls are three colossal stone temples built in the 1100s and 1200s dedicated to Ganesha, Ramlalaji, and Shiva.
The Padam Talao Lake in the park is well-known for its abundance of water lilies and is another famous attraction of this Indian landmark.
Anecdotes: According to a census, there are 35,320 different bird species in this park. Avid bird watchers will find themselves in heaven in this park.
Gulmarg, Srinagar, Kashmir
Gulmarg is An amalgam of the Persian terms “gul” and “marg.” Gul = flowers, Marg = meadow. This historical place in India stands at an elevation of 2,650 meters. Buddhists and Hindus originally inhabited Gulmarg until 1827, when it was annexed to Kashmir by Gulab Singh, king of Jammu and Kashmir.
Today, it attracts tourists from all over the world who visit its beautiful flower fields, valleys, lakes, meadows, streams, and forests. Gulmarg became a popular destination after a British mountaineer, Major H. S. Rawlinson, visited the region and wrote a glowing report in his book ‘The Himalyas’ in 1854.
It is one of the most popular hill stations in Jammu and the Kashmir state of India. The Indian landmark is surrounded by three lakes: Gulmarg Lake, Peer Ghar Lake, and Kokernag Lake.
The entire valley is covered with wildflowers, some of the world’s largest. The flowers bloom from March to November yearly when the summer season descends. However, the most popular flowering season is from April to June, when Gulmarg is surrounded by a sea of yellow roses, wild yarrow, and poppy flowers.
Gulmarg is home to various Indian monuments and places such as The Apharwat Peak Ski Resort, Ancient Gulmarg Temple, and Gulmarg Biosphere Reserve. In addition, Kongdori Gulmarg Gondola Rides, Alpather Lake Treks, Gulmarg Golf, and Khilanmarg Pony Rides are some of the interesting activities in Gulmarg.
Anecdotes: People used to call it Gaurimarg in honor of the goddess of love, Parvati, who was also known as Gauri or Lord Shiva’s wife.
Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar
The Jallianwala Bagh site lies is adjacent to the Golden Temple complex. It is a historic garden and “monument of national importance in India” in Amritsar, Punjab.
This Indian monument was established in remembrance of the casualties in the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre in April 1919. There is a museum, a gallery, and many memorials on the 7-acre property.
The place is named after Jallianwala Bagh, the garden of a modest private villa in Amritsar. During the time of the Sikh Empire, the landowner gave the famous landmark its name, derived from his surname.
Jallewalle was the surname used to refer to the family. He originated from the Jalla area of Punjab, India, and his family owned the land at the time of his death.
Anecdotes: According to the official British government assessment, there were 379 deaths and 1,200 injuries; however, other stories suggest that more than 1000 people were killed in this tragedy.
Famous Central Indian Monuments And Landmarks
Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh
Near Jhansi, India, in the Chhatarpur district, the Khajuraho Group of Monuments is a collection of Hindu and Jain temples. These are some of the most iconic landmarks and historical monuments in India.
The complex was built during the Chandella dynasty in the 10th century AD. Around 20 temples may be seen at the site, some of which feature sexual artwork on their facade. However, one of the three historical landmarks in India that receives the most incredible attention is the Khajuraho Group of Monuments.
As one of India’s seven wonders, the Khajuraho Monument Group is a tourist must-see attraction. It is one of the important historical places in India. Anciently known as “Kharjuravahaka,” the name comes from the Sanskrit term for “date palm.”
Nagara-style architecture and sexual sculptures are two of the temples’ most notable features. It is one of the most significant cultural landmarks in India before Islam’s advent. It is well-known for its sexual sculptures, which portray diverse situations in a man’s life, ranging from an unmarried pair to a married woman in private moments with her lover.
Anecdotes: In mythology, the Khajuraho temples were called after the goddess Hemvati. The Moon God was fascinated by her beauty when he spotted her in a swimming pool. The couple gave birth to a son named Chandravarman. He was born out of wedlock, and she feared for his health and welfare. She was so distraught that she cursed the Moon God, who told her the child would become a powerful king. Instead, the kid became a strong king and founded the Chandela dynasty. After she died, her son saw her in dreams, and she told him to create temples portraying human desires.
Gwalior Fort, Madhya Pradesh
Gwalior Fort is an absolute must when learning about other cultures and their history. Atop a hill, this renowned fort provides a stunning 360-degree perspective of the surrounding area.
The grand Gwalior Fort is spread over about 3 sq. km. and is 10 meters tall. For centuries, dynasties of different kingdoms have battled it out to control this hill fort. This Indian monument is also one of the country’s most formidable forts.
In addition to being the oldest fort in Madhya Pradesh, Gwalior Fort is also one of the most beautiful landmarks in India. During the year 1022 CE, the fort’s fame soared to the point that it was stormed four days in a row by Mahmud of Ghazni. After that, many more Mughal kings battled for control of this magnificent structure!
With its striking architectural features and medieval artifacts, this fort is now available to visitors who seek to experience a time warp back in history. A popular light and sound performance is held here every night because of its rich and exciting history.
The Man Mandir tour provides an excellent chance for visitors to learn about some of the most important historical events. You are bound to learn many interesting facts about India here.
Anecdotes: According to mythology, Suraj Sen built it around 3 CE. The monarch was stricken with leprosy when a traveling saint named Gwalipa arrived at the fort. When Gwalipa gave him water from a sacred pond (Suraj Kund), he got healthy again. In gratitude, the king named the fort and town after the saint. He received the title of “Pal” (protector) from Gwalipa, who assured the king and his family that they would keep the fort as long as they held this title. Following Suraj Sen’s death, the fort was ruled by an additional 83 dynasties. Ultimately, the fort was lost to Tej Karan, the 84th king.
Sanchi Stupas, Madhya Pradesh
Sanchi is a Buddhist complex located on a hilltop in Sanchi Town in India, famous for its Great Stupa. The Sanchi stupas are one of the best-known historical monuments of India. Cetiyagiri was the ancient name for Sanchi and was linked to Mahadeva in ancient times.
Inspired by Buddhist architecture in Taxila, the stupas were built near Islamabad. The Stupa is believed to contain the relics of Lord Buddha and has been referred to in numerous Buddhist texts, including Sutta Nipata and Digha Nikaya. Great Stupa (also called stupa No. 1) is one of the most significant architectural landmarks in India.
Ashoka the Great, the Mauryan emperor at the time, had it built for him in the 3rd century BCE. He is believed to have made this Stupa preserve and disseminate the Buddhist philosophy and way of life.
At the heart of it, all was an unassuming hemispherical brick structure built over Buddha relics. It was connected to Vidisa, the Mauryan capital, via an ancient road. That road’s remnants can still be found. In addition, stupa inscriptions record the existence of large monasteries surrounding the Stupa, one of which (no. 51) may date back to the pre-Gupta period.
Anecdotes: A new dynasty, the Shungas, built larger Stupas and used brick before flattening the domes with stone.
Famous South Indian Monuments And Landmarks
Meenakshi Amman Temple, Tamil Nadu
India has a diverse culture and boasts many famous historic sites that are very popular among locals and tourists. One such Indian landmark is the Meenakshi Amman Temple. The temple’s history can be traced back to 1600 AD when the Pandya dynasty ruler Narasinga Chola built it.
Initially, it was built as a Hindu temple, but later it was converted into a Vaishnavite temple. Since its inception, the temple has been considered one of the most important temples in Tamil Nadu. This Indian monument stands at over 190 feet with eight floors, and each floor symbolizes an aspect of Indian culture that includes art, literature, music, and dance.
Its basic layout resembles a fortress, with a large rectangle divided into smaller ones by massive masonry walls. The tall, pyramidal temple towers that adorn the Gopurams and Vimanams above the main sanctum distinguish this temple, as do all Dravidian-style structures.
Sculptures depicting mini-temples, Hindu deities, and scenes from religious texts fill every one of these towers to the brim. These are painted in every color imaginable, leaving your eyes wide open at the level of detail.
Anecdotes: Per legend, the temple was built to tribute to the historic nuptials of Meenakshi and Lord Shiva.
Mysore Palace, Karnataka
Amba Vilas Palace, another name for Mysore Palace, is one of India’s most magnificent palaces. From 1399 to 1950, it served as the official residence of the Mysore dynasty.
Mysore’s royal family, the Wodeyars, commissioned the palace’s construction in the late 14th century. However, as early as the 14th century, the Old Fort’s first ruler, Yaduraya, erected a palace there.
For six centuries, the palace was repeatedly torn down and rebuilt. Finally, during the wedding of Princess Jayalakshmmanni in 1897, a fire gutted the palace. In 1912, a British architect spent about 41 lakh Indian rupees on building this house.
Indian, Mughal, Rajput, and Gothic architecture can be seen in the Mysore Palace’s design. This is one of the most intricately beautiful monuments in India. Carved doors, stained glass ceilings, glistening glazed floor tiles, Czechoslovakian chandeliers, and works of art from around the world fill the interiors.
Anecdotes: Mysore Palace is one of the few tourist attractions in India that has implemented braille support for visually impaired visitors.
Belum Caves, Andhra Pradesh
Belum Caves in Andhra Pradesh are India’s second-largest cave system, smaller only to the 2,776-foot-long Krak Liet Prah Caves in Meghalaya. You can imagine why this is one of the key natural landmarks in India.
Water flowing over limestone deposits for millions of years created stalactites (icicle that hangs from the ceiling), stalagmites (a rock formation that rises from the floor), sinkholes, and water galleries in the area. As a result, the Belum Caves have a network of water-filled tunnels and passageways that anyone can explore.
Belum Caves have long been a favorite landmark in India of monastic communities seeking solitude and peace in India. Evidence of ascetic meditative practices in these caverns dates back hundreds of years, as shown by the discovery of artifacts and fragments from Buddhist and Jain monastic vessels.
Anecdotes: As an homage, a museum in Anantapur, 90 km away, displays artifacts excavated from these caverns.
Famous West Indian Monuments And Landmarks
Rajmachi Killa, Maharashtra
Fortresses like Rajmachi Killa (Fort) in the Sahyadri Mountains stand out in the rugged Western Ghats landscape as important landmarks in India.
For those who enjoy hiking, Rajmach Fort is a must-see. Every year, many people hike on the fort’s famous trails. Shriwardhan and Manaranjan, twin fortresses, are surrounded by a large plateau.
In the 17th century, Rajmachi Fort was built by Emperor Shivaji Maharaj. The Indian monument can be seen in all its glory from this vantage point.
One of the few beautiful fortresses in the town of Rajmachi is Manoranjan Fort. It was constructed to keep an eye on and secure the ancient Borghat trade route, which ran from Khopoli, located in Konkan, up to Lonavala, situated at the summit of the Ghat.
Anecdotes: At one point, it was called Rajmachi point Lonavala, but it is also known as Lonavala fort.
Dudhsagar Falls, Goa
In a crescent-shaped valley surrounded by pristine, verdant forest, the Dudhsagar Waterfalls are a natural wonderland that attracts many domestic and international people. One of the most beautiful landmarks in India, Dudhsagar, translates as “Sea of Milk” in English.
The 310-meter-tall and 30-meter-wide Dudhsagar Falls is considered India’s tallest waterfall. Goa’s Mandovi River serves as its waterway. These falls can be accessed by road from Panjim in Goa. It can also be seen on the Madgaon-Belagavi rail route.
The Dudhsagar Falls are located in the Bhagwan Mahaveer Sanctuary and Mollem National Park, which are located in the Western Ghats. These waterfalls form a border between Karnataka and Goa and are a haven for various wildlife.
The waterfall’s magnificence is enhanced tenfold during the rainy season, even though it is universal. When viewed from a distance, the spectacular waterfall appears to be like a big stream of milk flowing effortlessly.
Anecdotes: Milky waterfall has a legend. According to legend, a wealthy king formerly governed the Western Ghats and resided in a lovely alpine meadow with wild animals. The king’s daughter bathed nearby. After her bath, she drank milk from a golden jug. When a prince passed along the river, he saw the princess. She was embarrassed that people could see her while she was still in her bathing suit, so she poured milk into the jug in front of her to make a wall to hide behind. The waterfall has been milky ever since.
Rann of Kutch, Gujrat
The Rann of Kutch is a salt marsh in Gujarat’s western Kachchh district located in the Thar Desert. It is sandwiched between the Indian state of Gujarat and Pakistan’s Sindh province. The Great Rann of Kachchh, the Little Rann of Kachchh, and the Banni grassland make up the 30,000 square kilometers that forms this region.
Around 3500 BCE, the people of the Indus civilization appear to have established themselves in the Rann of Kutch. The Rann of Kutch is home to Dholavira, the largest Indus city in India.
When the Rann of Kutch submerged in the sea thousands of years ago, an earthquake exposed the seabed and turned it into a vast desert. It’s now a vast, desolate desert that stretches all the way to the Arabian Sea, which is only 10 kilometers away.
With its white, salty sand, the Rann of Kachchh is the largest salt desert on earth and one of the most impressive natural landmarks in India.
An ancient Sanskrit word, ‘Irina,’ which means desert in Hindi, is the source of the Hindi word ‘Rann.’ It is the largest non-snow white desert in the world, covering an area of 30,000 square kilometers.
You have to ride a camel while you’re here. Listen to Gujarati folk music from the local communities. Take a look at or purchase one of the Kutch handcrafted umbrellas. Try scaling the pink structure for a better view.
Anecdotes: Dromedaries or one-humped camels are native to Kutch, where they can be seen swimming in the Arabian Sea. These mangrove leaf eaters are a rare sight as they swim across a sea channel.
Famous East Indian Monuments And Landmarks
Mahabodhi Temple, Bihar
The Mahabodhi Temple is one of the great Buddhist temples of India. The temple is among the holiest of Buddhist pilgrimage sites. It was built in the 3rd century BCE by Emperor Ashoka and later renovated by King Kharavela, who donated a stone railing during the 1st century BCE.
The Mahabodhi Temple has been destroyed and rebuilt many times since then. It is one of the four temples built around the Bodhi tree under which Buddha attained enlightenment. This makes it one of the most important religious monuments in India.
The Mahabodhi Temple, located in Bodh Gaya, India, is called the “Great Awakening Temple” by locals. It dates from the late Gupta period and is one of the earliest brick Buddhist temples still standing in India.
After Bakhtiyar Khilji’s Delhi Sultanate defeated the Senas, the Mahabodhi Temple was abandoned. People from all walks of life can enjoy and benefit from the calming and tranquil atmosphere of this well-designed and meticulously maintained complex.
Anecdotes: The Bodhi tree is a sacred, religious symbol to Buddhists. Tissarakkha, the queen of King Ashoka, destroyed the original Bodhi tree to dissuade her husband from embracing Buddhism.
Ruins of Nalanda, Bihar
In ancient Magadha, India, a Buddhist monastic university called Nalanda was a well-known destination for students and scholars. One of the most outstanding educational institutions in history and the world’s first residential university.
Bihar is where you can find the ruins of Nalanda. It’s made up of the ruins of a monastic and educational institution that dates back to the 3rd century BCE and continues into the 13th century CE. Many historians see Bakhtiyar Khiljis’ destruction of India’s oldest University in 1193 as a turning point in Buddhism’s decline.
The ancient University of Nalanda is well-known worldwide for its teachings in the Vedas, logic, grammar, medicine, metaphysics, prose composition, and rhetoric. Locals in the Nalanda region refer to the area as “Biharsharif.”
When the Gupta Empire ruled India and Java, many Buddhists and non-Buddhists came together to support the establishment of Nalanda. It is one of the meaningful monuments in India that also reflects the unity in the past.
Anecdotes: Nalanda is named after the Buddha’s epithet “Na-Alam-da,” which means “Insatiable in Giving.”
Santiniketan, West Bengal
‘Viswa Bharati University,’ is now known, is located in Shantiniketan. This is one of the quietest and most peaceful tourist destinations in India. Rabindranath Tagore opened his school at Santiniketan on December 22, 1901, with just five students and five teachers.
In the spirit of traditional forested hermitages, he christened it Brahmacharya Ashram. Classes at this institution were held in the open, making for a unique learning environment. Tagore envisioned a university that combined the finest of eastern and western thought.
Tagore established the school in Shantiniketan because he thought that learning should occur in nature so that students could better understand what they were learning. And Shantiniketan’s serene atmosphere left an impression on him.
It remains one of the important and unique educational landmarks in India today.
Anecdotes: Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore built up Shantiniketan because it was his father’s dream, Maharshi Devendranath Tagore.
Famous North East Indian Monuments And Landmarks
Ita Fort, Arunachal Pradesh
In Arunachal Pradesh, India’s northeastern province, the Ita Fort in Itanagar town is one of the most significant historical places in India. The city of Itanagar, which serves as the state capital of Arunachal Pradesh, shares its name.
An early fortification in Arunachal Pradesh, Ita Fort dates back to the 14th or 15th century. The fort was constructed primarily with bricks that date back to the 14th to 15th centuries and has an uneven shape.
According to legend, the Chuta monarchs built Arunachal Pradesh’s Ita Fort in the 14th or 15th century. It is believed that the Ita Fort was one of the earliest forts that the Chutia king Ratnadhwajpal initially built all over his empire, starting from Biswanath and going all the way up to Disang.
Anecdotes: The name of this Indian landmark means “Fort of Bricks” in English.
Nohsngithiang Falls, Meghalaya
One of India’s tallest waterfalls, the Nohsngithiang Falls, is a popular tourist destination. It’s also known as Mawsmai Falls because it’s located in the East Khasi Hills District of Meghalaya’s Mawsmai Village.
This well-known tourist landmark in India is also called the Seven Sisters. As far as height goes, it’s 1,033 ft, and its width is 230 ft. One of the most breathtaking landscapes is the sunset over these falls, illuminated by the setting sun.
Intriguingly, the waterfall got its name because of how it falls: in seven steps. When it rains, the scenery is even more beautiful since the entire landmark comes to life.
Anecdotes: In addition to this waterfall, there is a slew of other attractions in this part of the world worth seeing. The Mawsmai Caves, Nohkalikai Falls, and living root bridges are just a few of the must-see attractions in the area.
Lingaraja Temple, Odisha, India
In Bhubaneswar, the most famous Indian monument and destination for visitors across the country is the Lingaraja temple. Hindus believe that Shiva is best served by worshipping at Lingaraj Temple; it’s also one of India’s oldest temples.
This gorgeous temple was built in honor of the Hindu god Shiva. King Jajati Keshari began construction in the 10th century, and King Lalatendu Keshari finished it in the 11th century. Lingaraja, which means “king of Lingam,” is the name given to Shiva’s most recognizable form.
The Lingaraja temple’s structure is unique for its construction out of relatively soft soapstone. This allows the architect and sculptors to carve out shapes that can fill very fine sand called raja basa, which makes up the stone’s core and structure.
One of the most sacred places in Hinduism is believed to be the home of Shiva and Vishnu, according to some ancient texts. The lingam is carved from a monolith, and it represents the linga (phallus) of Shiva. Brahmapur, Chandrasekharpur, and Patia converge at the “Pipalpahat” east of Bhubaneswar, where you can find the temple.
Anecdotes: It is said that Lingaraja’s deity once sat under a mango tree in the Ekamra Kshetra. Bhubaneswar is also known as ‘Ekamra Kshetra,’ an alternate name for the city.
Discovering More Indian Monuments And Landmarks In India
As you can see, there are many amazing Indian monuments and landmarks worth exploring. Each one has a unique story to tell, and they offer an incredible glimpse into India’s rich history and culture.
India is a country of its own, offering experiences and adventure that you will probably not find anywhere else. Taj Mahal, Qutub Minar, Red Fort, and the Sun Temple are just a few of the many wonders.
Fill your stomach with delicious Indian food, and get set to uncover all the historical places in India awaiting you.