India is not a country, it’s a whole universe packed inside the boundaries of this land. India is one of the most diverse places on the world map, different cultures, civilizations, religions, various creeds and dynasties contributed to making this place culturally a jewel. Ancient Indus valley civilization, Indo-Aryan culture, Vedic civilization development of Hinduism by progressive mixing of different cultures and traditions then the powerful ruling of Muslim dynasties, the advent of foreign visitors for trade purpose which resulted into British Empire, a war of independence, freedom, partitioning and at last creation of India.
All these events and changes not only made the area rich of cultures but also gifted the world some of the most beautiful and awesome monuments, in this vast period of time from ancient Indus-valley civilization to separation of India people took part in the creation of structures and places to represent their cultures and to symbolize their ideas whatever was the reason but the fact remains the same, these structures and places added to the beauty and diversity of India in today’s world they are known as monuments of India. I will enlist some of the most famous monuments of India and enlighten you guys the reason why these monuments were built with the introductory history behind it.
Famous Monuments of India :
Taj mahal- Monument of India :
There are plenty of monuments in India but I just cannot start with something else than Taj Mahal because I think it will be some sort of blasphemy to the cultures and monuments of India. The Taj Mahal, a lovely white marble Monument positioned in the metropolis of Agra on the banking institutions of the holy river Yamuna in Uttar Pradesh. Taj Mahal is finest example case of Mughal, Persian, Ottoman Turkish and Indian architectural designs. It is among the eight miracles of the globe and the jewel of Muslim artwork in India.
Brief history of Taj mahal in India :
The Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, who was simply head-over-heels deeply in love with Mumtaz Mahal, his dear wife. She was a Muslim Persian princess (her name Arjumand Banu Begum before relationship) and he was the child of the Mughal Emperor Jehangir and grandson of Akbar.It had been at age 14 that he found Mumtaz and fell deeply in love with her. Five years later in the entire year 1612, five years later they got wedded.
Mumtaz Mahal, an inseparable partner of Shah Jahan, passed away in 1631 while having a baby. It had been in the memory of his precious partner that Shah Jahan built an impressive monument as a tribute to her. The construction started at the year 1631 Masons, stone cutters, inlayers, carvers, painters, calligraphers, dome-builders and other artisans were requisitioned from the entire empire and also from Central Asia and Iran, and it took approximately 22 years to create what we see today. An epitome of love it used the ongoing services of 22,000 laborers and 1,000 elephants. The monument was built totally out of white marble which was earned from around India and central Asia. After an expense of around 32 million rupees. Taj mahal was finally completed in 1653. After the death of Shah Jahan, he was entombed with his beloved wife.
Mahabodhi Temple – Monuments of India :
The Mahabodhi Temple or Great Awakening Temple is a Buddhist sanctuary situated in the Gaya locale of Bihar state. Mahabodhi Mahavihara Bodhgaya Temple is one of the old and most critical places of worship of Buddhist in India. The site contains a Mahabodhi Tree, Lord Buddha stupa and the cloister called Bodhimanda Vihara.
Mahabodhi temple history :
Mahabodhi temple is considered one the holiest place for Buddhists, it is also known as Buddhist temple because it is the place where Buddha and Siddhartha Gautama was enlightened, aside from the temple almost whole Bodh Ghaya is considered as sacred place by the believers, there is a tree known as Bodhi tree and the reason why this tree is so important to Buddhist is because their Lord Buddha and Gautama used to meditate under this tree enlightenment. It is believed in 589BC, Siddharta Gautama who wanted to end the suffering of world reached near city Ghaya near the river and meditated under a tree for three days and three nights and gained enlightenment and then Buddha also spent seven weeks meditating in different regions of Ghaya, the first week of Buddha was spent under the Bodhi tree and the second week he stood staring at the tree, this is one of the reason there is statue of Buddha staring the tree. Buddha meditated in different parts of Ghaya and temple area that is why the whole place is considered as sacred. Mahabodhi Temple was built by ruler Ashoka in around 260 BC.
Later on due to Arab Islamic invasion by Muhammad Bin Qasim the Buddhist and other dynasties were defeated and temples like Mahabodhi were abandoned in misery and with time it took great damage and this place was literally turning into ruins later on this land was acquired by Burmese Buddhist and the work of restoration was started in later centuries and during British empire Sir Alexander Cunningham helped the restoration of this temple as historical heritage. In 2013, this place was targeted with bombs and India claimed it was the work of Islamic Jihadi Group.
Hawa Mahal palace in Jaipur India :
This 5 storied pyramid-shaped structure is built by a combination of pink and red stones in the beautiful city named as Pink city in Rajasthan, Jaipur it is also known by name Palace Of Winds. It was created by Raja Sawai Partap Singh for the women’s of royal families, this palace is one of the great sources of attraction for tourists.
History of Hawa Mahal at Jaipur :
The construction of his awesome looking place was started somewhere near 1799, Raja Sawai Partap Singh started this project and it was designed In Lal Chand Ustad. This 5 stories palace resembles honeybee comb and it was done intentionally to shape it as the crown of Hindus God Krishna. This palace has 953 windows known as Jharokhas which has been beautifully designed with magnificent looking latticework, but this lattice work was not only to make this palace look beautiful.
Jharokhas were built for royal women so they can observe the beauty of nature and to keep these women away from the eye of other beings, because according to their tradition women have to follow the strict concept of Purda (covering face with cloth), Now let’s move to the point why this place is actually known as Palace of Winds. The reason for that is the awesome engineering and design of this pyramid shaped palace. It was designed to keep it as cool as possible by the appropriate and optimized flow of air which keeps it cool in hot summer this ventilation occurs due to Venturi effect, after 50 years in 2006, the restoration of this Mahal was started consuming about 4568 million rupees.
Monuments of India – Bahai Temple :
Bahai Temple or Lotus temple is one of the most beautiful looking structure in the world situated in India, the concept of this temple is to establish unity among all humankind it’s the place where all religions can exist together for peace and meditation there are total of 8 continental house of worship have been built around the world and lotus temple serve one of them which elaborates the faith of spiritual unity among whole mankind and it has been one of the active place for tourist coming to Delhi.
Bahai lotus temple history:
According to Bahai faith any worship house belonging to this faith will be open to all religions for peace, Lotus Temple also known as Bahai temple is a huge structure shaped like a lotus flower, the design was adopted according to scriptures of Bahai this 9 sided circular shaped building is capable of holding 2500 humans in it. According to Bahai faith, there must be no pictures and idols of anyone inside the worship house anyone who wants to come is welcomed to this peaceful place. The architect of this place is known as Fariborz Sahba. Lotus is considered as a symbol of love and purity so does this temple, the main concept of this temple was to create a spiritual unity among whole mankind no matter what religion they belonged to. It’s 70 metres in diameter and 34.27 metres in height, the structural design was undertaken by the firm Flint and Neill and major part of this land for the construction of temple was purchased by the money of Ardeshir Rustampur of Hyderabad who gave his all money for this project in 1953, the temple was completed on 13 November 1986 and opened for public on 24 December 1986.
This temple and people who were involved in the making of it were awarded many prizes and Bahai temple remained the front cover of many magazines and news for a long time and proved to be a major source of attraction for tourist from all around the world.
Monuments of India – Brihadishwara temple :
This temple is also known as Periya Koyil or Big Temple and it is one of the biggest temple presents at India in the state of Tamil Nadu in Thanjavur, this temple was the one of the biggest one built by Cholas and it is dedicated to Hindus Lord Shiva.
About Brihadishwara temple :
This fine Example of Dravidian architecture was built by Tamil emperor Arulmozhivarman to the grace the Chola Empire, and it all happen because Arulmozhivarman was commanded in dream this was the one of the earliest Tamil projects which started in 1002CE, during a well long period Chola temples were built symmetrically to symbolize wealth, power and artistic nature of Tamil Chola people. This axially designed temple is one of the greatest examples of Tamil Chola artwork in India. This temple has been the centre point of many important ceremonies during the long period of time, anointing of emperor giving him his duties and many great rituals of Shiva were done here. It was the perfect place to showcase the Chola empire power for universal Order and displaying Dravidian Chola architecture, painting, sculpture and bronze casting, temple turned 1000 years old in 2010.
Monuments of India – Victoria Memorial :
This beautiful hall is built in Bengal and is dedicated to Queen Victoria, it is the core source of attraction in Kolkata and now it is serving as a museum having British time manuscripts, painting, and other historical stuff.
Victoria Memorial brief history :
Victoria Memorial hall is located in Bengal near the bank of the Hooghly River near Jawaharlal Nehru road, the construction started in 1906 when George Curzon and viceroy of India suggested on the sad death of Queen Victoria. The main idea was to build a memorial hall in the name of the queen having the hall, museum, and beautiful garden. These are words of Curzon :
“Let us, therefore, have a building, stately, spacious, monumental and grand, to which every newcomer in Calcutta will turn, to which all the resident population, European and Native, will flock, where all classes will learn the lessons of history, and see revived before their eyes the marvels of the past.”
King George V announced to change the capital of India from Calcutta to New Delhi so that memorial would be located in province rather than capital, the funds for the constructions were given by many Indian states along with British Raj and Government in London, people of India generously denoted for the Curzon’s wish. It took one crore for the construction of monument and 5 lakhs from that were given voluntary, the architect of memorial hall was William Burges who was the president of Royal Institute of British architects, people from all around the world come to this hall for the memory of Queen Victoria and observing the old British manuscripts, scriptures, and paintings. This beautiful place is one of the active tourist points in India.
Monuments of India – Ajanta caves Mumbai :
Time is still static at the location of Ajanta caves, these caves are one of the most mind-blowing cave temples of India. These caves stand still as a witness to the magnificent history that has been made here, these caves are present to show the world the forgotten legends our land had the mystical figures are carved in rocks. The Buddhist caves are series of 30 caves which were constructed taking a long time in 2 phases of 2nd century BC and 6th century AD.
Ajanta caves history :
Buddhist were extremely fond of education like any other Buddhist monasteries the caves are categorized for living, education and worshiping, Monks at that time were given specific cave for living, this cave system is much organized and major part caves are connected through exterior this awesome settlement had its past with many great teachers and monks, Monks after the completion of their training used to return to Ajanta or during the monsoon season for peace. The halls present in it are called as vihara halls used for prayers and living these rectangular halls have square holed walls which add to the beauty of these halls, there is also a sanctuary or shrine in the rear centre having large Buddha carved from rock.
Ajanta caves or you can call them as Buddhist cave are declared as World Heritage site by UNESCO and the monument is protected by Archaeological survey of India having legendary paintings and sculptures which attract Buddhist fans from all over the world.
Monuments of India – Qutub minar hindu temple :
Qutb Minar is the tallest minaret in the world that is made of bricks, the main components of this 120 meters high minar are red sandstone and marble, the diameter of this structure is 14.32 meters, there is circular staircase inside the tower having 379 step-leads. Construction of this magnificent example of the ancient medieval structure was started in 1200AD.
Qutub minar history :
The construction was merely started by Qutub-ud-din-Aibak who was the founder of Delhi Sultanate in 1199 AD, the minaret was built in the city of Dhillika on the ruins of Lal Kot, the nearby area of the minaret was built by destroying Hindu and Jain temples in Muslim Era. The tower was gifted with additional 3 more stories by Iltutmish who was the successor of Aibak, the reason of its name is still unsure because some say it is named after saint Qutbuddin Bakhtiar kaki. This culture of architecture was founded before the arrivals of Turks but there are arguments to support that Qutb Minar was an inspiration from previous Rajput towers, according to inscription on its surface Qutb Minar was repaired by Firoz Shah Tughlaq and Sikandar Lodi, there is also a mosque present at the north side of Qutb Minar named as Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque it is stated in the one of the remaining mosque in sub-continent from old times. The minaret has verses from Holy Quran on its walls which are quoted by iron carvings, Minar itself is made up of dark red sandstone. First, three stories are made up of red sandstone and rest of stories are made from marble and sandstone, the tower is tilted 65cm away from its vertical axis but it is considered to be safe by engineers.
Monuments of India – Harmandir Sahib :
Harmandir Sahib is also known as the golden temple and it is considered as the most sacred and pure place for Sikhs, basically, it is a Sikh Gurdwara located in Punjab this shrine is one of the holiest places for Sikhs and there is Holy Granth Sahib always present inside this temple. This holiest gurdwara was founded in 1574 by Guru Ram Das, Guru Arjan and they installed their holy scripture Adi Granth inside the temple, Harmandir Sahib is considered as the abode of God’s spiritual attribute and according to Sikhs, there is a seat placed inside for Gods temporal authority.
Harmandir Sahib facts :
The word Harmandir Sahib means temple of God, the construction of this temple was started by the order of Guru Amar Das to Guru Ram Das to create a nectarous tank specifically for worshipping god according to Sikh religion so all women and men can come from all around the world and can worship to create a sense of equality. Guru Ram Das ordered his all such fellows to join his work and whoever takes a bath from this nectar tank would gain benefits from god’s spirituality, the place where Guru used to rest during the progress of work is now known as Guru’s Mahal. In 1578 a hole was created in a tank by order of Guru Ram Das which is now known as Amritsar(nectar of immortality) the city name was followed by this tank, by time Harmandir Sahib was built on this tank and became worship house for the whole Sikhism.
How Monuments are helping India ?
India is a rich place full of so many cultures and religions, diversity is what makes it beautiful and attractive for the whole of the world people are widely studying on these historical sites and looking for the events that took placed behind every monument. The old legendary Myths and stories are being un-revealed. If you are a tourist, past time lover or want some good peaceful time do visit India because there are numerous of places and things in this area which will blow you mind away. People already are visiting India in huge amount which in fact is making this wonderful land more famous and even helping it financially.
Foreign Tourist Arrivals In India :
Countries For Foreign Arrivals :
Money Exchanged By Tourism :
India is an enormous place, there are way too many monuments present in India so I was not able to write about all instead I wrote about the most famous ones. So If you think I missed any other very Significant monument comment down below and help others to know about magnificent places and things which are present within the boundaries of India.
Screenshot sources: Wikipedia