India's past is a mosaic which mingles design and concepts from all over the world. We, at this article, have put together a compilation of some of the most amazing and awe-inspiring architectural wonders from India.
India has been the centre of the world for too long in the ancient past. Few of world’s most important religions has originated from India. Buddhism was once the dominating religion in India and Buddhist monasteries and stupas were built all over India before it eventually spread to other countries. Around 8th century AD, with the advent of Shankaracharya, Hinduism revived and it saw many Hindu rulers including Pallavas and Cholas building architectural wonders. Rajputs built various magnificent hill forts in Rajasthan to protect their own areas.
After the invasion from Muslim rulers in the 11th century, India for the first time saw influences from the middle east, with Afghan and Persian architectural designs mixing with the exiting Indian styles. Mughals ensured that India has some of the finest Islamic architecture in India. India has been a land of architectural marvels and here is our list of 9 wonders of architecture in India.
9 Architectural Wonders Of India:
Taj Mahal, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
Part of the 7 wonders of the world, this list had to start with Taj Mahal. Taj Mahal is an mausoleum built in a span of 22 years in the 17th century by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for his beloved wife Mumtaz. Taj Mahal displays a combination of Hindu and Indo-Islamic architecture. Huge white marble terrace on which rests the famous white marble dome, flanked by four tapering minarets. Within the dome lies the jewel-inlaid cenotaph of the deceased queen.
Fort of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
There might be innumerable Great monuments in Rajasthan awaiting appreciation, but when it comes to Jaisalmer’s “Sonar Quila” or the golden fortress, we are all left awestruck! The magnificent fort made of yellow sandstone is perhaps the only fort in India inhabited by people. The fort was built in 1156 AD and proudly overlooks the golden stretch of the Thar Desert.
Nalanda Ruins, Nalanda, Bihar
Nalanda was an ancient center of higher learning in Bihar, India. The university of Nalanda is located in the Indian state of Bihar, and was a Buddhist center of learning. The great library of Nalanda University was so vast that it is reported to have burned for three months after the invaders set fire to it, ransacked and destroyed the monasteries, and drove the monks from the site.
Iron Pillar of Delhi
The rust resistant Iron Pillar of Delhi appears to mock at the scientific advancement of modern world. Though a lot of research has gone into finding out how the iron pillar has withstood corrosion for nearly 1600 years; no one has been able to come up with a satisfying explanation to this wonder. There is no doubt that the iron-smiths of India were way ahead of their counterparts. Besides the iron pillar of Delhi, the iron beams of Konark Temple and a similar iron pillar in the Mookambika temple in a small of Kollur in Karnataka have withstood the onslaught of time and weather.
Ruins of Vijaynagarh Empire, Hampi
Only a few hours of drive from Bangalore, you shall reach one of the brilliant store house of South Indian history and architecture. Ruins of Vijaynagarh Empire, Hampi embrace the wonderful effort of Hindu architectural delight.
Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh
The temples at Khajuraho are an important and unique group of architectural gems dedicated to the major gods Shiva and Vishnu, and a variety of other Hindu gods. Yet, it has perhaps been the series of erotic carvings on the temples that has attracted the greatest interest from the outside traveler. Out of 85 original temples, 22 have survived till today, that are devoted to physical love and pleasure, and bear testimony to this way of life. The largest and grandest temple of Khajuraho is the immortal Kandariya Mahadeva. The exterior of the temples are richly decorated with sculptural embellishments which win universal admiration for their delicate, youthful female forms of ravishing beauty.
Chittorgarh Fort, Rajasthan
Rana Kumbha’s best architectural wonder is the largest and grandest of all forts. It has the finest taste of Rajput architecture, encrusted by a number of magnificent palaces, monuments and temples all over the kingdom. One should never miss this architectural essence of Mewar dynasty.
Temples of Bishnupur, West Bengal
These beautiful Malla dynasty temples are engraved by the exquisite art of Terracotta. The architectural styles have the magnificent assimilation of both Hindu and Islamic tradition along with some finest work of Hindu mythological tales inscribed on the walls of these shines.
Great Stupa at Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh
The oldest free-standing stone structure in India, the construction of the Great Stupa at Sanchi was commissioned by Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BCE, and later overseen by his wife and son. Stupas are large-scale memorials that generally, enshrine relics of holy Buddhist monks. They may be made of brick and rubble, or encased in masonry. The Great Stupa is 120 feet across (36.6 meters) and 54 feet high (16.46 meters). The central shrine is encircled by the Pradakshina Path (circumambulation path) and the railing with its four toranas (gates) which depict motifs from the Buddha’s life. This monument is the inspiration for many Buddhist and Hindu structures that were built in the following centuries.