India is home to an incredible blend of culture and tradition, and our great architectural monuments serve as testaments of this heritage and legacy. The Taj Mahal, constructed by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, stands as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Taj Mahal Agra – One of the Top Architectural Monuments
The Taj Mahal stands as an emblematic example of Islamic architecture. It boasts intricate design details such as calligraphic accents in its central dome, intricate pietra dura inlay work with semiprecious stones, carved marble screens and pietra dura inlay work made up of semi-precious stones – and has become one of the world’s most beloved architectural landmarks over centuries of admiration from people worldwide, becoming India’s most-visited monument.
The Taj was constructed by Shah Jahan to honor Mumtaz Mahal, his third wife. Constructed of white marble mausoleum surrounded by gardens leading up to crescent-shaped gates, over 20,000 artisans worked under supervision from Ustad Ahmad Lahauri (chief architect for Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan) were responsible for its construction. Book Agra Tour Packages
The gardens surrounding the Taj Mahal are designed in four quadrants that perfectly reflect its symmetrical form. Lined with water channels and featuring a central lotus pond, they evoke rivers and lakes rippling across their surfaces while scholars study its walls and floors for any symbolic meanings they might contain.
Fatehpur Sikri is a complex of palatial buildings constructed for Akbar, the Mughal Emperor. Situated on a sandstone ridge west of Agra and declared a World Heritage Site in 1986, Fatehpur Sikri features both Hindu and Muslim architectural influences throughout. Notable features of Fatehpur Sikri include Jama Masjid mosque as well as palace and other structures with Muslim and Hindu elements that make up Fatehpur Sikri.
Buland Darwaza, standing 55 meters high and built by Akbar to mark his successful Gujarat campaign as a victory arch, stands out as an outstanding architectural monument in this architectural site. This piece displays both Islamic and Hindu influences in its design.
Panch Mahal, a five-story structure featuring 176 columns spanning its form. This is one of the to architectural monuments in india boasts sloped angular vaults, curved ceilings with Buddhist origin arches, and ribbed domes – as well as being part of a complex with the Diwan-i-am public hall where Emperor Shah Jahan would meet with his subjects to listen to their complaints; its building offers an exciting blend of traditional post and lintel systems and curved vaults.
Ajanta-Ellora Caves Maharashtra
Sponsored: Ajanta-Ellora Caves are one of India’s UNESCO Heritage Sites and draw tourists from around the globe. Archeologists with an interest in historical artifacts often come here. With rock-cut architecture as its hallmark and artwork adorning its walls, these caves provide an amazing journey back into Indian history through art that fills its halls. Book Mumbai Tour Packages
The caves at Indian Caves were constructed between the 5th and 10th century as pilgrimage sites for Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. There are 34 monasteries and temples carved side-by-side on towering basalt rocks that represent monastic communities from these three religions. Of particular note is Kailasa Temple which represents Mount Kailash – an iconic pilgrimage site for Hindus.
Visit India’s art and culture by taking an organized tour that includes admission tickets and an experienced guide. June to September (monsoon season) and November-February are the ideal months for visiting these caves, though any time can be good to visit. Mumbai makes visiting easily accessible with air, rail or bus service to Mumbai from which these caves can be reached easily.
Jain Statue Shravanbelagola
Shravanbelagola’s statue of Bahubali stands as one of India’s seven wonders and is an important pilgrim centre for Jain followers. Constructed in 983 CE out of one granite block, its 57-foot height stands atop Vindyagiri Hill in Shravanabelagola as one of the world’s largest freestanding idols.
The open eyes of this statue symbolize his disavowal from material goods while his surrounding creepers and snakes symbolize penance. Additionally, this depiction demonstrates his willingness to make sacrifices for others’ wellbeing. Book Maharajas Express
Chandragiri and Vindyagiri hills boast over 800 inscriptions written in various languages that help modern scholars analyze the evolution and development of Kannada language. Some inscriptions mention Sallekhana – an ascetic practice employed by Jain ascetics that involved fasting until death. Visit this location from October to March when winter weather allows for pleasant sightseeing excursions.
Meenakshi Temple is one of India’s best-known and most visited architectural monuments, famed for its exquisite beauty and intricate sculptures, vivid wall and ceiling paintings, and frequent mentions in classic Tamil literature such as Thirukkural. Every twelve years these artworks are restored or repaired.
Temple Meenakshi houses goddess Meenakshi and her husband Lord Shiva in its main shrine. According to legend, Meenakshi first appeared from a fire as a three-year-old after Pandyan King Malayadwaja and Kanchanamali performed a yagam to ask Lord Shiva for a child; when she met Lord Shiva she lost one breast which may explain why.
The temple complex features Raja Gopurams, a thousand-pillared hall, and a sacred pool with golden lotuses where devotees take ritual baths as well as numerous smaller shrines, gardens and elephant sheds – providing visitors with an energetic atmosphere!
Chand Baoli – One of the Top Architectural Monuments
Chand Baori is one of the iconic monuments found within India’s Hampi UNESCO World Heritage Architectural Monuments and draws many tourists from across India due to its unique construction. Consisting of three sides with steps built onto three of them and a temple on four, Chand Baori draws visitors from near and far alike.
Chand Baori, known as the largest stepwell in the world, boasts 3500 narrow steps that cascade 13 stories down into a water pond. Built with perfect geometrical symmetry, each step reflects light beautifully to add further to its structural beauty and give the monument a magical appearance.
Chand Baori was dedicated to the goddess Harshat Mata and constructed between 800 CE and 900 CE as an oasis for Rajasthan, an arid state prone to water shortages during summer. To conserve water supplies during these dry times, this monument was also created as a place of prayer where pilgrims could stop and drink water at its source – offering relief after long journeys by giving pilgrims respite at this well.
Amber Fort Jaipur
Amber Fort is an impressive piece of ancient architecture that has entranced travellers worldwide. Once home to Rajput Maharajas, its exquisite combination of Hindu and Mughal styles mesmerizes guests upon entry – leaving many dazzled at its sheer beauty and splendour.
The palace is divided into four sections and each has uniquely designed gates. Suraj Pol leads directly into the public courtyard where soldiers would enter and leave the palace; Ganesh Pol leads you deeper into it all. Book Jaipur Tour Packages
Diwan-i-Aam (Hall of Public Audience), with its marble stone pillars and elephant-head carvings, was the second courtyard. Next was Jai Mandir where celebrations were held by the King; and finally there was Zenana Dyodhi where royal women resided; all four courtyards connected via secret passageways that served as escape routes during times of war. Book Rajasthan Tour Packages
Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, or IIM for short, is one of India’s premier B-schools and has become well known for its rigorous course curriculum and research in business management since being established in 1961.
Louis Kahn, an exponent of exposed brick architecture, worked in collaboration with Indian architects BV Doshi and Anant Raje to design this campus which features academic blocks, faculty offices, a library, 33 fully furnished dormitories and numerous open spaces. Each building on campus can be identified by its distinctive exposed brickwork, concrete slabs and lintels.
Kahn’s design for IIM was heavily influenced by vernacular Indian architecture as well as modernism. His intricate creation is comprised of walls, walkways and voids which form an extraordinary geometric order; every wall contains distinctive brickwork to ensure timelessness within this timeless structure.
Plans to demolish IIM were met with furious protest from architects worldwide. Due to such outrage from architects and architectural communities alike, razing this significant work by Kahn has been put on hold temporarily. Such an important work should never be destroyed!
Konark Temple Orrisa
The Temple of the Sun in Konark, Odisha State is one of India’s finest architectural monuments, situated in its namesake village. First constructed during 13th-century CE by King Narasimha deva I of Eastern Ganga Dynasty and expanded later by his successors; today its surviving portion has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It displays the Kalinga or Orissa style of architecture, featuring its signature Nagara form of Hindu temple construction – often found throughout northern India – with its distinctive square shapes and angular format.
Konark Temple was constructed as an offering to Surya, or the Sun God. According to legend, King Samba suffered from leprosy and performed rigorous penance at Konark where the Chandrabhaga river meets the sea for 12 years in an effort to please Surya – eventually succeeding and the temple being constructed to commemorate his victory over Surya. Temple of Surya is known for its exquisite sculptures depicting couples making love in various positions, with Surya himself standing out due to his flawless proportions. A truly unique feature of the temple are twelve pairs of huge wheels engraved into its stone walls resembling a chariot and serving as sundials as the rising sun casts shadows that indicate time of day.
Akshardham Temple New Delhi
Akshardham Temple Complex boasts exquisite Hindu sculptures and an amazing water show, the Sahaj Anand Water Show. Boasting video projections, multi-colored lasers, water jets and surround sound effects – you won’t find another experience like it anywhere else! It will dazzle guests of all ages!
New Delhi Temple Complex is known for its educational exhibits that teach visitors about Hinduism and Indian customs. Designed by Pramukh Swami Maharaj, this temple complex combines red sandstone from Rajasthan with Italian Carrara marble to create an eye-catching contrast in colors; additionally adhering to Maharishi Vastu architecture principles.
At night, this massive spiritual-cultural campus shines with an unforgettable light display. Take a guided tour to experience its high-tech multimedia displays and attractions up close, such as India’s largest step well and mesmerizing water show as well as Narayan Sarovar open garden – it will leave you speechless with amazement and inspiration!
Jantar Mantar Jaipur
Jantar Mantar is one of Jaipur’s most remarkable architectural monuments. A monumental astronomical observatory made up of stone structures used to track celestial bodies and calculate time, it offers visitors an extraordinary experience when visiting this unique attraction for the first time. Don’t miss this unforgettable site during your first trip to Jaipur.
Established by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II during the 18th century, this monumental complex contains 19 different geometrical instruments used to locate stars and time of year as well as track celestial objects. Notable instruments include Ram Yantra and Jaya Prakash Yantra which help measure elevation angle arrival azimuth of celestial bodies.
Architecture of this impressive astronomical complex reflects various Indian cultures and religious beliefs, while its collection is truly amazing to see in person. To fully explore each instrument you may hire a guide. Modern astronomers still make use of some devices here while the older pieces remain well preserved even after centuries of use.
Tawang Monastery Arunachal Pradesh
Tawang Monastery in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh is one of India’s largest Buddhist monasteries, founded by Merak Lama Lodre Gyatso in 1680-1681 as part of his dedication to 5th Dalai Lama Ngawang Lobsang Gyatso’s wishes. Renowned for its 16th century architecture – its main building (Dukhang) features sketches of Bodhisattvas while its cloister houses an 8 meter high golden statue of Buddha! Book South India Tour Packages
This 17th century masterpiece of Indian architecture stands as a marvel of engineering. Completed at an estimated cost of over 30 million rupees and employing over 20,000 workers, its creation took more than three years and boasts beautiful gardens that reflect its spiritual significance.
Built by Chamundraya II in 983 AD, Lord Bahubali stands 57 ft tall as an outstanding example of Jain architecture. As its first Tirthankara and founder of Jainism, Lord Bahubali gave up his kingdom to seek liberation or moksha. Today it provides pilgrims with an inspiring place of worship and represents its purity and grace.
Victoria Memorial Kolkata
The Victoria Memorial is an eye-catching white marble structure in Kolkata’s center that draws its architectural inspiration from contemporary British civic classicism while including subtle Eastern references. For example, its central dome recalls Taj Mahal; further evidenced by an octagonal terrace and chhatris. There are also allegorical sculptures representing learning, motherhood, and prudence which surround its dome.
After Queen Victoria died in 1901, this structure was constructed as one of India’s premier architectural monuments in her honor. The structure boasts several distinct architectural styles such as Indo-Saracenic, Mughal and Islamic styles and its gardens are filled with lush plantings for visitors to enjoy while the museum on site showcases memorabilia from British rule.
The Victoria Memorial was constructed of Makrana marble imported from Rajasthan. Boasting 16 fluted corners and featuring various architectural styles, it stands as an amazing testament to blending various architectural traditions. A popular monument among tourists visiting Kolkata, its popularity made even greater during World War II when Japanese bombers frequently targeted it with bombers firing their missiles at it – giving this landmark monument its unique character.
Golconda Fort is one of the premier tourist spots in Hyderabad and an iconic heritage site, serving as a place of worship and now housing several old palace buildings and other structures that were used during worship services. Here, tombs of various kings can be seen. This fort makes for an amazing visit, so bring along enough hygienic food and clean water as your tour will likely last an entire day!
Legend holds that Golconda (Shepherd’s Hill) got its name because of a shepherd boy discovering an idol of god here; later, Kakatiya ruler Pratparudra began construction of its initial mud walls during the 11th century, followed by expansion by Qutb Shahi kings over time resulting in massive granite stronghold with outer walls boasting 87 semicircular bastions with mounted cannons as well as eight gateways and four drawbridges – including its outer walls boasted by Qutb Shahi kings until construction stopped at their end in 13th century.
Within you can find temples, halls, mosques, magazines and stables. The main entrance can be found through Bala Hissar Gate on the east side, which features an ornate peacock design and elegant scrollwork rows. An engineering marvel can be seen when clapping near the dome entrance will echo up to a pavilion one kilometer away – once used as an early warning system during attacks!
India Gate New Delhi
India Gate, situated along Rajpath in New Delhi is one of its most iconic architectural monuments. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens in 1921 and dedicated to British Indian soldiers who died fighting during World War I, its design draws inspiration from Paris’ Arc de Triomphe Arc de Triomphe is also one of the city’s best picnic spots and frequently appears in Bollywood movies, documentaries, and soap operas set there.
Names of deceased soldiers are memorialized on its walls and Amar Jawan Jyoti, an eternal flame, burns day and night at its premises. Additionally, this memorial serves as an ideal platform for marches and demonstrations to commemorate fallen servicemembers.
Tourists seeking to experience India’s history should make time to visit this iconic structure during evening hours when its lighting adds even more beauty to its structure. Be sure to bring a good camera so you can capture breathtaking photos!
Mysore Palace Mysore
Mysore Palace, one of Mysore’s crowning attractions, draws thousands of tourists each year as an impressive display of Indo-Saracenic architecture, which blends together Hindu, Muslim, Rajput and Gothic elements into an impressive whole.
This palace was initially constructed by the Wodeyar (Wadiyar) dynasty in 14th-century India and rebuilt several times over time. The palace features various architectural styles with ornately decorated ceilings, sculpted pillars, floral mandalas and peacock designs as some of its key characteristics.
Attractions to visit include the luxurious Durbar Hall with its ornate ceiling and gold items, Kalyana Mandap which boasts multi-coloured stained glass inlays, and Kalyan Mandap with oil paintings of Dasara procession motifs. In addition to these spectacular sights, this palace also houses 12 Hindu temples.
Dussehra is an ideal time to visit the palace, when 97,000 lightbulbs illuminate it and give an evening light-and-sound show depicting its 400 year history. Unfortunately, however, Sundays and public holidays are off-limits to visitors.
Lotus Temple New Delhi
The Lotus Temple, commonly referred to as the Baha’i House of Worship, is an incredible piece of modern architecture. Designed by Iranian architect Fariborz Sahba and completed in 1986, its stunning lotus-flower motif symbolizes purity and spirituality – both qualities it shares with Baha’i followers as well as people from different religious faiths.
The Lotus Temple can hold up to 2,500 visitors at once and boasts 27 “petal-shaped structures covered with white marble that form 27 clusters on each side of its central core, creating worship spaces around clear water pools that promote tranquillity and serenity. A must-see attraction, it should not be missed by visitors visiting New Delhi! For more information about their services or visit their official website.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Mumbai
UNESCO World Heritage Site and revered building, this grand railway station stands as an architectural monuments of India. Reminiscent of London’s St Pancras Railway Station, this grand structure illuminates beautifully at night when lit with colorful lighting effects.
Frederick Stevens created this building, reflecting Victorian Italian Gothic style adapted for Indian environments. Additionally, its architecture incorporates elements of Indian classical and Islamic architecture that can be found in its skyline, arches and turrets.
Mumbai’s iconic symbol and many scenes from movies like ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ were shot here. The architecture is absolutely breathtaking and showcases perfectly how Indian and British cultures collided to shape its foundations. A must-see stop for architecture enthusiasts nationwide; located in the heart of city life this site will help begin your exploration into Indian history.
Nalanda University – One of the Top Architectural Monuments in india
Nalanda University was one of India’s most celebrated universities during its heyday, patronized by Gupta emperors and later Pala dynasty kings. This ancient institution became an epicentre of learning that attracted scholars from as far away as China, Greece, and Persia; its remains reveal remarkable progress in terms of pedagogy, planning, architecture and monk’s life records that remain today.
Nalanda was an expansive complex (parts of which are still being excavated) that featured temples, viharas (educational and residential buildings), compounds, colossal libraries, classrooms and classrooms surrounded by lofty walls with massive gates adorned with magnificent sculptures depicting Buddha.
Nalanda attracted over 10,000 teachers and students at its peak. However, during its collapse it was destroyed by Turkic Muslim invaders led by Bakhtiyar Khilji due to their suspicion that its existence competed with Islam’s teaching centre.
Hampi, India is an architectural monuments representing the pinnacle of Hindu temple building during Vijayanagara Empire’s fourteenth and sixteenth-century reign. Situated in Bellary District of Karnataka in India, this World Heritage Site covers 25 square kilometers. With its sprawling terrain of temples and palaces interspersed among rocky boulders strewn landscape, Hampi stands as an outstanding example of harmonious balance between architecture and the environment.
Hampi is also a pilgrimage center linked to the epic Ramayana, which recounts Lord Ram’s adventures with Sita after she was abducted by Ravan the monkey-king. You can still find stone carvings depicting Hanuman from this epic at various locations in Hampi.
At this site, temples, palaces, and streets still stand. Of particular note is Virupaksha Temple depicted on our Rs50 note which honors Lord Shiva on Garuda (eagle), featuring intricately designed sculptures dedicated to him and decorated by exquisite temple sculptural decorations – which UNESCO describes as one of India’s best examples of civil architecture.