Tuesday, 4 April 2017

7 Historical Megastructures in India You Must Visit

Written by  Rohit Agarwal

India has been ruled by various dynasties, captured by foreign invaders and been a colony of the British. Thus, the country has various specimens of architectural brilliance reflecting native as well as foreign styles. Though it is impossible to point out any one as the best, we have put in efforts to compile a list of seven megastructures that should be on your list.

1. Taj Mahal, Agra

One of the major attractions of Agra, Taj Mahal is an Epitome of Love. It was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal upon her death. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, it has a beautiful history attached to it. The mausoleum is made of white marble and it stands on the banks of the river Yamuna. One of the Seven Wonders of the World, it is a confluence of Indian, Mughal, Turkish and Persian architecture.
Taj Mahal - Agra
Photo Credit wiganparky CC0 1.0


2. Mysore Palace, Mysore

The Mysore Palace has doors that have been magnificently carved and rooms that have been elegantly decorated to showcase the royalty. It has alluring pink domes and an octagonal marriage hall which has a stunning glass ceiling. The palace is adorned with peacock motifs, chandeliers and glistening tiles. It leaves visitors spellbound especially during the Dussehra Festival when it is all lit up.

Mysore Palace - Mysore
Photo Credit : Marc Dalmulder CC BY 2.0


3. Hawa Mahal, Jaipur

The Pink City is famous for its historic monuments and amongst them the Hawa Mahal stands out. Made from pink and red sandstone, the five-storey edifice was built for the women of the royal family. Famous as the Palace of Winds, it has over a thousand windows that provide natural air conditioning even in the scorching heat of Jaipur. Hawa Mahal is truly an engineering marvel that has been standing tall since 1799 despite of its walls being less than a foot thick.
Hawa Mahal - Jaipur
Photo Credit : The Wandering Angel BY CC 2.0

4. Victoria Memorial, Kolkata

Built to commemorate Queen Victoria, this masterpiece has many gardens, a museum of artefacts, manuscripts and many paintings. Running under the patronage of the Ministry of Culture, it exhibits English, Italian and British components of construction and is a stark reminder of the colonial era. This marble structure is crowned by a dome, which has the effigy of the Angel of Victory on its top.
Victoria Memorial - Kolkata
Photo Credit : Vishaka Jayakumar CC BY-SA 2.0


5. Golden Temple, Amritsar

This beautiful temple has four doors which symbolize the tolerance of Sikhism towards all other religions of the world. Known as the Harmandir Sahib, it is one of the holiest shrines and a very famous pilgrimage place.

The second level of the temple is engraved in gold while the first is carved out of marble. Built on an island in Amrit Sarovar, the temple houses Adi Granth and Guru Granth Sahib. The hospitality of this place is world famous and every year thousands of tourists visit Amritsar.
Golden Temple - Amritsar
Photo Credit : majomka CC0 1.0


6. Jama Masjid, New Delhi

The largest mosque in India, this monument was also constructed by Shah Jahan. The spacious courtyard here can accommodate nearly 25,000 people. It is situated on a mound in the heart of the capital of the country and its walls have intricate carvings and inscribed verses from the Holy Quran. Standing on the road right across the captivating Red Fort, it has three gateways, four towers and two humongous minarets. Made from red sandstone and marble, the mosque has cusped arches which leave every visitor mesmerized.
Jama Masjid - New Delhi
Photo Credit : Travis Wise CC BY 2.0


7. Sun Temple, Konark

A symbol of the rich heritage of India, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations of India. Built in the 13th century, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple is a testimony to the engineering dexterity that the Ancient Indian civilization was blessed with. Built as a big chariot for Surya, the Sun God, it has been constructed as having 12 pairs of wheels that are being pulled by 7 sturdy horses. It has abundance of sculptural work and is surrounded by a lot of natural beauty. Though a part of the temple has decayed, it is still a stunner in its ruined state.

In this colourful and vibrant land of ours, which has a very rich and vast history, to restrict yourself to just a few touristic places are a huge mistake. So, go ahead, plan your next trip and have a swell time! We are sure that your experience at each of the above-mentioned places would be surreal.
Sun Temple - Konark
Photo Credit : designadda CC BY-ND 2.0


Author Bio:
Rohit is an explorer and a writer at heart. He has travelled around India and other countries. Rohit follows the trails of Indian history while exploring the fascinating landscapes, hills and other tourist hotspots of India. He brings to Trans India Travels the revealing insights of his journeys.