Historical Places in India

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For being one of the bastions of early civilizations, India is home to many historical places, making it a favorite destination for historical and heritage tours. Almost every stone, temple and structure in the country has a story to tell and forms part of the rich history and grand culture. The fascinating stories from India's mesmerizing distant past come to life with the myriad of sights from city centers to the remotest areas.

Ayodhya
This city in Uttar Pradesh is an ancient city, which is a historically important center for various religions and in the last 200 years, a pilgrimage site for Hindus worshipping Rama, who is said to have been born here.

Described in the ancient scripture as a city built by gods, it is home to the sacred Saryu River where followers take a dip during festivals and other religious events. 

Also Visit this section - Historical Goa - History of Delhi -

Redfort
The palace of the Mughal ruler Shah Jahan, It was constructed in 1639 and completed in 1648 dating from the mid-17th century. It was in 1638 that Delhi's supremacy among Indian cities was confirmed when said emperor moved his capital to Delhi from Agra.

The Red Fort or Lal Qila, stands within a massive defensive wall and constructed of red sandstone, thus, the name. Entered by the massive gates of Lahore Gate and the Delhi Gate, there are public and private apartments inside. A distinct feature of the complex is the Pearl Mosque, which was added in 1659.

Framing the buildings of the Red Fort are formal gardens that make ingenious use of water. Badly damaged by intruders in the 18th century and in 1857 during the Mutiny, restoration started in 1903.

India Gate
Better known as the modern financial capital of India, Mumbai is also the location of the historical landmark the Gateway of India or India Gate. Often the first structure seen by visitors arriving in the country's busiest port, it is from this fact that the landmark got its name.

The 42-meter triumphal arch is dedicated to the 85,000 Indian armies who died during the First World campaigns. The names of said soldiers are inscribed in the structure.

Nalanda
Situated in Bihar State, India, Nalanda is an ancient seat of learning that existed since the 5th century BC, during the lifetime of the Buddha. The university flourished until the 12th century and had 2,000 teachers and 10,000 students at its height. Attending the university didn’t require any fees since it was supported by revenues collected from the local villages.

Famous personalities such as the Buddha and Mahavira, founders of Buddhism and Jainism respectively, have visited the place. The Chinese philosopher, Xuanzang was also a student and later became a teacher.

Only ruins of Nalanda are left but a complex of lecture halls, dormitories, gardens, stone images of the Buddha and stupas were revealed during excavation. Other valuable artifacts are now displayed in the Nalanda Museum and in 1951, an international center for Buddhist studies was established here.

Ajanta Ellora
The famous Ajanta Ellora caves are situated in Aurangabad which is the district of Maharashtra. The cave comprises so many exceptionally beautiful paintings and sculptures. These sculptures are considered to be the masterpiece of Buddhist religious art as well as the frescos. The person who encountered these caves accidentally was John Smith, a British Army officer. These caves provide magnificent view, they are highly captivating. Before that these 34 caves at Ellora and 29 caves at Ajanta were unknown to everyone. According to Mr Smith they provide stupendous sight of the U shaped gorge. These caves are world famous because of their mesmerizing captivating looks.

Jaisalmer
Located in the Rajasthan, this city was founded by Rawal Jaisal in 1156 AD and is the origin of the name. Known for its magnificent golden fortress, historic carved havelis, windswept sand dunes and desert festival, several other sites are also found here: Jaisalmer Fort, Gadsisar Lake, Nathamlji-Ki-Haveli and Salim Singh-Ki-Haveli.

Taj Mahal
The most famous among India's ancient buildings and a prime monument of Mughal art, the Taj Mahal remains the most lavish expression of love. Built as mausoleum for Shah jahan's wife, Mumtaz Mahal, it took 20 years to construct the structure, which employed 20,000 men.

The lavishly decorated tomb is 73 meters high and is raised on square podium with a minaret at each corner.  The tomb is prefaced with a 300 meter-wide garden and ahs a great pool at the center.

Standing in a central octagonal hall are the cenotaphs of the couple, surrounded by a pierced screen of marble and semi-precious stones.The Taj Mahal became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.

The court went into mourning for over two years; and Shah Jahan decided to commemorate the memory of Mumtaz with a building the like of which had never been seen before.

Udaipur
Udaipur is popular for its lake palaces sparkling like white pearls. Established in 1567 AD and the capital of Mewar Kingdom, the palaces found here are Rajasthan's historic and architectural gems. The city was founded by Maharana Udai Singh, he's also responsible for the temple overlooking Lake Pichola as well as the impressive series of other marble palaces.

Qutb Minar
Conceived as a tower of victory and erected to commemorate the capture of Delhi by the Ghurds in 1192, the minaret is a project by Qutb ud-Din Aybak. Consisting of five tapering storeys, the lower three levels are made of red sandstone while the two uypper levels are cylindrical and made of marble.

The structure was rebuilt in 1368 and topped with a cupola. The Qutb Minar is very similar to the Quwwat al-isalm mosque and to other Ghurid minarets in Afghanistan.

Its name, which was intended as a symbolic axis between heaven and earth, was derived from Qutb ud-Din, which means Axis of Religion. The minaret and its surrounding area were proclaimed a World Heritage Site in 1993.


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