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10 ancient monuments of India that keep the historical secrets of this country.
- Hawa Mahal.
The Hawa Mahal, also known as the” Palace of the Winds”, is one of the best tourist attractions in Jaipur. This beautiful pink sandstone palace was built in the shape of the crown of Lord Krishna by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799. The Hawa Mahal is also a fine example of Rajputana architecture. Its pyramidal shape and 953 beautiful windows make this place a unique attraction of the city.
The interior of the palace is notable for its long corridors, as well as the fact that there are no stairs – the floors are connected by special slopes. As many as 953 windows in the Hawa Mahal were not made by chance — they were intended for the women of the royal harem, who never appeared in public. These windows allowed them to observe the life of people, and just enjoy a great view of the city.
- Cellular prison.
The cellular prison, also known as “Kala Pani”, is located in the city of Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The complex was a silent witness to the torture inflicted on Indian independence activists. Its construction was completed in 1906, and today Kala Pani is considered one of the national monuments of the country.
Literally every corner of the prison “can tell” the stories of resistance, sacrifice and suffering of great Indian freedom fighters such as Birendra Kumar Ghosh, Upendranath Banerjee, Hem Chandra Das, Ullaskar Dutta, Bibhuti Bhushan Sarkar. The Cell Prison has 696 solitary cells, hence its name.
- The Gate of India.
India Gate is Mumbai’s most famous landmark. The construction of this arch in the Indo-Saracen style of architecture was started in 1911, and completed in 1924. The main purpose of this colossal structure was to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary, who visited Mumbai in 1911.
The Gate of India is of great importance in terms of being a beautiful symbol of British India and the British Emperor. Visitors can also see a statue of Shivaji, a 17th — century Indian warrior king, opposite the arch.
Charminar or “Mosque of the Four Minarets” is the hallmark of the city of Hyderabad and means roughly what the Taj Mahal means to Agra. The building was built in 1591 by Sultan Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah in honor of the victory over the plague epidemic in this region. For this monument, the style of Indo-Islamic architecture was used, and it was created from granite, mortar and crushed marble.
At each corner of the building there are four elegant 56-meter-high minarets connected by a double balcony. A winding staircase of 149 steps leads to the upper floor of the Charminar, which is intended for prayers. There is also a wonderful underground tunnel that connects Charminar with Golconda.
- Ajanta Caves.
Ajanta is the most popular Buddhist monument in India, which is located in Aurangabad (Maharashtra). 30 caves in the rocks of this Buddhist temple-monastery cave complex were carved in the II century BC. Of the 30 caves, five are halls with stupas, and the rest are the rooms of the monastery. The Ajanta Caves are also included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Ancient paintings illustrating various events from the life of the Buddha, and sculptures are the main attraction of these caves. And the local rock carvings are considered one of the rarest in the world.
- Sanchi Stupa.
Sanchi Stupa (Madhya Pradesh) is the oldest stone structure in India, as well as one of the most popular Buddhist monuments in the country. It was built in the third century BC by order of the Emperor Ashoka.
The main four gates in the Sanchi stupa depict scenes from the life of the Buddha. It also contains many carved figures and images of the Buddha, covered with varnish, preserved from the time of the Maurya Empire.
- Mysore Palace.
The Mysore Palace can be seen in the South Indian city of Mysore (Karnataka). In fact, it was built by different emperors at different times. This is the main reason why the palace boasts a variety of architectural styles-from Indo-Saracen to Hindu, Muslim, Rajput and Gothic.
Mostly gray granite and pink marble were used for the construction. The public darbar (audience hall) and the royal wedding hall inside the palace have now become the main attraction for visitors. Interestingly, the 14th-century weapons and arsenal used by the royal family are also kept in this palace.
- Qutb Minar.
Qutb Minar is the second tallest minaret in the country. This world Heritage site was built in Delhi. Its foundation was laid in 1192, and the construction took more than 75 years (while several rulers changed). Qutb Minar is also surrounded by many ancient structures.
This ancient Islamic monument, 72.6 meters high, is made of red sandstone and marble. Qutb Minar consists of 5 floors, each of which is divided by beautifully decorated balconies. Also notable is the lower part of the interior of the minaret, decorated with ornate Islamic carvings.
- Red Fort.
Lal Kila or “Red Fort”, located in Delhi, is one of the most iconic symbols of India, listed as a World Heritage Site. It was originally home to the Mughal emperors for over 200 years (until 1856). The citadel was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1648 and got its name from the massive blocks of red sandstone from which it was made. The red fort reflects the architectural styles of the Mughals, Hindus, Islam, Persians, and Timurids.
The Red fort, located on an area of 254 hectares, has an octagonal shape. For its decoration, Persian, European and Indian works of art were used, as well as diamonds.
On every Indian Independence Day since 1947, the Prime Minister raises the national flag at the main gate of the Red Fort, after which he delivers a speech. The fortress has become the largest monument in Delhi, which attracts visitors from all over the world every year.
- Taj Mahal.
One of the seven wonders of the world is located in Agra (Uttar Pradesh). The city of Agra has become the most visited place in India by foreigners thanks to this historical monument of love. The white marble mausoleum, which was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife Mumtaz, has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The construction of the Taj Mahal took 20 years and began in 1632. About 20,000 people worked on the construction of the mausoleum, and 1,000 elephants were used to transport the materials. The architectural style of the Taj Mahal combines Islamic, Persian, Ottoman, Turkish and Indian architecture.
The four sides of the Taj Mahal are completely identical, and its most striking feature is that the mausoleum takes on a different color at different times of the day: pinkish in the morning, milky white in the evening and golden at night. On its walls, you can also see calligraphically written Persian poems.