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Top 10 Monuments of India

Discussion in 'Travel advice' started by SunilC, Jun 26, 2016.

  1. SunilC

    SunilC New Member

    I am an amateur photographer and someone who also loves travelling. I am keen to visit all the parts of India and have thought that I would start by visiting the monuments of India, which would help me in my photography more.
    Although I live in India and know about the country, I am not sure about the famous monuments or say the top 10 ones, I know the obvious Taj Mahal but require help with the rest.

    I need someone to tell me about the top 10 monuments of India so that I can see where it is feasible for me to travel and how I would work out this plan.

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello and welcome to the forum!

    It's kind of hard to put just a top 10 monuments list because there really is a lot of beautiful and historical monuments in India. But for me, there's a few that stand out and a must to visit. Here they are:

    • The Taj Mahal in Agra. I think everyone would put the Taj Mahal at the top of their list. This majestic white marble monument was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his third wife, Mumtaz. Mumtaz Mahal died during the birth of her 14th child. The Taj Mahal is a depiction of the emperor's love for her. Every year, thousands of tourists all over the world visit the Taj Mahal. Although it was built by a Mughal emperor, the monument itself is a combination of Mughal, Persian, Ottoman and Indian styles of architecture. It is every photographer's dream to capture the beauty of the Taj Mahal. Make sure to capture it in photograph at different times of the day. During the morning, it's a pinkish hue. During late afternoon, it's a milky white. And in the night time, you'll see it's golden hue.
    • The Hawa Mahal in Jaipur. The Hawa Mahal is also known as "The Palace of Winds." It was built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh following Rajputana architecture. It has about 953 windows and was built using pink and red sandstones. It has five storeys and is shaped like a pyramid. Once inside, you'll notice that there isn't any stairs. To reach the next floor, there are slopes that lead to the next level. They believe that the Hawa Mahal was built for the royal women who cannot leave the palace. These windows allowed them to watch the city in all its glory without having to leave the premises.
    • The Red Fort in Delhi. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan again, this time, for the Mughal emperors. It was built using red sandstones and is a combination of Mughal, Hindu, Islamic, Timurid and Persian styles of architecture. It is also known as the Lal-Qila and is shaped like an octagon. Although the exterior is made of red sandstones, the palace inside it is made of marble. There's a hall inside called the Naubat, where you can hear ceremonial music playing. There are many other halls inside the palace which would make for great pictures.
    • The Mysore Palace in Karnataka. It is also known as the Maharajah's Palace and Amba Vilas. What makes this palace unique is that different emperors built it at different times. It is a combination of different architectural styles like Indo-Saracenic, Hindu, Muslim, Rajput and even Gothic. The materials used are grey granite and pink marbles. There's also a collection of weapons and armoury used during the ancient times. It is also the largest palace in India.
    • The Qutab Minar in Delhi. Built by Baba Banda Singh Bahadur, this minaret is the second tallest in India. Its construction took more than 75 years and was made using red sandstone and marble. You need to climb about 379 steps before you can reach the top. It has about five storeys and each one leading to a balcony.
    • The Sanchi Stupa in Madhya Pradesh. This is the oldest known sand structure in India. It was Emperor Ashoka that built this stupa in the 3rd Century B.C. It has four carved gateways depicting the life of the Buddha.
    • The Cellular Jail in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It is also known as the Kala Pani. There are about 696 cells within each cellular jail. This was the prison used by the British to exile activists for independence. Veer Savarkar and Barindra Kumar Ghosh were once imprisoned here as well.
    • The Char Minar in Hyderabad. It was built by Mohammed Quli Shahi, it is both a monument and a mosque. It was built to signify the end of the plague in the city. Its name's literal translation is "four towers," which signifies its four minarets. The entire structure is made using different materials like granite, limestone, mortar and pulverised marble.
    • The Gol Gumbaz in Karnataka. It is the mausoleum of Mohammad Adil Shah, former sultan of Bijapur. It has a Deccan architecture style. Its name means "circular dome" signifying the shape of the entire structure.
    • The Khajuraho Temples in Madhya Pradesh. There were supposedly about 85 structures but there's only 25 of them remaining now. They were built by the Chandella Rulers during A.D. 900 to 1130. Many of the sculptures inside the building are dedicated to Hindu deities and some are dedicated to Jain pantheon. They also say that these temples celebrate womanhood because of the many sculptures about women and their bodies.
    There you go, a list of the best monuments to photograph in India. There's many more but I just included the ones that are very much worth it to visit. I hope this helps!
    Kritika and Admin like this.

  3. Kritika

    Kritika New Member

    Well, I am also a history lover so my favourite monuments in India has a long list as this country has a long legacy of rulers from different dynasties and country. And each reign has gifted India with their architectural excellence in terms of Forts, Palaces, Minarets, religious places, Lakes and gardens. So it will be very difficult to pick 10 of them as each era had something very special offered, but I try. Here is my list of magnificent monuments of India:
    1. Humpi
    2. Ajanta and Ellora Caves in Aurangabad, Maharastra
    3. Khajuraho Templs in Madhya Pradesh
    4. Meenakshi Temple in Madurai, Tamil Nadu
    5. Konark (Sun) Temple, Odisha
    6. Taj Mahal, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
    7. Dilware Temple, Hawa Mahal, Mehrangarh Fort, Rajasthan
    8. Qutub Minar and Red Fort
    9. Harmindar Shaib (Golden Temple), Amritsar, Punjab
    10. Mysore Palace, Mysore, Karnataka
  4. cecejailer

    cecejailer New Member

    This is not exactly an answer to your question but I have another question to ask, and this thread seems appropriate for it. Well, here it comes:
    Are normal people allowed inside the Taj Mahal? Do you need any specific permission or is it okay to just go inside with your camera? And what's inside the Taj Mahal, to begin with? Is it worth seeing the inside?