Concept: Important Monuments
India — A Land of Cultural Diversity:
- India is a land of cultural diversity as it has been under the influence of different rulers who invaded India from time to time and established their reigns.
- Under these emperors, India flourished socially, economically, and culturally.
- Regarding cultural growth, various monuments were built during the tenures of different kings.
- All these monuments had a different architecture and indicated the skilled craftsmanship of the builders of that time.
Importance of monuments:
- Over the years, the monuments have been looked after and preserved as they represent India’s rich cultural heritage.
- These monuments are of national importance as they are the symbols of the culture and traditions which prevailed in India at different times and connected the present to the past.
- These monuments display outstanding architectural skills and are fine examples of appreciable artistry.
Let us look at some important monuments that have stood the test of time and proudly display the diversity of our culture.
- Taj Mahal:
- This monument is the epitome of eternal beauty and is located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh.
- It was built by the great Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
- It was built with white marble and was completed in 22 years by more than 20,000 labourers.
- It is also designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Qutub Minar:
- It is an 800-year-old monument located at Mehrauli, New Delhi.
- It comprises five floors and is made using red and cream-coloured sandstone.
- The monument was built by Qutub-ud-din Aibak, the first ruler of the Delhi Sultanate, in 1199 to mark his victory.
- It is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Konark Sun Temple:
- The Sun Temple at Konark in Odisha is one of the iconic temples of India, resembling the cosmic chariot of the Sun God.
- The temple is dedicated to the Hindu solar deity, Surya.
- It was built by Narashimhadev I, a ruler of the Eastern Ganga dynasty, as a symbol of his victory over Muslim invaders.
- The temple is an epic example of the Kalinga style of architecture.
- The Konark Sun Temple is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Ajanta Caves:
- The Ajanta Caves is situated in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra.
- These rock-cut cave temples are famous for their Buddhist carvings on soft basalt rock.
- The carvings depict legends about the beginning and spread of Buddhism in the country.
- Fatehpur Sikri Complex:
- As the name suggests, Fatehpur Sikri is a City of Victory built by the Mughar emperor Akbar to symbolise his victory over Gujarat.
- The first building built in the complex was the famous Jama Masjid, made of red sandstone and white marble.
- It is located at the centre of the courtyard of the complex.
- It is believed that this monument was inspired by the holy city of Mecca.
- The building was built keeping Islamic and Hindu elements in mind and took 14 years to complete. It was accomplished between the years 1571 and 1585.
- Ellora Caves:
- Referred to as Shiva’s abode on Earth, the Ellora Caves are located in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra.
- It is one of the world’s largest monastery temple complexes made of cutting rocks.
- There are more than 100 caves here, out of which the 16th cave is famous for being the world’s largest monolithic rock structure, known as the Kailasa temple.
- These caves were excavated during the reign of Hindu dynasties.
- Chittorgarh Fort:
- It was the capital of the Kingdom of Mewar, the world’s longest-ruling dynasty.
- Chitrangad Mauri, or Maurya Dynasty, laid the foundation of this fort.
- The fort is spread across 700 acres and is located near the Gambhiri river.
- The fort has two distinguished landmark towers, Vijay Stambha and Kirti Stambha.
- The Rajput women inside the fort hold an annual Jauhar Mela to commemorate the sacrifice of the ancestors who chose to die instead of getting dishonoured.
- Humayun’s Tomb:
- It was built in 1565 AD and is a magnificent example of Mughal architecture.
- Mirak Mirza Ghiyas was the tomb's architect who was Persian, and hence the Persian style of architecture influenced the building.
- Several Mughal emperors are buried inside the Humayun’s mausoleum.
- It is the first garden-tomb in the Indian subcontinent which inspired the construction of the Taj Mahal later.
- It is located in the eastern part of the national capital.
- Agra Fort:
- The Agra Fort is situated in Agra, a city in Uttar Pradesh.
- It was built by the great Mughal emperor Akbar in 1565 AD.
- It was initially made as a military establishment but later on was modified by the successors of Akbar.
- This monument is also known as Red Fort, as it is built using red sandstone.
- One of the major attractions of the fort is Jahangir Palace, the place where Akbar’s son Jahangir lived.
- The famous Peacock Throne was kept in Agra Fort before it was shifted to Delhi by Aurangzeb.
- Shah Jahan was imprisoned by his son Aurangzeb in Agra fort for 8 years.
- Golconda Fort:
- The Golconda Fort was built in the 12th century.
- It is a massive structure with eight gates and 87 bastions.
- It is known for its outstanding architecture and brilliant engineering and is located in the city of Hyderabad.
- The major attractions of the Golconda fort are its—
- Water supply system
- Rahban Cannon
- Marvelous acoustics of Fateh Darwaza.
List of other famous monuments in India:
|S.No.||Name of the Monument||Place||Built by|
|1.||Gateway of India||Mumbai||George Wittet to commemorate the landing of King-Emperor George V and Queen-Empress Mary.|
|2.||Shanivar Wada||Pune||Peshwa Bajirao|
|3.||Hawa Mahal||Jaipur||Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh|
|4.||Dilwara’s Jain Temple||Mount Abu||Built between the 11th and 13th centuries by Chalukya dynasty|
|5.||Victoria Memorial||Kolkata||King George V and dedicated to Queen Victoria.|
|6.||Sanchi Stupa||Madhya Pradesh||Emperor Ashoka|
|7.||Char Minar||Hyderabad||Qutub Shahi|
|8.||Hauz Khas||Delhi||Alauddin Khilji|
|9.||Jantar Mantar||Jaipur||Sawai Jai Singh|
|10.||India Gate||New Delhi||Edwin Luteans (Architect)|
|11.||President House||Delhi||British Government|
|12.||Jagannath Temple||Puri||King Chodaganga|
|13.||Swarna Mandir(Golden Temple)||Amritsar||Guru Ramdas|
|14.||Amber Fort||Jaipur||Man Singh|
|15.||Jantar Mantar||Jaipur||Sawai Man Singh|
|16.||St. George Fort||Chennai||East India Company|
Architecture: The art of designing a building, including its interiors and exteriors.
Monolithic: Formed from one single rock.
Commemorate: To show respect to something or a person.
Kalinga: Previously, Odisha was known by this name.
Did You Know?
- The Akshardham Temple in Delhi has been registered in the Guinness Book of World Record as the world’s largest Hindu Comprehensive Temple.
- The British army was so smitten by the grandeur of the Taj Mahal that they kept talking about it. On hearing this, Queen Victoria ordered the General to build her a magnificent memorial, which is how the Victoria Memorial was built.