Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Great buildings and monuments of India

Famous places
If there is one thing in abundance in India, that is monuments to visit. Given the long, uninterrupted and rich history of the India subcontinent, it is hardly surprising that India should have so many buildings and monuments as a marker of its cultural legacy. Every nook and cranny of this country would have some or the other place of interest for a tourist on an Indian holiday.
The most famous and massively visited ones are of course the Taj Mahal, Qutab Minar, Jama Masjid and Amer Palace/Fort. Foreign tourists coming on an Indian holiday package, mostly opt for the ‘Golden Triangle Tour’ which comprises of a whirlwind trip of the three cities of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. What’s interesting is that these cities provide a comprehensive glimpse of three major ruling communities that India had – Mughal, Rajput and British.

This doesn’t, by any means imply that the rest of India is architecturally barren.

    The northern most state of Jammu and Kashmir is home to monuments bearing diversity to the extent of a Mughal style Hari Parbat Fort and Tibetan design Leh Palace.

    Nalanda, in Bihar is famous for its Gupta era university that attracted international students from China, Greece and Persia. Such was the splendor and acclaim of Nalanda that when it was ransacked, its library is said to have burned for three months continuously. Today it lies in ruins but is a crackling symbol of India’s glorious past.

    An all India travel will also take you to the gems of Andhra Pradesh – the Golconda Fort and Char Minar. Both are sterling examples of the architectural prowess of the Qutab Shahi rulers of Andhra and are a major draw for tourists looking to go beyond the Golden Triangle.

    The unassuming state of Madhya Pradesh, if given a try, can offer amazing holiday destinations of India that will leave you wondering as to why aren’t they popularized as much as some others. The Begums of Bhopal were an exception in the male-dominated history of India, commissioning many splendid buildings and monuments. One of their ‘hidden’ treasures is the Taj Mahal (its more famous cousin being the one at Agra), a grand palace complex that housed three lakes, a mosque and several palaces.

    The British who ruled India for almost two centuries too, left some important buildings to be marveled for their alignment and geometric precision. A visit to Delhi can bring you face to face with the once elite shopping promenade of Connaught Place, the magnificent residence of the Governor General now known as the Rashtrapati Bhavan and the circular, Parliament House.

The list is exhaustive and it won’t be an understatement in proclaiming that it is virtually impossible for one to see all the great buildings and monuments of India. The least we can do is to discover as many as we can. Happy traveling!

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