I have always been fascinated by the ancient monuments, ruins, forts, temples and palaces that India is home to. India has a huge number of places that have a rich and vivid past behind them.
There can be no better way to have a peek into the past than by visiting these places. These ancient places have been witness to many incidents, have touched and affected many lives.
Every time I visit any of these places, I get to listen to the stories that the silent walls, stones, ruins and boulders tell. Of course, along with the facts and the tales that have survived generations and time.
There are more than 100 such places in India that can be visited for their historical importance but here we are listing top 15 Historical Places in India that you must visit to get a taste of history of this diverse country.
Here is a list of top 15 Historical Places in India that you must visit.
The magnificent fifteenth century Ranakpur temple in Mewar region of Rajasthan, India, is dedicated to Adinath, the first Tirthankara, of this era.
The grand scale and sheer architectural complexity of Ranakpur temple is alluring.
It also boasts of being one of the five most important holy shrines of the Jains.The finely sculptured columns in the Adinath Temple of Ranakpur create an impression of porosity.
Where: Desuri, Ranakpur Road, Sadri Rajasthan-306702
The Ranakpur temple (1439 AD) in Rajasthan, India is an Architectural Masterpiece. This Jain temple is 90km north of Udaipur. It is a place worth exploring if you are heading to or out of the beautiful lake city of Udaipur.
Click to read more about the history of the place, entry timings, fees, top things to do, eat, stay and explore. You can get more details about visiting this place by Clicking here.
With its rich culture, heritage, and history, Qutub Minar is one of the major heritage sites in Delhi that attracts travelers and photographers from all over the world.
Qutub Minar is the tallest minaret in the world that is made up of bricks.
This structure is the manifestation of the architecture of different eras.
Qutub Minar is taller than some of the other famous buildings in the world like the tower of Pisa and Great Pagoda in China.
Where: Mehrauli, New Delhi-110030
The Minar tilts about 60 centimeters from the vertical. This is the reason that it is often compared with the leaning tower of Pisa. One can see Qutub Complex lighted at night glowing in LED lights from 7 pm to 11 pm.
Our list would be incomplete without Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the modern world.
It is such an important architectural marvel and important historical structure for India that during the Indo-Pak war in 1971 it was camouflaged so that it could be saved from any attack.
The Taj is made up of white marble with carvings and calligraphy that displays a beautiful blend of Mughal, Persian and Indian architecture. The appearance and beauty of the Taj Mahal changes with the time of the day.
Taj Mahal looks different at dawn, daytime, dusk and night.
Where: Dharmapuri, Forest Colony, Tajganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh 282001
Everyone knows about the Great Wall of China which is 22,000 km (approximately) in length, and the longest wall in the world.
But do you know which is the second longest wall in the world?
It’s the wall of the Kumbhalgarh Fort which is 36 km long.
It is popularly known as the “Great Wall of India”.
Though the fort is mostly in ruins and it does not have the architectural splendour like that of Chittorgarh or Jaipur Forts, however, the charm of the Great wall draws tourists to this place and rightly so.
You can get many amazing photographs at and around this fort.
Where: Kumbhalgarh, Rajasthan-313325
Planning to visit Kumbhalgarh Fort? Click here for further details.
Chittorgarh is home to the Chittor Fort, the largest fort in India and Asia.Just like the Fort of Jaisalmer, Chittorgarh Fort is a living fort with many villages calling it their home.
Chittorgarh Fort is the living memory of the valiant kings like Rana Kumbha, Rana Sangha, Maharana Pratap and sacrifice of brave ladies like Rani Padmini (also known as Rani Padmavati) and Panna Dhai.
There’s a famous saying about Chittorgarh Fort, “Garh to Bas Chittorgarh, baaki Sab Garhiya.”
Translated the phrase means, “If there is any Fort worth mention, it is Chittorgarh rest are all fortresses!”
Where: Chittorgarh Fort Road, Chittorgarh, Rajasthan
So, if this makes you feel like visiting this fort worth mention, get more information about it by Clicking Here.
Humayun’s Tomb is a delightful blend of Persian, Turkish and Indian architecture. A hint of Rajasthani architecture in Jharokhas, lattice work and chhatris is visible in the structure and is definitely worth visiting. this Architectural Marvel that inspired the construction of the Taj Mahal.
This monument was the first one to have the combination of red sandstone and white marble in its construction. Providing insight into the rich architecture and history of the Mughals’ period, this monument is a must-visit for art, history and architecture enthusiasts.
Where: Mathura Road Opposite, Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia Dargah, Nizamuddin, New Delhi-110013
Next time when you are in Delhi, make it a point to visit Humayun’s Tomb. To know more about this unfortunate emperor and the story behind this masuline tomb Click Here.
With a past of more than six centuries, this ancient fort deserves a spot in the list of the worth-visiting, offbeat historical places of Delhi. Tughlaqabad was built by Sultan Ghiyasuddin Tughlaq as his capital city for the new founded Tughlaq dynasty.
The construction of this fort started in 1321 and was completed in just 4 years. But unfortunately, the fort didn’t see good times for long and was abandoned soon in 1327.
Tughlaqabad Fort is now nothing more than ruins standing in dilapidated condition. People who are interested in history, stories, architecture, and photography would definitely like this place.
Where: Tughlaqabad, New Delhi- 110044
There is an interesting story behind the construction of this historical fort. Click here to know more about this fort and its story.
100 years ago, on the fateful day of 13th April 1919, an unarmed crowd of thousands of people was shot at by the British troops at the order of General Reginald Dyer in Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar.
People had come together to celebrate the festival of Baisakhi and for a peaceful protest against the atrocities of the British rule.
According to the official records, 379 people lost their lives but the unofficial sources claim at least 1000 died.
The bullet marks can still be seen on the walls of Jallianwala Bagh. The well, from where 120 dead bodies were recovered, still stands as the witness of this heinous bloodshed.
This incident added fuel to the fire of India’s struggle for Swaraj which eventually led to the downfall of the British rule.
Where: Golden Temple Road, Katra Ahluwalia, Amritsar, Punjab 143006
Let not the sacrifice of those people be forgotten. Know more about this place by clicking here.
Located at a distance of around 60 KM from Agra, Fatehpur Sikri is well worth a visit from the magnificent city of Agra.
With its intricate carvings on the red sandstone palace, the profound entrance doors, the Mughal courtyard, and court of the king, Diwan-i-Aam and Diwan-i-Khas, Fatehpur Sikri more than lives up to the reputation it’s held ever since it was built in the 16th century by Emperor Akbar.
Fatehpur Sikri was an Indo-Islamic masterpiece, but due to the water shortages, this Royal City of religious importance was abandoned and that is why it is called a Ghost town. Perhaps, river Yamuna’s flow was not sufficient to provide water to the hinterlands.
Fatehpur Sikri now sits in remarkably good condition as a deserted city popular with tourists, history and architecture lovers.
Where: Uttar Pradesh 283110
Take a closer look at the Mughal culture, history and architecture by visiting Fatehpur Sikri. Get more information about it by Clicking here.
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Varanasi, Benaras or Kashi, famous as ‘Bhagwan Shiv ki Nagri’ is a complete world in itself. One of the oldest continually inhabited city in the world, Varanasi should be on your travel list if you are interested in history, culture and spirituality.
It is home to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple which is listed as one of the 12 Jyotirlingas by Adi-Shankaracharya, the 8th century Vedanta scholar. In these spots, Shiva appeared as a pillar of fire on his own (swayambhu linga).
Such Shiva temples are distinguished from those set up by human hands (sthapitha linga)(Source).
There is a lot to explore in Varanasi like temples, ghats and the delicious street food!
It is often said that if one dies in Kashi one will not be reborn and will thus be liberated from the cycle of life and death. This is the reason why thousands go to die in Varanasi, or demand that their last rites be performed there.
Key Monastery is believed to have been founded by Dromton (Brom-Ston 1008 – 1064 C.E.) a pupil of the famous teacher Atisha Dipankar in the 11th Century. Initially founded in Rangrik it was later shifted to the present site centuries earlier.
The monastery has a rich collection of books and finest collection of thankas (a religious painting on a scroll) and the walls are covered with paintings and murals having high aesthetic value.
Where: Key, Himachal Pradesh 172114
Hot and salted yak-butter tea, the teaching ground of Buddhist Lamas, the filming of the famous Hindi movie ‘Highway’ and the picturesque location makes the more-than-1000-year-old Key Monastery a must visit place.
Hampi which is a UNESCO world heritage site is a must-visit site for History and Art lovers for its spectacular monuments, riverside shrines, temple complexes with beautiful carvings, emerald paddy fields, best Sunset, and Sunrise viewing spots.
The UNESCO Heritage site is still under excavation. ASI officials excavating around Hampi’s tourist-attracting Virupaksha Temple expect many centuries-old structures connected with the existing temple buried underground.
If you find history, art, ruins, architecture and mystical tales interesting then Hampi is a place you should not miss out!
Where: Karnataka 583239
Click here to read more about it before you plan your trip.
The Bangalore Palace is the Crown Jewel of Bangalore and is worth the visit. The humongous Bangalore Palace is the epitome of medieval British architecture from the late 19th century.
However, elements of Indian architectural influence and art make their presence felt at the fold of every pillar at the Bangalore Palace. The palace was built by king Chamaraja Wadiyar.
Construction of the palace building was started in April 1874 and was completed by 1878.
People visit this Palace for its splendor and lavishness. The architectural style is a mix of Tudor and Scottish Gothic. The frontal facade of the Bangalore Palace depicts a typical European architecture.
Where: Vasanth Nagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560052
If you want to see a Palace that is different from the traditional Indian architecture, you must visit this. Read more about it by Clicking Here.
Fontainhas is the place to be at for experiencing the offbeat Goa. Goa was a Portuguese colony during the period 1510 to 1961. The influence of the Portuguese culture is quite evident in Fontainhas.
Four centuries is quite a lot of time to leave a mark on the culture, architecture and cuisine of a place. This is an amazing place for photographers and architecture enthusiasts.
Where: Panjim, Goa 403001
If reading this makes you feel like taking the road less traveled and explore the other side of Goa, know more about by Clicking Here.
Built in 1732, by the Peshwas (Prime Ministers) of the Maratha King (Chhatrapati), Shaniwar Wada has been ruined by a combination of military attacks and fires through the centuries. It is a heavily fortified building complex with nine bastions and five gateways.
The massive walls and heavy ramparts that remain today tell the tale of tragic love, treachery, rich history, and haunting spirits. This place is believed to be haunted.
Where: Shaniwar Peth, Pune, Maharashtra 411030
If you want to experience it yourself, plan your trip with all the required information available Here.
It is not possible to actually understand the local culture, art and people of a place without knowing about their past.
The interesting anecdotes, tales, myths, folklores about such historical places make visiting them a lot more enriching experience. In fact, this is the only way we have right now to travel back into time and be at the places that earlier only the privileged ones could enter.
So, next time you wish to sneak a peek into the past, check out this list again and get going!