15 Top Historical Places in India You Must Visit

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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.

Ranakpur Temple

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.

Ranakpur Temple is actually an architectural marvel but I could not stop myself from adding it to this list as I was spellbound with its calmness and beauty.

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.

Qutub Minar

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.

Click here to know the details if you are planning to visit.

Taj Mahal

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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

Taj Mahal is open from sunrise till sunset. It remains closed on Friday. One can also see Taj in its glory in the moonlight. Click here to know more.

Kumbhalgarh Fort

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”.

India is a diverse country steeped in history. Its past has seen a melting pot of different religions, rulers and empires -- all of which have left their mark on the countryside. Many historical places in India are listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites due to their cultural importance. Here is my list of top 15 Historical Places in India that you must visit #lighttravelaction #historicalarchitecture #historicalplacesinindiaarchitecture #historicalplacesinindiaworldheritagesites #incredibleindia

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.

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”.

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 Fort

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

Humayun's Tomb is a delightful blend of Persian, Turkish and Indian architecture. A hint of Rajathani architecture in Jharokhas, lattice work and chhatris is visible in the structure and is definitely worth visiting. But there is more to why you should visit Humayun's Tomb in Delhi.Click to more about this Architectural Marvel that inspired the construction of Taj Mahal. #lighttravelaction #delhitravel #incredibleindia #humayunstomb #humayunstombphotography #mughalarchitecture

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.

Tughlaqabad Fort

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.

Jallianwala Bagh

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Jallianwala Bagh Massacre happened on 13th April 1919 when thousands of Sikhs were celebrating the spring harvest festival of Baisakhi. Undoubtedly it is one of the darkest moments in the entire British colonial rule in India. 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. Click to read best time to visit, history, entry timing, entry fees and MORE

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.

Fatehpur Sikri

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.

woman dressed in black salwar kurta sitting in a boat looking at the Varanasi ghat
Varanasi, also known as Kashi and Benaras, is the cultural capital of India.

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

family_travel_blog_spiti_himachal_pradesh
Fort like Key Gompa

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. 

Read more by Clicking here.

Hampi

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.

Bangalore Palace

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

The Portuguese heritage of Goa's Fontainhas Latin Quarter is a main attraction in capital city, Panjim. Fontainhas was declared a UNESCO Heritage Zone in 1984. You'll be transported back in time as you wander past colorful old Portuguese homes, belonging to the last surviving Portuguese families of Goa. Narrow winding streets and lanes, quaint shops, art galleries, bakeries, and restaurants give it undeniable character #lighttravelaction #offbeatindia #goaindia #goaphotographyideas #goatravel

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.

Shaniwar Wada

n equestrian statue of Bajirao outside Shaniwar Wada. Built in 1732, Shaniwarwada is a historical fortification in the city of Pune in Maharashtra, India. Read more about the The former love-nest of Bajirao and Kashi and Bajirao and Mastani.
An equestrian statue of Bajirao outside Shaniwar Wada
Source: Wikimedia Commons

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!

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India is a diverse country steeped in history. Its past has seen a melting pot of different religions, rulers and empires -- all of which have left their mark on the countryside. Many historical places in India are listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites due to their cultural importance. Here is my list of top 15 Historical Places in India that you must visit #lighttravelaction #historicalarchitecture #historicalplacesinindiaarchitecture #historicalplacesinindiaworldheritagesites #incredibleindia
India is a diverse country steeped in history. Its past has seen a melting pot of different religions, rulers and empires -- all of which have left their mark on the countryside. Many historical places in India are listed as UNESCO World Heritage sites due to their cultural importance. Here is my list of top 15 Historical Places in India that you must visit #lighttravelaction #historicalarchitecture #historicalplacesinindiaarchitecture #historicalplacesinindiaworldheritagesites #incredibleindia

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