India has a long and rich history of tourism. Since ancient times, people from different parts of the world have been visiting India for its unique culture, monuments, and architecture.
The earliest evidence of tourism in India is some rock etchings found near Bhimbetka dating back to prehistoric times.
Ancient Indian texts such as Mahabharata and Ramayana mention several kingdoms which welcomed foreign tourists with lavish hospitality. With the coming of colonial rule in the early 19th century, the tourism industry started to grow rapidly.
Many foreigners have visited India, especially the Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders Of The World located in Agra city, since its independence because of its cultural and historical significance.
Today, we are going to discuss some of the most famous landmarks in India that you can visit on your trip to the subcontinent!
Famous Landmarks in India
1. Taj Mahal
The one, the only Taj Mahal, was built as a gift by the fifth Mughal emperor in 1631.
When visiting India, you should definitely put the Taj Mahal on your to-go list, not only because of its historical significance but also because of its stunning architecture and beauty.
Legend has it that Mughal emperor Shah Jahan had the Taj Mahal built as a tribute to his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It was constructed by around 20,000 workers and took about 22 years to be completed.
Then, once construction was completed, the workers were supposedly blinded so that they could never build anything as beautiful ever again! Some also suggest that the emperor had all the workers amputated, but this might be a bit far-fetched.
When visiting the Taj Mahal, you can explore the gardens, learn about its history, and marvel at its beauty. You can also take a boat ride across the Yamuna River, which is a great way to admire this amazing structure from afar.
2. Amber Palace
Located in Jaipur, the Amber Palace was built in 1592 by Raja Man Singh, and it has been used as a royal residence by the Kachwaha dynasty since then. It is known for its intricate Rajput architecture and stunning view.
The Amber Palace was built by Raja Man Singh to demonstrate his strength, power, and wealth. He wanted to create a grand palace that would be envied by all other rulers in India.
When you visit the Amber Palace, you can explore its grounds and admire its architecture. You can also visit the Diwan-i-Khas, or Hall of Private Audience, which is known for its magnificent mirror ceiling.
3. Sri Harmandir Sahib
Located in Amritsar, the Golden Temple is one of the most sacred places in Sikhism. It was built in 1581 by Guru Arjan Dev and is considered a symbol of brotherhood and equality among all people.
The Golden Temple was built by Guru Arjan Dev in order to promote values such as tolerance and acceptance among different religions. He believed that everyone should be treated equally regardless of their religion or background.
When you are visiting the Golden Temple, you can explore its grounds and admire its intricate architecture. You can also partake in the langar, which is a communal meal served by volunteers as an act of charity.
4. Gateway Of India Mumbai
The Gateway Of India is one of the most iconic landmarks in India. Located in Mumbai, the imposing arch was built in 1911 to commemorate the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to Mumbai.
The Gateway Of India was built as a symbol of British imperial power during their rule over India. It was designed by architect George Wittet, and it took four years to build at a cost of Rs 2 million (at that time).
When you are visiting the Gateway Of India, you can explore its grounds and admire its beautiful architecture. You can also take a ride around it or even enjoy some street food nearby.
5. Hawa Mahal
Located in Jaipur, the Hawa Mahal is one of the most iconic landmarks in India. It is the handiwork of Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh all the way back in 1799, built solely from red and pink sandstone.
It is, therefore, renowned for its stunning architecture. It was built as a tribute to Lord Krishna, who, according to Hindu mythology, resides at the top of the palace.
Its unique structure was designed to resemble the crown of Krishna, and it has become a symbol of Rajasthan’s culture and heritage.
When you visit the Hawa Mahal, you can explore its grounds and admire its magnificent architecture. You can also enjoy a panoramic view of the city from the top floor.
6. India Gate
Located in Delhi, India Gate is an iconic monument that symbolizes India’s struggle for freedom and independence.
It was built in 1931 by Edwin Lutyens and is inscribed with the names of more than 13,000 Indian soldiers who died during World War I.
The India Gate was built as a tribute to all those brave men who laid down their lives for the country during World War I. It stands as a reminder of sacrifice and courage, which is why it has become such an important landmark in India.
When visiting the India Gate, you can explore its grounds and admire its beautiful architecture. You can also visit Amar Jawan Jyoti, which is located beneath the arch and pays tribute to India’s fallen soldiers.
7. Red Fort
Located in Delhi, the Red Fort is one of the most iconic landmarks in India. It was built in 1638 by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as his royal residence, and it has become a symbol of India’s rich history and culture.
The Red Fort was built as a symbol of Mughal power and grandeur. Its imposing walls were designed to protect the emperor from external threats, while its luxurious interiors showcased the wealth of the empire at the time.
When at the Red Fort, you can explore its grounds and admire its stunning architecture. You can also visit the various museums located within it, which showcase artifacts from different periods in Indian history.
8. Agra Fort
As the name suggests, this fort is in Agra. The Agra Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is yet another fort that was built by the Mughals back in 1573.
It is a tribute to the Mughal Emperor Akbar. It is renowned for its magnificent architecture, and it has become an iconic symbol of India’s rich heritage.
The Agra Fort was built to protect the emperor from external threats as well as to serve as a luxurious palace for him and his courtiers. Its grandeur and beauty have captivated visitors for centuries, and it stands as a testament to the great power of the Mughal Empire.
When you are visiting the Agra Fort, you can explore its grounds and admire its stunning architecture. You can also visit the various museums located within it, which showcase artifacts from different periods in Indian history.
9. Konark Sun Temple
Located in Odisha, the Konark Sun Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was built in 1250 AD by King Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty. It is renowned for its stunning architecture and sculptures, which make it one of India’s most iconic landmarks.
The Konark Sun Temple was built as a tribute to the Sun God, Surya. Its grandeur and beauty have captivated visitors for centuries, and it stands as a testament to the great power of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty.
When you visit the Konark Sun Temple, you can explore its grounds and admire its stunning architecture. You can also visit the various sculptures located within it, which showcase ancient stories from Hindu mythology.
Located in Hyderabad, Charminar is an iconic building that was built in 1591 by Mohammed Quli Qutb Shah. It is renowned for its stunning architecture, and it has become a symbol of Hyderabad’s rich culture and heritage.
The Charminar is one of the most famous active landmarks in the country that was built as a symbol of Qutb Shahi’s power and grandeur. Its imposing arches have captivated visitors for centuries, making it one of India’s most iconic landmarks.
Being an active landmark, it doesn’t require any ticket to visit. It is surrounded by a commercial hub, hence giving you the opportunity to also explore Hyderabad’s most famous market. Charminar quite literally translates to “four minarets,” something that the landmark truly lives up to.
When visiting the Charminar, you can explore its grounds and admire its beautiful architecture. You can also visit the various bazaars located within it, which showcase some of the best crafts in Hyderabad.
These famous landmarks in India all tell stories that reflect their historical importance to the country’s culture and are just some of the most beautiful sights in India that you can see. Each of these places has a rich history and unique story behind it, which makes them even more special! So the next time you plan a vacation to India, make sure to add these beautiful sites to your list!