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Home > Travel > Destinations > Seven wonders of India that’ll leave you in awe of our country’s architectural heritage
Seven wonders of India that’ll leave you in awe of our country’s architectural heritage

India’s compelling and resplendent past is reflected in the many heritage monuments that it is home to. Amidst all the good rocks that have been preserved, some have continued to leave humans in absolute awe of their grandeur and majesty. Join us as we take you through some of the most incredible places in India. We would like to address them as the Seven Wonders of India.

How many out of these seven wonders of India you have visited?

Taj Mahal, Agra

 

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We will start with the most obvious choice. The Taj Mahal is India’s best gift to the world of tourism. This mausoleum continues to be the most-visited monument in India. Constructed between 1632 and 1647 by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, the monument is an ode to eternal love. The architects and craftsmen who built it were masters of proportions and tricks of the eye. When you first approach the main gate that frames the Taj, for example, the monument appears incredibly close and large. But as you get closer, it shrinks in size—exactly the opposite of what you’d expect.

Khajuraho Temples, Khajuraho

 

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Khajuraho has more to it than what it is famous for — its sensual carvings. The Khajuraho temple complex is an amalgam of Hinduism and Jainism and is also one of the most brilliant examples of Indian craftsmanship when it comes to architecture. The initial 85 temples now stand at 22, the rest having given in to war, natural disaster, ruins and etc. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is flocked by history and heritage lovers from all corners of the globe. The most prominent structures in Khajuraho include Kandariya Mahadev Temple, Chausath Yogini Temple, and Lakshmana Temple.

Sun Temple, Konark

 

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Attributed to King Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga dynasty, the Sun Temple in Konark is dedicated to the Hindu Sun God, Surya. The remains of the temple complex have the appearance of a chariot, which is about 100 feet (30 metres) high, It has beautifully carved wheels and horses, all made of stone. Between the wheels, the plinth of the temple is adorned with reliefs of lions, musicians and dancers, and erotic groups. What’s more, the temple is also featured on the INR 10 note of the Indian currency, to depict its importance and relevance in Indian culture and heritage.

Golden Temple, Amritsar

Also called Sri Harmandir Sahib or Darbar Sahib, the Golden Temple of Amritsar deserves a place among the seven wonders of India. Made of marble, the two-storeyed structure is plated with 24-karat gold—everything including its domes, doors, and walls is gilded. It is surrounded by the holy Amrit Sarovar, the water of which is believed by many to have healing powers. The Guru Granth Sahib, the main sacred scripture of Sikhism, is seated inside the sanctum for 20 hours every day, before being taken in an elaborate, night-time ceremony to the adjoining Akal Takht Sahib, considered the highest temporal seat of Sikhism.

Hampi Monuments, Hampi

 

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The heritage city holds the key to understanding one of the greatest Indian empires of all time — the Vijaynagara Empire. No wonder Hampi is Karnataka’s most important asset and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Rocky but lush with trees, humble but also proud, Hampi carries Tungabhadra in its heart and the pride of the last empire in India in its memory. The Vitthala temple is singularly special because of its 56 music pillars each of which emanates a different kind of sound. That and much more await your architectural curiosity here at Hampi. There is double the number of surprises as there are temples here in Hampi.

Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai

 

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To term Meenakshi Amman Temple or Meenakshi Sundareshwar Temple as just one of India’s most significant religious spots is to exclude its significance as a thriving cultural and architectural marvel. The temple is located to the south of river Vaigai in the city of temples, Madurai. If you’re wondering what sets Meenakshi Aman Temple apart from every other temple in South India, perhaps the fact that this temple built way back in 1623-1655 CE, was nominated among the top 30 contenders for being one of the seven wonders of the world. The temple is dedicated to Parvati and Lord Shiva.

Ajanta-Ellora Caves, Maharashtra

 

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Deemed a UNESCO Heritage Site, the legendary Ajanta and Ellora caves in Maharashtra date back to the 2nd to 11th century AD, and to this very day, they stand tall as the greatest of rock-cut architectural wonders. Ancient walls adorned with various fascinating scripture paintings and rock-cut structures, these caves are bound to leave one breathless. With about 30 caves of Ajanta, all of which are said to have Buddhist roots, and 34 of Ellora, which have in them Buddhist, Jain, and Hindu roots, these offer us a fascinating glimpse into what once used to be. It is said that these caves were built by ‘sorcery’ and seeing as how they are located in a panoramic horseshoe-shaped mountainous region, it is no wonder!

Feature and hero image: Courtesy Shutterstock

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