5000 years of civilization and more has given India some fantastic historical places, monuments, legends and experiences. Paying a tribute to the glorious history and heritage, these monuments are absolutely fascinating. Right from ancient to medieval times, several kings and emperors, dynasties and kingdoms have built monuments for various reasons. However, there is no denying the fact that historical places in India draw visitors in large numbers. From the Taj Mahal to the ruins of Hampi, every fort, palace or temple is an example of outstanding aesthetics and elegance.
Here are the top 51 historical places in India for the tales of the bygone era.
- Red Fort, Delhi
- Khajuraho Temples, Madhya Pradesh
- Taj Mahal, Agra
- Hampi, Karnataka
- Qutub Minar, Delhi
- Fatehpur Sikri, Uttar Pradesh
- Hawa Mahal, Jaipur
- Konark Sun Temple, Odisha
- Gateway of India, Mumbai
- Mahabodhi Temple, Bihar
- Victoria Memorial, Kolkata
- Ajanta & Ellora Caves, Aurangabad
- Charminar, Hyderabad
- Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar
- Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
- Agra Fort, Agra
- Gwalior Fort, Madhya Pradesh
- Old Fort, Delhi
- Mattancherry Palace, Kochi
- Mysore Palace, Mysore
- Belur, Karnataka
- Elephanta Caves, Maharashtra
- City Palace, Udaipur
- Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
- Chittor Fort, Chittorgarh
- Rani Ki Vav, Gujarat
- Brihadisvara Temple, Tamil Nadu
- Churches and Convents of Goa
- Amer Fort, Jaipur
- India Gate, Delhi
- Golconda Fort, Hyderabad
- Gol Gumbaz, Bijapur
- Badami Caves, Karnataka
- Cellular Jail, Andaman and Nicobar Islands
- Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai
- Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi
- Halebid, Karnataka
- Nalanda University, Bihar
- Champaner-Pavagadh, Gujarat
- Kumbhalgarh, Rajasthan
- Laxmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara
- Orchha, Madhya Pradesh
- Rabdentse Palace, Sikkim
- Jaisalmer Fort, Jaisalmer
- Bara Imambara, Lucknow
- Group of Monuments at Pattadakal, Karnataka
- Key Monastery, Spiti
- Tughlakabad Fort, Delhi
- Basgo Monastery, Ladakh
- Nartiang Durga Temple, Meghalaya
- Undavalli Caves, Andhra Pradeshx
1. Red Fort, Delhi
Red Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an outstanding combination of size and aesthetics. Construction took over a period of ten years, from 1638 to 1648. When the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, came to Delhi shifting his capital from Agra to Delhi, the fort was his idea of residence. It was then famous as the Qila-e-Mubarak. The octagonal fort, built in red sandstone, stands proudly amid the din and commotion of Old Delhi. It draws visitors in great numbers every day.
Interesting Fact About Red Fort: The Red Fort was not actually red but white limestone. It was the British who painted it red when the limestone started cracking off.
Timings. 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM (closed on Mondays)
What you should see. One of the main attractions is the Palace of Colors or the Rang Mahal where the emperor’s wives, mistresses and maids resided.
2. Khajuraho Temples, Madhya Pradesh
Khajuraho Temples, located in the town of Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. and one of the unique structures you will come across. The temples display a very powerful emotion residing within human beings, that of eroticism and sensuality. Built by the Chandel rulers, this group of Hindu and Jain temples consist of exquisitely carved statues and sculptures that reflect the traditional Hindu values of Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha.
Interesting Fact about Khajuraho Temples: Khajuraho derived its name from the fact that it was dotted with date palms and Khajura, which means date. In ancient times, the city was also known as Khajjurpura.
Timings. 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
What you should see. One of the major attractions in the Khajuraho Temples is the sound and light show that depicts the struggles of Chandela dynasty.
3. Taj Mahal, Agra
Taj Mahal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most famous historical places in Agra city of Uttar Pardesh and should be visited at least once in a lifetime. It represents the pinnacle of grand Mughal architecture and is built entirely of white marble. Shah Jahan built this magnificent monument for one of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Visitors to this grand monument are left captivated by its grandeur and perfect aesthetical proportions. It took around 22 years to complete the construction of this splendid monument.
Interesting Fact About Taj Mahal Agra: There is a shopping complex and hotel being built in Dubai which is inspired by the Taj Mahal. It’s estimated to be four times larger in size than the original Taj Mahal.
Timings. 6:00 AM – 6:30 PM (closed on Friday).
What you should see: The night time shows at the Taj Mahal are a hit among the visitors and let you see its beauty in an entirely different light.
4. Hampi, Karnataka
The ruins of Hampi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, stand as a reminder of the glory that prevailed during the Vijaynagara Empire. A visit to Hampi brings you across some of the best examples of aesthetics and style in architecture. An example of that is the Virupaksha Temple, which consists of a Lord Shiva statue carved in stone. The other attractions are the Queen’s Bath, Elephant Stables, Vijay Vittala Temple and Hampi Bazaar.
Interesting Fact :The first instance of human settlement dates back to 1 CE.
Timings. 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM (closed on Fridays).
What you should see. Check out some of the monuments with carvings from the 14th century.
5. Qutub Minar, Delhi
Qutub Minar is one of the must visit historical places in Delhi and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built by Qutb-ud-din Aibak, it is testimony to the first Muslim kingdom in India. Touching the skies at a height of almost 240ft, it is one of the tallest ancient towers all over the world. One of the finest example of Indo-Muslim architecture, it consists of red sandstone stories which are adorned with verses from the Quran in Arabic.
Interesting Fact About Qutub Minar: The Qutub Minar complex is home to an iron pillar which has not rusted even after 2000 years.
Timings. 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM
What you should see. One of the special attractions at the Qutub Minar is the Decorative Light Show held every evening and the Qutub Minar Festival held in October/November.
6. Fatehpur Sikri, Uttar Pradesh
Fatehpur Sikri, situated at a distance of almost 40km to the west of Agra, was the short-lived capital of the Mughal emperor Akbar. It served as a short lived capital of the Mughal Empire in the 16th century. However, it had to be abandoned because of problems with the water supply, among other things. Taking a tour of this royal city brings you across courtyards, audience halls and pavilions that reflect the artistic excellence achieved during the heyday of the Mughal Empire.
Interesting Fact About Fatehpur Sikri: Did you know that many women who wanted a child would come to visit the tomb of Sufi saint Salim Chisti to pray here?
Timings. 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
What you should see. Two of the major attractions inside the Fatehpur Sikri are Diwan-i-Aam and the Diwan-i-Khas. These buildings are where the emperor would hold audiences with the common people and the royals.
7. Hawa Mahal, Jaipur
Your tour is incomplete unless you visit the Hawa Mahal in Jaipur. Hawa Mahal, or the Palace of Winds, was more of a gallery than a monument. It was designed by Lal Chand Ustad as a gallery from where ladies of the royal household could watch the everyday life in the street, since at other times, they had to observe the purdah. Built in red and pink sandstone, it’s shaped like a crown as the ruler of Jaipur during that time, Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, was a big devotee of Lord Krishna.
Interesting Fact About Hawa Mahal, Jaipur: Hawa Mahal is the tallest building in the world without a proper foundation. It consists of 5 stories, but, without a proper foundation, leans at an angle of 87 degrees.
Timings. 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM
What you should see. Look out for the intricate lattice work displayed on the tiny windows.
8. Konark Sun Temple, Odisha
Konark Sun Temple in Odisha, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an ode to the artistic brilliance achieved under the reign of King Narasimhadeva I, the glorious ruler of Ganga dynasty. Located on the coast of Bay of Bengal, it showcases exquisite ancient architecture. One particular attraction is the entrance to the temple which shows two lions crushing elephants and a human body lying at the foot of it. The Konark Sun Temple is also known as “Black Pagoda” by some scholars.
Interesting Fact About Konark Sun Temple: The 12 wheels that are located at the base of the temple are actually sundials with accurate time telling ability.
Timings. 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM (closed on Fridays).
What you should see. Spend some time observing the three statues of the sun gods upon whom the rays of the sun fall at dawn, noon and sunset.
9. Gateway of India, Mumbai
Gateway of India is one of the famous historical places in Mumbai. Dating back to 1924, it was as an access point for entry and exit during the British period. The monument commemorates the visit of King George V and Queen Mary to the city in 1911. However, the structure wasn’t complete until 1924. It also played a significant role in the history of India, since it was here that the British troops departed through in 1948 after India got her Independence.
Interesting Fact about Gateway of India: It was from the Gateway of India that the last British ships set sail for England in the 20th century.
Timings. 24 Hours Open
What you should see. There are steps behind the gateway which allow you to take trips to Elephanta Island.
10. Mahabodhi Temple, Bihar
Mahabodhi Temple is where Gautam Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment while meditating under a fig tree. The Bodhi tree is the descendant of the Fig tree and lies in close proximity to the temple. The earliest temple, however, dates back to Asoka’s rule in the 3rd century BC. It houses an enormous Buddha statue touching the earth with his right hand.
Interesting Fact About Mahabodhi Temple, Gya: Bodhimanda is the spot under the Bodhi tree where Gautam Buddha is believed to have achieved enlightenment. According to legends, this spot will be the last to disappear when the world ends and the first to reappear on the recreation of the world.
Timings. 5:00 AM – 9:00 PM
What you should see. The Jewel Walk is the crowd puller, because this is the same spot where the Lord Buddha is believed to have gone on a seven days walking meditation after he was enlightened.
11. Victoria Memorial, Kolkata
The Victoria Memorial is indisputably one of the best examples of British architecture in West Bengal . The idea for the monument goes to Lord Curzon, the then Viceroy. While its actual designing and implantation was by Sir William Emerson. Inside the premises of Victoria Memorial stands a beautiful garden along with a museum containing British memorabilia like sculptures, paintings, weapons and artifacts, besides others. One of the best paintings is that by the famous Russian artist Vasili Verestchagin which depicts the Prince of Wales in Jaipur in 1876.
Interesting Fact about Victoria Memorial: There are two sets of mysterious inscriptions on the monument. One of that is VRI which stands for Victoria Regina Imperatrix (Victoria Queen and Empress) and the other is Dieu Et Mon Droit (God and my right).
Timings. 5:30 AM – 6:15 PM
What you should see. A special attraction is the black bronze statue “Angel of Victory” which lies at the apex of the memorial’s dome. During clear weather, it also acts as a weathercock.
12. Ajanta & Ellora Caves, Aurangabad
The Ajanta & Ellora Caves in Aurangabad are a UNESCO World Heritage Sites and an example of outstanding craftsmanship. They are also one of the most fascinating historical places in India. It’s amazing to think that each rock carving was done by hand. Also, it stuns onlookers with its intricate design and artwork. Another equally interesting fact is that these caves was an accidental discovery by the British officer John Smith. There are 29 caves belonging to Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. There are 34 caves at Ellora, out of which 12 are Buddhist, 17 are Hindu and 5 are Jain.
Interesting Fact about Ajanta & Ellora Caves: Legends reveal that the Buddhist monks did not go out during monsoons and would sit and carve in the Ajanta caves during that time.
Timings. 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM (Ajanta caves closed on Mondays & Ellora caves closed on Tuesdays).
What you should see. By far, the most grand and exquisite work in Ajanta is Cave 26 which houses the Chaitya hall with a stupa. In Ellora, the special attraction is the “Cavern of the Ten Avatars” , a landmark dating to the reign of Krishna I.
13. Charminar, Hyderabad
A popular and exciting tale revolving around the Charminar goes that it was built by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah in 1591 to honor the diving being. However, historical records state that this grand structure, and an immensely popular tourist attraction is a symbol of the ending of plague in the city. There is a common legend about the tunnel according to which, there is a secret tunnel which connects it to the Golconda fort but no such discovery has been made till date.
Interesting Fact about Charminar: A cat’s head sits on one of the arches of the Charminar to instill fear in the hearts of rats that once almost ruined Hyderabad.
Timings. 9:30 AM -5:30 PM
What you should see. There is an old bazaar by the name of Laad Bazaar where you can purchase several artefacts. There are also a lot of food joints inside the market itself.
14. Jallianwala Bagh, Amritsar
Jallianwala Bagh is the site which witnessed one of the most horrific incidents in Indian history. Located in close proximity to the Golden Temple in Amritsar, it was here on 13th April, 1919 that the British troops opened fire on a large group of unarmed protestors. This incident marks the pages of history as the Amritsar Massacre. To escape the bullets, many people jumped into the well while many lost their lives in the ensuring stampede. This incident also proved to be a turning point in the history of India’s independence struggle.
Interesting Fact About Jalianwala Bagh : Till today, the walls bear the bullet marks. A light and sound show recreates the painful tale.
Timings. 6:30 AM – 7:30 PM
What you should see. You should check out the well, the Martyr’s Well, as well as the wall which still bears the marks of the bullets.
15. Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
The Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram (also known as Mamallapuram) are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and stand as a glorious reminder of the past. One of the must visit historical site in Tamil Nadu, the stone carvings at these temples display the pinnacle of Pallava art. Their construction took almost 12 years to complete. The 11 temples called Mandapas lie on both sides of the hill at Mahabalipuram. They have a unique style, especially the charming mix and have Dravidian as well as Buddhist styles of architecture. The most popular attractions here are the Shore Temple, Arjuna’s Penance and Cave Temples.
Interesting Fact About Mahabalipuram: The “Descent of the Ganges” is a beautiful carving of pink granite. It depicts the story of how Lord Shiva brought about the descent of the Ganges from the heaven onto Earth.
Timings. 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM
What you should see. The temples at Mahabalipuram often host numerous dance festivals. One among them; the Mamallapuram Dance Festival is an annual celebration that falls in the month of December and January.
16. Agra Fort, Agra
Agra Fort is inarguably one of the remarkable historical places in India, which was given the title of World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983. This opulent structure features the Mughal style of architecture and when viewed from above, the fort displays the shape of a semicircle enclosed by massive double battlemented walls made of red sandstone. To your surprise, the Red Fort of Delhi, which was made by Shah Jahan is inspired by Agra Fort. Inside the fort, there are splendid rooms, beautiful halls, and magnificent mosques. It is believed that the fort once had over 5000 structures and monuments inside out of which only a dozen of these stood the test of time.
Interesting Fact about Agra Fort: Originally, Agra Fort was built in bricks by Chauhan Rajputs. Later, Akbar rebuilt the fort with red sandstone on its exteriors. Akbar demolished many buildings inside the fort and built palaces and mosques using white marble; which you see today.
Timings: 6.00 AM – 6.00 PM
What you should see: Watch the sound and light show at Agra Fort, which will take you on a visual journey of its illustrious past.
17. Gwalior Fort, Madhya Pradesh
If you truly love to explore the ancient monuments in India, Gwalior Fort is a must-visit place. An architectural marvel of the 8th century, Gwalior Fort is reputed to be one of the most beautiful fortresses in the country and is a thriving tourist destination in Madhya Pradesh. Emitting the energy that speaks tales of the times gone by, the walls of the fort will capture your attention as soon as you walk in Gwalior ka Kila. Much to the pride of the locals, this magnificent fort has become a place of worship, wonder, and sheer amazement for tourists all around the world.
Interesting Fact about Gwalior Fort: Gwalior Fort is the place where the second oldest record of number “zero” was found in one of the temples inside the fort.
Timings: 8.00 AM – 6.00 PM
What you should see: Witness the Hindu and Islamic architecture at the monuments and temples inside the fort.
18. Old Fort, Delhi
Also known as Purana Qila, Old Fort is one of the top tourist attractions in Delhi. It is often referred to as Shergarh after the Mughal Emperor Sher Shah Suri, who started its construction. The fort is said to be inhabited for the past 2,500 years and the excavations done at the site show evidence for things belonging to the pre-Mauryan era. All the gates and bastions at this fort are a major attraction that showcases a brilliant work of architecture. The reminiscent features of Rajasthani architecture perfectly blend with Islamic architecture from the Mughal era, making Old Fort a heritage site.
Interesting Fact about Old Fort: The 16th-century historic building called Sher Mandal inside the Old Fort was an astronomical library, which was started by Mughal Emperor Babur for his son Humayun for his interest in astronomical star gazing.
Timings: 10.00 AM – 5.00 PM
What you should see: Watch the sound and light show at Purana Qila or Old Fort called Ishq-e-Dilli, which showcases Indraprashtha mythology from the Indian epic, Mahabharata.
19. Mattancherry Palace, Kochi
Mattancherry Palace is one of the finest examples of the Kerala style of architecture combined with colonial influences. Also known as Dutch Palace, this palace is known for its spacious halls. Not just this but it is also home to the deity of the royal family, Pazhayannur Bhagavathy. On your visit, you can see the double storied palace with an incredible collection of murals that depicts epics like Ramayana and Mahabharta along with the revered Gods of the Hindu faith like Lord Krishna. Life-size portraits of the Kings of Cochin, sheathed swords, daggers, axes, royal caps, and coins can also be viewed here.
Interesting Fact about Mattancherry Palace: Around 1545 C.E., the Portuguese built his palace as a gift to offer to King Veera Kerala Verma of Kochi Dynasty.
Timings: 10.00 AM – 5.00 PM (closed on Fridays)
What you should see: The unique floors of the palace built with a mixture of burnt coconut shells, lime, plant juices and egg whites, is quite fascinating.
20. Mysore Palace, Mysore
If you are a fan of ancient architecture, Mysore Palace is one of the best historical places to visit in India. It is built in exquisite Indo-Saracenic style of architecture and is a magnificent edifice in Karanataka. Mysore Palace is also known as the Amba Vilas Palace, which was the former residence of the royal family of Mysore and it still is. Counted among the biggest palaces in India, the façade of this marvellous palace is a harmonious blend of Hindu, Muslim, Rajput, and Gothic styles, which imparts it a regal quality.
Interesting Fact about Mysore Palace: Mysore Palace is the second most visited destination of India after the Taj Mahal.
Timings: 10.00 AM – 5.30 PM (Closed on Fridays)
What you should see: Be a part of the vibrant Dussehra celebrations and watch the light and sound show at Mysore Palace.
21. Belur, Karnataka
Temples in Belur are what attracts a large number of tourists every year. For the love of architecture, explore this ancient town, which was known by the name Velapura earlier. The exquisite temples and monuments built by the Hoysala rulers over a period of 300 years are a must-see in Belur. The Chenna Keshava Temple in Belur built in the 12th century is the most famous for its intriguing sculptures and carvings done by the Chalukyan artisans.
Interesting Fact about Belur: Chenna Keshava Temple in Belur has a 42 m high lamp post standing on its own without any foundation and thus, called gravity pillar.
Timings: 7.30 AM – 1.00 PM (Morning Darshan), 2.30 PM – 7.30 PM (Evening Darshan)
What you should see: Explore the magnificent temples in Belur including Chennakesava Temple, Yagachi Dam, and Narasimha Pillar.
22. Elephanta Caves, Maharashtra
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Elephanta Caves are among the renowned historical monuments in India that not only lure Indians but foreign tourists as well. These are a specimen of rock-cut art and architecture from the era of medieval India. Located on the Elephanta Island in Mumbai, Elephanta Caves are ruins of what were once painted artworks. Also, the collection of cave temples dates back to the 5th to 7th centuries and most of them are dedicated to Hindu God Shiva. You can see the two groups at the Elephanta Caves – the first is a large group of five Hindu caves and the second one is a smaller collection of two Buddhist caves.
Interesting Fact about Elephanta Caves: The Island on which Elephanta Caves are established was initially called Gharapuri. Later, the Portuguese renamed it ‘Elephanta’ after they got a huge stone elephant near their landing place.
Timings: 9.00 AM – 5.00 PM (Closed on Mondays)
What you should see: Watch the three-headed Shiva called Trimurti and Gangadhar, a display of the River Ganges. Apart from this, witness the Ardhnarishwar, an image of Shiva and Parvati.
23. City Palace, Udaipur
Being featured in movies like James Bond’s Octopussy and Bollywood film, Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela, City Palace have gained much popularity. Being the largest palace in Rajasthan, it lures a lot of architecture and history buffs from all over the world. Bestowed with an exquisite blend of Medieval European and Chinese architecture, City Palace Udaipur is no wonder one of the best historical places in India you can visit. The natural settings and the breathtaking surroundings add to the opulence of this majestic palace in Udaipur.
Interesting Fact about City Palace: It took 22 generations of Sisodia Rajputs to build this palace in Udaipur, Rajasthan.
Timings: 9.30 AM – 5.30 PM
What you should see: Take a sheer glimpse of unique paintings, antique furniture, and exquisite glass mirror and ornamental tiles work.
24. Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
Commissioned by Rao Jodha, the founder of Jodhpur, Mehrangarh Fort adds to the grandeur of the ‘Blue City’. Perched at a height of 410 feet above the ground, it offers awe-inspiring views of Jodhpur. This magnificent fort is one of the largest forts in India and among the most formidable ones in Rajasthan. With a history of more than 550 years, this fort is an example of the Rajputana granduer and architectural brilliance. Mehrangarh Fort is one of the most significant historical places with a rich heritage to visit in India.
Interesting Fact about Mehrangarh Fort: This fort has been featured in many popular movies like The Dark Knight Rises (2012), The Jungle Book (1994), and Awarapan (2007).
Timings: 9.00 AM – 5.00 PM
What you should see: Watch the mesmerizing folk dance and cultural performance that lights up the evenings at Mehrangarh Fort every day.
25. Chittor Fort, Chittorgarh
If you are curious to know what actually went down at Chittor Fort in the past, you need to see this grand fort in person. Previously the capital of Mewar, Chittor Fort or Chittorgarh Fort is located in Rajasthan and is a fine example of the fine Rajput architecture. This imposing structure is one of the largest forts in India and among India’s top historical sites. It was featured in the Bollywood movie ‘Padmaavat’, which gained this fort a lot more popularity among history lovers. Owing to its majestic edifice, the Chittorgarh Fort was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in the year 2013.
Interesting Fact about Chittor Fort: This majestic fort was built by the Mauryands in the 7th century and thus, it gets its name from the Mauryan ruler, Chitraganda Mori.
Timings: 9.00 AM – 5.00 PM
What you should see: The legend of Chittor comes to life in mystical forms in the Sound and Light show at Chittor Fort.
26. Rani Ki Vav, Gujarat
One of the largest step wells of its kind in India, Rani Ki Vav also called the Queen’s Stepwell is built like an inverted temple, which makes it a must-visit historical place in India. Located on the banks of the Saraswati River in Gujarat, Rani Ki Vav is a 900-year old structure that attracts many history and architecture buffs from all over the country. And even though the step wells constructed in the country since 3rd BC were used for storing water, Rani Ki Vav gained popularity for something more. The seven-storied structure and intricately carved sculptures of gods, goddesses, and deities are the key highlights of Rani Ki Vav.
Interesting Fact about Rani Ki Vav: Below the last step of the well, there is a doorway that leads to a 30 m tunnel that opens to Sidhpur, a town near Patan.
Timings: 8.00 AM – 6.00 PM
What you should see: Witness approx. 800 sculptures caved on the walls of the stepwell built in the architectural style Dasavataras, the 10 carnations of Lord Vishnu along with other sculptures of sages, Brahmins, and celestial dancers called apsaras.
27. Brihadisvara Temple, Tamil Nadu
Brihadisvara Temple, built by the Chola king Rajaraja Cholan is among the most prominent temples of the Chola dynasty. Designed by the celebrated architect Sama Varma between 1003 and 1010 AD, Brihadisvara Temple is also one of the largest South Indian temples. For the devotees of Shiva, it is a must-visit place to see the tallest vimanam in the world. Coming to its architecture, the design is simple yet attractive and therefore, has inspired many other buildings in South India and South East Asia.
Interesting Fact about Brihadisvara Temple: This impressive architectural temple was built by Raja Raja Cholan and his sister Kundavai. They both were ardent devotees of Lord Shiva.
Timings: 6.00 AM – 12.30 PM, 4.00 PM – 8.30 PM
What you should see: Witness a 3.7-metre tall Shivlinga at Brihadisvara Temple.
28. Churches and Convents of Goa
The churches and convents of Goa are a big part of Goa tourism. In particular, the Church of Bom Jesus, which houses the tomb of St. Francis Xavier and Se’ Cathedral. ‘Bom Jesus’ meaning ‘Infant Jesus’ or ‘Good Jesus’, Basilica of Bom Jesus is one of the most famous historical places in Goa and is India’s first Minor Basilica. It is renowned in the Catholic world and is one of the finest examples of baroque architecture in the country. Apart from this, the Church and Convent of St. Francis of Assisi, Church of Lady of Rosary; Church of St. Augustine are among some other well-known Churches and Convents of Goa.
Interesting Fact about Churches and Convents of Goa: The churches are convents of Goa were the former capital of Portuguese Indies and were persuasive in spreading forms of Manueline, Mannerist and Baroque art.
Timings: All Churches have separate timings.
- Basilica of Bom Jesus: 9.00 AM – 6.30 PM, Sunday – 10.30 AM – 6.30 PM
- Church and Convent of St. Francis of Assisi: 7.30 AM – 6.30 PM
- Church of Lady of Rosary: 9.00 AM – 5.00 PM
- Church of St. Augustine: 6.30 AM – 12.45 PM, 4.30 PM – 8.30 PM
What you should see: Admire exquisite Italian art and Hindu craftsmanship, the elaborately gilded altars made of wood, stone, gold, and granite. Also, see the paintings depicting the life of St. Francis Xavier.
29. Amer Fort, Jaipur
A beautiful melange of architecture, Amer Fort is among the top tourist places in Jaipur. If you want to know how Rajput kings used to live, then visit this regal finesse in Jaipur, Rajasthan. This magnificent fort was built in 1592 by Raja Man Singh, which has is now popularly visited for its exquisite Hindu architecture. No doubt is among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India. The grandeur, the beautiful palaces, the striking views, and the essence of royalty makes Amer Fort one of the top historical monuments in India.
Interesting Fact about Amer Fort: There is a secret passage in Amer Fort’s basement that leads to the 2 km tunnel connecting Amer Fort to the Cheel ka Teela (Hill of Eagles) of the Aravalli range.
Timings: 8.00 AM – 5.30 PM
What you should see: Watch the Sound and Light show that speaks the tales of grit and grandeur of Rajput Kings. Also, witness dance performances held at Sukh Mahal, amazing views on an elephant ride to Amer Fort, and wonderful puppet shows.
30. India Gate, Delhi
India Gate is among the top 10 historical places in India. Standing in the heart of Delhi, India Gate is a war memorial built to commemorate the British India Army who lost their lives during World War I and the Third Anglo-Afghan War of 1919. To honour the soldiers, Amar Jawan Jyoti has been burning since its construction. Visit one of the top tourist places in Delhi’s with your loved ones and enjoy a picnic at Children’s Park, take a walk on Rajpath, and witness the sound and light show that starts at 7 pm and ends at 9.30 pm throughout the week.
Interesting Fact about India Gate: The inscribed names of the soldiers on India Gate also include a female staff nurse who died during the war.
Timings: Open 24 Hours
What you should see: Every evening, India Gate is lit up with spotlights, making it a visual treat.
31. Golconda Fort, Hyderabad
Derived from two words ‘Gola’ and ‘Konda’, Golconda Fort means ‘Shephard’s Hill’. If you are an architecture buff, Golconda Fort is one of the fascinating historical places in India to visit. Besides bewitched by every onlooker, this impressive structure stands majestically even today and is one of the Hyderabad’s popular tourist places. Founded somewhere in the 12th century by the Kakatiya Kings, this fort was later expanded by the Qutub Shahi Kings. The best part of Golconda Fort is the water supply system that will leave you wondering at the level of advancement of the technical and scientific knowledge back in the day.
Interesting Fact about Golconda Fort: Hope Diamond, Darya-e Nur, Nur-Ul-Ain Diamond, Kohinoor, and Regent Diamond were owned by the sultans of Golconda before they moved out of India.
Timings: 9.00 AM – 5.30 PM
What you should see: Watch the Sound and Light show at Golconda Fort that shows the fort’s history and takes you back to the times gone by.
32. Gol Gumbaz, Bijapur
A memorial of Sultan Adil Shahi, Gol Gumbaz stands among the most noteworthy heritage monuments in India. It is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India and attracts a large number of visitors from far and near especially history and architecture buffs. Built in the 16th century, the architect of this marvellous edifice is Yaqut of Dabul, who got inspired by the Taj Mahal in Agra and tried to build a somewhat similar structure using grey Basalt. That is why Gol Gumbaz is known as the ‘Black Taj Mahal’ or the ‘Taj Mahal of South India’.
Interesting Fact about Gol Gumbaz: There is a stone hanging at the main entrance called ‘Bijli Pathar’. It is a piece of meteorite that fell onto the earth during the Sultan’s reign.
Timings: 10.00 AM – 5.00 PM (Closed on Fridays)
What you should see: Gol Gumbaz is one of the finest examples of Deccan Indo-Islamic architectural style and has an interesting collection of Chinese parchments, carpets, paintings, and other artefacts.
33. Badami Caves, Karnataka
A perfect example of Indian rock-cut architecture, Badami Caves were built in the 6th century and is one of the famous historical places in South India. Located in the Bagalkot district in the state of Karnataka, each cave here has its own importance. For instance, Cave 1 displays the dancing scriptures of Shiva’s Tandava dance as Natraj. Similarly, Cave 2 is dedicated to Lord Vishnu and exhibits the presence of Lord Vishnu in the form of ‘Trivikrama’. Cave 3 showcases Lord Vishnu related mythology in the way of carving art and Cave 4 marks the existence of figures related to Jainism.
Interesting Fact about Badami Caves: Chalukyas who built this historical monument in India named it Vatapi. There is an artificial lake, the Agastyatirtha reservoir, which gather the water of the ravine in Badami.
Timings: 9.00 AM – 5.30 PM
What you should see: Witness the exquisite Indian rock-cut architecture and the beautiful carvings displayed in each of the caves.
34. Cellular Jail, Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Went through a lot of bloodshed, Cellular Jail in the Andaman Islands was seen as the place to send anyone who rebelled against the British. The walls of this jail has many untold stories of the brave Indian freedom fighters and prisoners who have encountered torment in the cells. Cellular Jail is also called Kala Pani because the jail was surrounded by water on all sides so that prisoners couldn’t escape. It was constructed in the years 1896 and 1906 but the Britishers got hold of it during the late 1950s. And for years now, Cellular Jail has become one of the significant historical places to visit in India.
Interesting Fact about Cellular Jail: The jail has a total of 696 small-sized cells, which is 2.7 metres to 4.5 metres in size. The prisoners were kept in a way that no prisoner could see or talk to other prisoners.
Timings: 9.00 AM – 12.30 PM, 1.30 PM – 4.45 PM (Closed on National Holidays)
What you should see: Witness the Sound and Light Show and visit the freedom fighters Photo and Exhibition Gallery, Art Gallery, Netaji Gallery, a Library, and Swatantrya Jyoti.
35. Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai
Meenakshi Amman Temple is a twin-temple complex, which historically represents the old-world charm of 2500 years old Madurai city. It was constructed during the Nayak rule and is among the most beautiful temples in Madurai. Dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi, the consort of Lord Shiva, the worship and festivals of this temple attracts tourists from all over the globe. This historical temple in South India has 12 gateway towers – Gopurams, 2 golden shrines over sanctum of main deities – Viamnas, temple tank – pond with golden lotus, halls like the one with thousand pillars, and musical pillars and mandapam.
Interesting Fact about Meenakshi Amman Temple: Boasting a 6-hectare complex, Meenakshi Amman Temple is one of the largest temple complexes in India.
Timings: 5.00 AM – 12.30 PM, 4 PM – 9.30 PM
What you should see: The sculpted pillars adorned with exquisite murals celebrated the ethereal beauty of princess Meenakshi and the scenes of her wedding with Lord Shiva.
36. Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi
One of Delhi’s historical jewels, Humayun’s Tomb is a must-visit historical place for tourists in India. Surrounded by manicured lawns, this massive tomb is a wonderful monument known for its Mughal architecture and the timeless saga of love and longing. Built by Humanyun’s first wife, Empress Haji Begum in the loving memory of her husband, the tomb houses graves of both emperor and his wife as a testament for their eternal love. Many tourists visit here to enjoy a picnic with their loved ones and enjoy the serene beauty of the Humanyun’s Tomb.
Interesting Fact about Humayun’s Tomb: It is the first garden tomb built in India and has not only two but 100 graves inside the single complex.
Timings: 6.00 AM – 6.00 PM
What you should see: Witness the spectacular Mughal style of architecture with elements of Persian and Indian styles fused into it.
37. Halebid, Karnataka
Once the regal capital of the Hoysala Empire in the 12th century CE, Hoysala is a town located in Hassan district in the state of Karnataka. In the 14th century, Malik Kafur and Mughals from North India invaded the city and it fell into ruins. Hence, the name ‘City of Ruins’. Halebid is home to some of the finest structures with Hoysala architecture. Among these, the most notable are the lavish Hoysaleshwara and Kedareshwara temples that you must visit on your visit to Halebid.
Interesting Fact about Halebid: Halebid temples are slashed from the soft stone called chloritic schist.
Timings: 24 Hours Open
What you should see: Visit the Hoysaleshwara temple to see the endless depictions of Hindu mythology, animals, birds, and Shilabalikas on the walls of the temple. And no two postures of the sculptures present are similar.
38. Nalanda University, Bihar
This scholastic institution’s origins date back to the 5th century and it served as a highly recognized place of learning for an uninterrupted period of 800 years. After it was invaded three times, it fell into ruins and today, only a small portion of this huge campus has been excavated. A visit to the complex can prove to be an enriching journey into history, architecture, culture, and Buddhism. If you are a history buff, this is one of India’s best historic places located in Bihar. Moreover, the ruins of Nalanda was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in India in 2016.
Interesting Fact about Nalanda University: It was attacked three times by the invaders – the Gaudas, the Huns, and Bhaktiyar Khilji, which brought its annihilation.
Timings: 9.00 AM – 5.00 PM
What you should see: Visit the Nalanda Museum to see a rare collection of sculptures, coins, inscriptions, seals, samples of burnt ice, terracotta jars, images of Buddha, and other antique items.
39. Champaner-Pavagadh, Gujarat
A known UNESCO World Heritage Site, Champaner and Pavagadh are merged and are one of the most interesting historical attractions in Gujarat. Pavagadh stands on top of the hill that looks over several monuments at the base in Champaner. This is a rich heritage site and is dotted with mosques, tombs, forts, monuments, arches, temples, step wells, and fortresses that date back to the 8th to 14th centuries. Many pilgrims visit the Kalikamata Temple on Pavagadh, which is become quite popular. If you want to offbeat place to visit in Gujarat, Champaner and Pavagadh Archeological Park is the perfect place for you.
Interesting Fact about Champaner-Pavagadh: Pavagadh became the capital of the Chauhan Rajputs in the 1300s but later in 1484, it was taken by Gujarat Sultan Mahmud Begada and the Rajputs committed Jauhar (ritual of mass suicide) in the face of defeat.
Timings: 8.30 AM – 5.00 PM
What you should see: Visit the Kalika Mata Temple on Pavagadh Hill, where a large number of devotees congregate during Navratris.
40. Kumbhalgarh, Rajasthan
The birthplace of one of Mewar’s legendary kings, Maharana Pratap, Kumbhalgarh (literally Kumbhal Fort), is the second most important fort in the Mewar region after Chittor. This splendid fort is 3600 feet tall and 38 km long that surrounds the area of Udaipur. Considered to be built by Rana Kumbha, this fort has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Kumbhalgarh has gone through many wars and still stands majestically, which makes it one of the must-visit historical monuments in India.
Interesting Fact about Kumbhalgarh: A stepped tank called Badshahi Bavdi inside the fort was built by the general of Akbar to provide drinking water supply to the army troops in 1578.
Timings: 9.00 AM – 6.00 PM
What you should see: Seek blessings at the ancient Hindu and Jain temples inside the fort.
41. Laxmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara
Laxmi Vilas Palace is the private residence of Majaraha Sayajirao Gaekwad III and is one of the grandest palaces to visit in India. Spread across 500 acres, Laxmi Vilas Palace is known to be the largest private residence in the world. It houses the Moti Bagh Palace, a banquet hall, and the Maharaja Fateh Singh Museum. The palace displays the Indo-Saracenic Revival style architecture and the Darbar Hall with a Venetian mosaic floor and Belgian-style stained glass window. The Italian style fountain courtyard and sculptures of bronze and terracotta are some other features of Laxmi Vilas to marvel at.
Interesting Fact about Laxmi Vilas Palace: This palace is four times bigger in size than Buckingham Palace, London, UK.
Timings: 9.30 AM – 5.00 PM
What you should see: See the paintings by Raja Ravi Verma at the Maharaja Fatehgarh museum.
42. Orchha, Madhya Pradesh
Orchha is a hidden jewel in the heart of India and was built 500 years ago by the 16th-century Bundela chieftain Rudra Pratap. It carries the footprints of all erstwhile rulers who got hold of the city in history. Not only this but this town is regarded as Madhya Pradesh’s grace laced with medieval-style architecture dating back to the 16th century. The temples and palaces in Orchha are age-old ruins you must see along with some stunning gardens like Phool Bagh. It is a less crowded region and thus, it makes a great city break.
Interesting Fact about Orchha: Chaturbhuj Temple in Orchha was built in a way that the king could see Lord Krishna from the palace.
Timings: 24 Hours Open
What you should see: Orchha is a city packed with ancient buildings. Jehangir Mahal, Raja Mahal, Orchha Fort, Chattris (Cenotaphs), Chaturbhuj Temple, etc. are some of the places you must visit in Orchha.
43. Rabdentse Palace, Sikkim
An archaeological site in West Sikkim, Rabdentse Palace Ruins is one of the best historical places in Sikkim. Founded in 1670 AD by Tensung Namgyal, the 2nd Chogyal of Sikkim, Rabdentse Ruins is a must-see for history enthusiasts. This historical site is also a part of the Buddhist pilgrimage circuit where you can reach by trekking through a dense forest of chestnut trees. The view of the entire valley below and the Kanchenjunga Peak is simply breathtaking and should not be missed.
Interesting Fact about Rabdentse Palace: Rabdentse was the second capital of the former kingdom of Sikkim from 1670 to 1793 CE, the first one being Yuksom.
Timings: 8.00 AM – 5.00 PM
What you should see: Witness the stone throne with three erected stones called Namphogang from where the judge used to give his judgement back in the days.
44. Jaisalmer Fort, Jaisalmer
Famed for being one of the oldest continuously inhabited forts in the world, Jaisalmer Fort is one of the best historical places in India. It was also designated as a World Heritage by UNESCO in 2013 due to its impressive history and magnificent architecture that attract many tourists from all over the world. Jaisalmer Fort has seen many battles with Mughals, Tughlaqs, Khiljis, and Rathore Kings. In 1294, the first Jauhar of Jaisalmer happened after Allauddin Khilji invaded Jaisalmer the city and laid a siege for nearly eight years.
Interesting Fact about Jaisalmer Fort: The fort accommodates around 1/4th of Jaisalmer’s population.
Timings: 9.00 AM – 6.00 PM
What you should see: Explore the grand palaces, houses, ancient temples, wells, majestic Havelis and other structures inside Jaisalmer Fort.
45. Bara Imambara, Lucknow
Known for its prominent feature, Bhool Bhulaiya, Bara Imambara is a religious place in Lucknow and is an important place of worship for Muslims who visit every year to celebrate the Muharram festival. Also called Asfi Imambara, it is among the most famous monuments in the city. The construction of this edifice took 14 years to complete with exquisite Mughal design. Today, it attracts many architectural buffs from all over the country. Also, if Bhool Bhulaiya interests you, you should hire a guide to avoid getting lost.
Interesting Fact about Bara Imambara: The Central Hall at Bara Imambara is the world’s largest unarched hall.
Timings: 6.00 AM – 5.00 PM
What you should see: Witness the five-storied baoli (stepwell), which belongs to the pre-Nawabi era. It is also called Shahi-Hamman meaning a royal bath and is connected to the river Gomti.
46. Group of Monuments at Pattadakal, Karnataka
Pattadakal is a historic town in Karnataka, which has a total of ten temples – nine Hindu temples and one Jain temple. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is a testament to the richness of Chalukyan architecture during the 7th and 8th centuries. The ancient ruins of intricately chiselled temples are what makes Pattadakal a must-visit historical destination in India. The architecture used in the temples is a mix of Dravidian, Aryan, and a blend of both, which makes it one of its kind of a place in India. One magnum opus from the group is the Temple of Virupaksha, which was built c. 740 by Queen Lokamahadevi to honour her husband’s victory over the kings from the South.
Interesting Fact about Pattadakal: Most of the temples at Pattadakal were built between the 7th and 9th centuries and were used to crown and commemorate victories of Chalukyan kings.
Timings: Sunrise to Sunset
What you should see: Witness the intricate work on the pillars of the temples that showcase the stories from Mahabharata and the Ramayana, even though the temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva. You can also see various forms of Shiva and Parvati.
47. Key Monastery, Spiti
Among the best places to visit in Himachal Pradesh, Key Monastery is located at a hilltop at an altitude of 4,166 metres above sea level. This spectacular Tibetan Buddhist Monastery is 1000-year-old and dates back to 1100 CE. It is alleged to have been built by Dromton, a student of a famous teacher in the 11th century. This historic monastery boasts beautiful architecture that will leave you spellbound. It is surrounded by snow-capped Himalayas and glaciers and is visited by thousands of devotees and tourists from all over the world for peace.
Interesting Fact about Key Monastery: The monastery has been destroyed a couple of times. In the 11th century, it was attacked several times, in the 17th century, Mongols raided this place when the 5th Dalai Lama was in power and the 19th century, it was looted. In 1975, an earthquake destroyed the monastery once again.
Timings: 6.00 AM – 6.00 PM
What you should see: See the extensive collection of stunning murals and paintings displayed on the walls.
48. Tughlakabad Fort, Delhi
Tughlakabad Fort is one of the top historical monuments in India, which was once a symbol of strength for the Tughlaq dynasty. Today, you can only see its ruins. Ghiyasu’d-Din Tughlaq built this fort between 1321 and 1325 AD so that his people could live in harmony and feel protected. It is also counted as one of the top haunted places in Delhi due to many reasons. Legend says that a Sufi Saint cursed this place which led to Tughlaq Dynasty’s downfall. Whether it is cursed or not, the views from the fort are simply amazing.
Interesting Fact about Tughlakabad Fort: This fort had 52 gates and today, only 13 are left.
Timings: 7.00 AM – 5.00 PM
What you should see: Witness the Military style of architecture and the beauty of Islamic designs.
49. Basgo Monastery, Ladakh
Located in the Leh district of Ladakh, Basgo Monastery is a historical site situated on the hills of Leh on the northern mountain range of mighty Himalaya and Karakoram. Sometimes regarded as Bazgo Gompa, this monastery has two giant statues of Maitreya Buddha and Jamyang Namgyal King. Both are 14 metres in height and are regularly visited by locals and monks. Also, the ancient temples and buildings in Basgo documented first in the 11th and 13 centuries are now a part of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Not just this but the US World Monument Fund listed Basgo Palace among the 100 most endangered heritage sites in the world due to its flimsy structure.
Interesting Fact about Basgo Monastery: It has been featured in songs like Satrangi Re’ from the film Dil Se (1998) and, ‘White White Face’ from the 2008 film Tashan.
Timings: 10.00 AM – 1.00 PM, 2.00 PM – 6.00 PM
What you should see: Visit the three Buddhist temples in Basgo, namely, Chamchung temple, Serzang temple, and Chamba Lhakhang.
50. Nartiang Durga Temple, Meghalaya
A 500-year-old temple, Nartiang Durga Temple in Meghalaya is one of the best religious and historical places to visit in India. It is among the 51 shakti peethas of Mata Sati. And according to the legends, Sathi Devi’s left thigh fell here and that is why this temple is regarded as one of the shakti peethas. The temple has Durga Maa Idol and the Shiva Temple in proximity. Apart from this, Nartiang Durga Temple is known for its devotion and daily rituals and Durga Puja celebrated magnificently. During this time, many devotees flock to this temple to sacrifice goats and ducks.
Interesting Fact about Nartiang Durga Temple: The temple houses the ancient guns of the kings, which is quite unlike other temples.
Timings: 7.00 AM – 8.00 PM
What you should see: The Boli Garbha at the basement of the temple where a sacrificial ritual is performed, which continued to the river forming a tunnel.
51. Undavalli Caves, Andhra Pradesh
Dating back to the 7th century BC, Undavalli Caves are an architectural marvel in Andhra Pradesh that every history and architecture buff must visit. Located 8 km from Vijaywada, these caves are one of the best historical monuments in India that offer a rare perspective into the centuries-old religious practices. The design of these caves are spectacular and are carved out of sandstone on the side of a hill. Among all caves, the largest one is the most popular for its huge monolith of Lord Vishnu in the reclining posture.
Interesting Fact about Undavalli Caves: Madhava Reddy, who governed this region as the subordinate under the Reddies of Kondaveedu, gifted the Undavalli Caves to Anantha Swamy’s temple.
Timings: 9.00 AM – 6.00 PM
What you should see: Witness the exquisite rock-cut architecture of the Buddhists in India.
25 Offbeat Destinations in India for an Awesome Experience
10 Best Destinations for Solo Women Travelers in India
15 Best Spa and Ayurveda Resorts in India that breathe a new life in you!
20 Most Beautiful Hill Stations near Delhi