Top 10 hidden Architectural Marvels in India
India is a land of diverse cultures and traditions. With a number of historical monuments, glorious palaces, temples and mosques telling stories about the history of the country, there is a lot to be explored. There are world-famous cultural sites like the Taj Mahal, Qutub Minar, BulandDarwaza while there are many others that are unexplored and remain unknown to people but are extremely beautiful and well-preserved sites to explore more about the history of the country. Here is a list of some of the places you can visit:
- PariMahal, Jammu and Kashmir
Also known as the Palace of Fairies, a seven terraced garden above the ChashmeShahi Gardens near Shrinagar.
PariMahal was built by Dara Shikoh, the eldest son of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in the 1600’s. It still showcases the grand history of the Mughal period.The architecture is traditional Islamic style and the gardens are very well maintained making it a wonderful place for visitors. The main attraction includes colorful bright flowers and exotic fruit plantations. At night, the entire mahal gleams with light and its reflection can be seen on Dal Lake making it look like an abode of fairies. The best time to visit is from April to October as the weather is pleasant.
- Basgo Monastery, Leh
The monastery was built in the late 17th century by Namgyal rulers of Ladakh. The monastery is nestled on top of the snowcapped mountains in Basgo, Leh. The beautiful location attracts photographers to take some splendid shots. The entire complex has three temples- Chamchung, ChambaLakhang, and Serzang temples. Meditation is one of the famous activities in Basgo and you can also stop for spiritual practices. The place is a paradise for an art and history lover, you can explore the ancient library and the mural paintings. The best time to visit it April to June since the routes are clear.
- Maluti Temples, Jharkhand
Maluti Temples are a complex of 72 exquisite terracotta temples situated in Dumka which is close to the borders of West Bengal. They were originally 108 shrines built in the 17th century out which only 72 shrines are left. Even though the temples are in ruins now, it gives you a time travel to the 17th century, and deities are beautifully carved. 8 newer temples have also been built making it come to 80 temples in total. Exquisite carvings on the outer walls of a temple depict scenes from the Hindu epic Ramayana. One can also enjoy hot springs on peaceful locations at Dumka.
- Kalinjar Fort, Uttar Pradesh
Kalinjar is a pilgrimage site, it has a lot associated with Lord Shiva. It is also been mentioned in the Vedas and Puranas. Located in a corner of the fort, lies the Neelkanth Temple that evokes a sense of awe in the visitors. In one corner of the fort is an enormous Mahasadashiva, over 20ft in height. The fort dates back to the 10th century. It is a land of battles. The fort takes you back in time where you can explore a lot about heritage and culture.
MurudJanjira is situated on an island just off the coastal city of Murud. Dating back to the 14th century, the fort is a beautiful description of the royal past. The water around it makes it a picturesque location. Even after being attacked by many forces like the Portuguese, British and Marathas, a major part of the fort remains undestroyed. Some of the major attractions are the Murud Beach which is a beautiful location to laze around, the Garambi Falls- a site that will leave one in awe, Garambi dam for a day out, and the Ambedganj Palace. The ideal time to explore MurudJanjira is around October to March.
- Kumbhalgarh Fort, Rajasthan
The Kumbhalgarh Fort is the crowning glory of Rajasthan as it is the second-largest wall after The Great Wall of China. The hills of the fort stand unbreakable even after a number of wars have taken place. It is perfectly built between the Aravalli hills and was built over a period of 15 years. Kumbhalgarh Fort is the birthplace of legendary MaharanaPratap, making it a special place for the Rajputs.
The fort area also comprises of a number of beautifully built Jain temples. The BadalMahal also is known as the Palace of Clouds, is a must-visit location in the fort adorned with beautiful paintings. The lush green view from BadalMahal is breathtaking. The best time to visit Kumbhalgarh fort is July-August and November to February.
- Shettihalli, Karnataka
Built-in the 18th century, Shettihalli Church is a stunning example of gothic style architecture. The Rosary Church is submerged in water during monsoons which makes it a beautiful site. It stands between the water making it a relaxing site and you can enjoy the chirping of birds between the wild bushes. You can enjoy the surreal experience of a boat ride to adorn the beauty of the church. Since the church is not a very popular site, you get to enjoy your own company between the silences. The best time to visit is July to October and December to May when the water level is down.
- Sarkhej Roza, Gujarat
SarkhejRoza situated in Ahmedabad, is a gorgeous example of Indo-Saracenic architecture infused with Islamic style architecture. The mosque and the tomb complex were built in the 14th century by Sultan Muhammad Shah II in the memory of the Sufi saint who lived there for about 111 years. The visitors love to see the distinctive architecture of the site. It is one of the most elegant places to visit in Ahemdabad. The tomb is huge and one of the major attractions is the Sarkhej Lake. SarkhejRoza is an architectural marvel as it has a number of tombs and courtyards for one to explore.
- Elgandal Fort, Telangana
Situated amongst the palm groves on the banks of Manairriver, the fort stands tall into the sky. Located on a scenic hilltop, the fort gives a stunning view of the Elgandal town. It is a must-visit for all the nature lovers since it has breathtaking views and it is the best place to relax and take a break from the city life. The crumbling walls of the fort tell stories of the five dynasties that play a very important role in history. The fort has seen the reign of these five dynasties namely the Kakatiyas, the Bahmanis, the QutubShahis, the Mughals, and the Nizams. The minarets of the fort hold a surprising feature, that is they swing back and front when shaken.
- Mattancherry Palace, Kochi
Also known as the Dutch Palace, the Mattancherry Palace is the finest example of the Kerala style of architecture. Built-in the 15th century by the Portuguese as a present to the King Veera Kerala Verma of the Kochi dynasty, the palace is known as the Dutch palace as it underwent some major repairs by the Dutch. The double-storied palace has a stunning collection of murals showcasing some of the great Indian epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata along with revered Gods of the Hindu faith like Lord Krishna of Guruvayur Temple.
The mura l painting covers an area of almost about 300sq kms. The visitors can view some interesting exhibits like the royal caps, royal coins, sheathed swords, and many more. The place is definitely worth a visit, especially for all the history buffs.
Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, it is not a safe time to visit the monuments as social distancing norms have to be followed. But once the situation is settled and safe, you should definitely plan a visit to these places.
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Inputs : Vanshika Kohli