As South Asia’s second-most populated country, India is known to be the epitome of diversity. Depending on which area in the country you’ll visit, you’ll be fascinated with various art styles, religions, and languages here. This country is also known globally for its oldest train system, Bollywood, curry and spices, business process outsourcing, and colorful festivals. More than 10 million tourists flock here every year, accommodated by backpacker hostels and 5-star hotels. Aside from these interesting things about the country, it is also popular for its finest architecture, and the Taj Mahal exemplifies it. Read on to get to know more about other famous buildings in India.
The iconic Taj Mahal is always on the list of first-time travelers to India. Located in Agra, the Taj Mahal is a mausoleum complex that was built between 1631 to 1648, and its white marble facade is well-maintained up to this day. It is also one of the world’s wonders listed by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Don’t miss this opportunity to immerse yourself in India’s culture and legacy as you plan a day at this famous building. Avail of this fast track ticket to the Taj Mahal and be one of those millions who were enthralled by this architectural wonder. You can explore it solo, with friends, or with a friendly and English-speaking tour guide.
Tip from tour guide
The Taj Mahal is one of the seven most admired wonders of the world and shows the love of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan for his wife, Mumtaz. He built the artistic masterpiece after her death during childbirth, and it is now one of India's most famous monuments that shows eternal love.
It took 21 years and 32,000,000 INR (384,759.68 USD) to create this epitome of true love and passion. Its pristine white marble shines brightly through the sun's rays and provides a visual masterpiece. The Taj Mahal was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and has since been the winner of several laurels.
Known as a symbolic structure, Charminar is a valuable gem that bears stories of the city’s interesting past. It was built to serve as a commemorative structure of Hyderabad’s founding. At present, it is surrounded by various business establishments and is a crowded area. However, it does not fall short of being the architectural masterpiece that grabs all the attention. Book Charminar’s Historical Walking Tour and let the professional guide walk you through the area while learning in-depth about Charminar’s history. This tour will also give you time to visit a bazaar or interact with the locals. The tour lasts for three hours and can accommodate up to six persons.
Duration: 3 hours
3. Amber Palace, Jaipur
Known locally as the Amer Palace Fort, this famous wonder of architecture in India represents the legacy of the Kachwaha Rajputs. The palace is named after Ambarisha, the king of Ayodhya, and was built some time in the 1600s. Until 1728, it served as the royal residence for the dynasty that ruled in the region.
In modern times, the Rajput-Mughal structure is part of a collective UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the Hill Forts of Rajasthan. Visitors can tour the Amber Palace, admiring the Jaleb Chowk courtyard where armies once gathered, and the Sheesh Mahal, also known as the Hall of Mirrors. The underground tunnels that connect the Amber Palace to the Jaigarh Fort have also been restored and accessible to the public.
Address: Devisinghpura, Amer, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302001, India
Website: Amber Palace
Opening hours: 8am - 5:30pm and 6:30am - 9:15pm (daily)
Price: 550 INR (6.61 USD) for foreigners
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4. Jaisalmer Fort, Jaisalmer
The Jaisalmer Fort also counts among the Hill Forts of Rajasthan UNESCO World Heritage Site. This ancient fortress in Jaisalmer, India, is an iconic building complex that is inhabited by locals and open to tourists. Also known by the name of Sonar Quila, meaning Golden Fort, the impressive sandstone citadel was built in 1156 by order of King Rawal Jaisal, a prominent member of the Rajputs who ruled India.
In recent times, although the living standards in the area have increased, climate change and plumbing have caused water damage to the fort’s sandstone structure and foundations. Efforts are well underway to resolve the issue, and tourists are encouraged to admire and treasure the fort’s beauty, but also do their part in preserving it.
Address: Khejer Para, Manak Chowk, Amar Sagar Pol, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan 345001, India
Website: Jaisalmer Fort
Opening hours: Open 24hrs (daily)
Price: 250 INR (3.00 USD) for foreigners
5. Victoria Memorial, Kolkata
Victoria Memorial was built around 1901 to 1921 as a tribute to the then India’s Empress, Queen Victoria. This famous Indo-British architectural wonder is located in Brigade Parade Ground and is presently a museum maintained by the Ministry of Culture. Take a walk inside the museum and see 25 different galleries, paintings, relics from the Great British invasion, and many more. If you also want to marvel at artistic carvings or relax in a picturesque garden, Victoria Memorial is the place you shouldn’t miss.
Address: Victoria Memorial Hall, 1, Queens Way, Maidan, Kolkata, West Bengal 700071, India
Website: Victoria Memorial
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 11am - 5pm (closed on Mon)
6. Lotus Temple, New Delhi
Aside from the Taj Mahal, Lotus Temple has garnered a reputation for being one of the most frequented buildings in the world. In fact, this unique building in India attracts hundreds of millions of visitors yearly and is a recipient of various awards in the field of architecture. You will fall in love with the lotus-shaped view of the temple, which is one of the reasons why it has become a popular attraction in New Delhi.
We’re pretty sure you would take pictures in and out of the temple but make sure to get permission from the authorities before you do so; after all, what’s not to love about keeping some memories of this stunning flower-like building. You can even meditate here during operating hours.
Address: Lotus Temple Rd, Bahapur, Shambhu Dayal Bagh, Kalkaji, New Delhi, Delhi 110019, India
Website: Lotus Temple
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 8am - 12pm, 2pm - 5pm (closed on Sun)
7. Hawa Mahal, Jaipur
Hawa Mahal is a unique building with a facade laden with windows or ‘jharokhas’ in the local language. It was built with pink and red sandstones in 1799. The best time to visit is during the early morning hours, or when the sun dashes through the colored glass windows. That is when you can witness the whole chamber transform into a colorful spectrum of different colors. The location of Hawa Mahal is excellent as it is also near Jaipur’s points of interest such as Amber Fort, Jal Mahal, City Palace, and Chokhi Dhani Village.
Address: Hawa Mahal Rd, Badi Choupad, J.D.A. Market, Pink City, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302002, India
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)
8. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai
Formerly known as Victoria Terminus, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is a train station terminal built between 1878 and 1887. It was renamed in 1996 and is presently one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Its architectural theme is inspired by the High Victorian Gothic era. It has animal-carved pillars and stained-glass windows and extravagant domes. You should visit this precious gem in Mumbai at night – you’ll definitely be amazed at how the colors of the Indian flag illuminate the entire building at night.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus
Address: Dhobi Talao, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Area, Fort, Bombay, State of Mahārāshtra 400001, India
9. Sun Temple, Konark
Situated in eastern Odisha, Sun Temple is a medieval structure dedicated to Surya, the Sun god. It deserves to be listed as one of UNESCO’s world heritage because of its intricate design. When you visit this masterpiece, you will see various sculptures that depict human life, erotica, deities, and a lot more. If you happen to drop by here during February, you’ll have the opportunity to witness Konark Dance Festival, one of the most popular cultural gatherings in India.
Address: Konark, Odisha 752111, India
Opening hours: 6am - 8pm (daily)
10. Mysore Palace, Mysuru
This architectural grandeur is made up of grey granite and boasts stunning domes. These features make Mysore Palace one of the most popular structures in India aside from the Taj Mahal. This marvelous palace has an open courtyard where you can unwind or take a stroll. You will also see jaw-dropping paintings inside the palace and interesting artifacts. Although this royal building was build between the 19th and 20th century, it appears to be well-maintained up until this day.
Address: Sayyaji Rao Rd, Agrahara, Chamrajpura, Mysuru, Karnataka 570001, India
Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)
11. Lakshmi Vilas Palace, Vadodara
Known as the official residence of Baroda’s royal family, this majestic palace is definitely one of the most luxurious buildings in India. The palace’s size is overwhelming because it is said to be approximately four times bigger than Buckingham Palace in the UK. It houses numerous buildings and a museum where you can get to know deeper about the history of this structure as well as Vadodara. You can go on an audio tour here using a device that caters to your preferred language.
Lakshmi Vilas Palace
Address: J N Marg, Moti Baug, Vadodara, Gujarat 390001, India
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 10am - 5pm (closed on Mon)
12. Cellular Jail, Port Blair
This historic building in the Andaman Islands used to serve as a jail for political prisoners in exile. At present, it is a national memorial monument with three different attractions inside. These attractions include the library, a gallery of exhibits and photos, and the eternal flame tribute to martyrs and soldiers. Another major attraction here that you shouldn’t miss is the nightly light and sound show. There are also local restaurants nearby in case you feel hungry after a day of fulfilling tour within the monument.
Address: Atlanta Point, Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands 744104, India
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 8am - 4pm (closed on Mon)
Explore the awe-inspiring buildings in India
There are so many things to do and places to visit in India. The country not only offers great food and amazing culture but also attractive buildings. Pack your bags and don’t forget your camera because these buildings are picture-perfect. We’ve listed these famous buildings in India because they will definitely leave you inspired.
Frequently asked questions about famous buildings in India
1. Which famous buildings in India have historical significance?
It’s easy to say that most famous buildings in India have historical significance, and differs only in scope and impact. Structures such as the Amber Palace in Jaipur and the Sun Temple in Konark are examples of India’s rich heritage. Younger structures such as the the Victoria Memorial in Kolkata and the Lotus Temple in New Delhi represent modern India.
2. Which famous buildings in India have the best architecture?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so the various famous structures in India will appeal to people with differing tastes. Those who prefer touches of Western architecture may prefer the Victoria Memorial or the Mysore Palace. History buffs may gush at the coolness factor of the Amber Palace and Jaisalmer Fort instead.
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