Beautiful Monuments of India
- The Taj Mahal is a portal to the past of India.Taj Mahal image by Jono026 from Fotolia.com
Located in Agra, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, the Taj Mahal is perhaps the most famous of the beautiful monuments in India. Often called the seventh wonder of the world, the Taj Mahal was built as a memorial to a lost love. In 1629 the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan lost his wife, who died at the age of 39 while delivering their 14th child. Twenty thousand workers labored over 22 years to build the Taj Mahal, and the couple now lay at rest beneath the main building.
The Taj Mahal complex includes a mausoleum, a 42-acre garden and an aqueduct. Made of marble, the two story iconic building has a onion dome on top, a large rotunda and appears to change colors as the sun rises and sets. It features Islamic calligraphy and floral arabesques that have precious and semiprecious stones.
Pavaya Stone Temples
- In Pavaya, about four hours south of Agra and the Taj Mahal, and an hour and a half from Gwalior, two stone temples await those who brave the bumpy roads and lack of amenities to make the trek. The first of two complexes, Pavaya was once the capital of the Naga kings. While it appears that some of the past is still hidden in the earth waiting for its excavation, four main structures are available for exploration. These buildings give an insight to the beauty of the architecture of India with domed roofs, decorative windows and arched doorways.
Three kilometers from Pavaya is the Dhoomeshwar Mahadeo Temple. It has the classic Hindu temple features of an inner chamber, middle hall, small hall and sancum sanctorum. All are finished in white plaster, and marble covers the floor. Dhommeshwar Mahadeo overlooks the Sidhg River from atop the banks. The temple is an example of Bundela architecture, a style with Indian and Persian influences.
- Hawa Mahal is located in Jaipur.Hawa mahal image by cem orter from Fotolia.com
Located in Jaipur, the intricate architecture of Hawa Mahal is very different from other monuments in India. Also known as the Palace of Winds, Hawa Mahal has a delicate look. The monument's massive front facade gives the impression of a building much larger than it truly is. Hawa Mahal's architecture includes spires, arches, 953 latticed casements, carved screen balconies and numerous windows.
Agra Red Fort
- Located in Agra near the Taj Mahal, the Agra Red Fort has stood in India since the 1500s. Constructed of red sandstone, the original structure was built under the rule of Emperor Akbar. During his reign it served as a military establishment, but when Shah Jahan became Emperor it became a palace.
Over time additions were made to the original fort, and the complex now houses a mosque made of pearl marble, the Jehangir Palace, which was the home of Akbar's son Jehnagir, and the Sheesh Mahal, which was a palace with glass mosaics rumored to have been a harem dressing room.
- Located in Kolkata, the Victoria Memorial was inaugurated in 1921 by the British Empire to commemorate its time in India. Standing a height of 184 feet the memorial is made of white marble and draws from both European and Mughal styles.
During this period Calcutta (as it was known then) was the capital of British India and historians have said that perhaps the British were trying to create their own version of the Taj Mahal with the Victoria Memorial. Now housing a museum, visitors can view portraits of those important in British history, maps, coins, stamps and artifacts. The Memorial also offers a 64 acre garden with pathways, statues and landscaping.