5 Magnificent Marvels of Indian Architecture
The historical backdrop of Indian architecture can be tracked down from several centuries. India has been the focal point of the world for a long time in the past. Few of the world's significant religions have originated from India. For example; when Buddhism became the most dominating religion in the region, Buddhist Monastries and Stupas were built all over India before eventually spreading to other countries.
With time India became a hub of architectural styles from all over the world. Including:
● India’s existing architecture,
● Influences from the Middle East and Persia,
● Islamic architecture, and
● European architecture.
India has always been the land of architectural wonders and here is our list of the top 5 magnificent marvels of Indian architecture along with a hot fun fact for each marvel. Stay tuned!
1. Galden Namgey Lhatse
Location: Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh
Tawang Monastery located in Arunachal Pradesh is one of the oldest marvels of Indian architecture. It is the largest monastery in India, making it the most important site of pilgrimage in India for Buddhists. It is also known as Galden Namgey Lhatse in Tibetan, meaning Celestial paradise on a clear night. The monastery is a three-storeyed building, surrounded by a wall of 925 ft. It also consists of elaborately decorated mandalas on its roof. The main part of the monastery, the assembly hall, consists of an enormous image of Lord Buddha with a splendid height of 18 ft.
Fun Fact: Tawang monastery is second-largest in the world after the Lhasa one in Tibet which is no longer in use due to Chinese laws and making Tawang Monastery the largest active monastery in the world!
2. Ajanta & Ellora Caves
Location: Aurangabad, Maharashtra
The second marvel of Indian architecture is the Ajanta Caves, a total of 30 rock-cut cave monuments made in the 2nd century BC. These caves are a symbol of the architectural intellect and are also a pilgrimage spot for Buddhists. Ajanta and Ellora caves consist of temples, rock-cut monasteries and other structures filled with sculptures and intricate carvings. The Ellora caves are known for their salient proportion, architectural content and sculptural ornamentation. The Caves are noted as one of the most exotic caves of India.
Fun Fact: Most of the monuments at Ajanta and Ellora have been carved out of a SINGLE rock structure!
3. Taj Mahal
Location: Agra, Uttar Pradesh
Taj Mahal is an ivory-white marble mausoleum commissioned by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as a memorial and tomb for his late wife Mumtaz Mahal and is one of the seven wonders of the world. It incorporates the traditional architectural styles of Persian and Mughal architecture. The central tomb is a large, white marble structure that stands on a square plinth and consists of a symmetrical building with an arch-shaped doorway known as an iwan. A total of four minarets framing the tomb. Taj Mahal is also regarded as the best example of Mughal architecture.
Fun Fact: It took thousands of elephants to handle the heavy building material, over 20,000 artisans and almost 20 years to construct Taj Mahal!
4. Sun Temple
Location: Konark, Odisha
The fourth magnificent marvel has to be the Konark Surya Mandir (sun-temple), a 13th-century temple at Konark. It is well known for its magnificent architectural qualities along with its heavily detailed and intricate sculpture work. The structures of the temple are oriented East-West, the direction of the solar path. The main temple has the appearance of a chariot of an immense height of 100 ft and stone carved horses and wheels.
Fun fact: The wheels are sundials and they can be used to calculate time accurately to a minute!
5. Nalanda Ruins
Location: Nalanda, Bihar
Last but not the least on our list of magnificent marvels of Indian architecture, we have the ruins of Nalanda. Nalanda was a Buddist monastery and also served as a renowned centre of learning. The ancient university of Nalanda earned great fame during ancient times and got great importance around the 4th century because of its contribution to the emergence of India as a great power.
Fun Fact: It is reported that after being set on fire by the invaders, the great library was so wide that it burned for three months!