Historical Monuments of India

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Monuments in India

Forts of India
Colorful past of India is reflected in the myriad citadels studded in Indian landscape. Some of the erstwhile political epicenters are in ruins while others are still stand tall. All this speaks of bygone golden era, of intrigue, valor, glory, deceit, romance and splendor.
¤ Lal Qila or Red Fort : Its impressive palaces and public halls are nothing but the imprints of its aura and the seat of it's power.

¤ Amber Fort : This sprawling Amber Fort-Palace is nothing but an apt example of lives of gallant Rajputs. They were everything - militant, adventurous, temperamental and also self-indulgent at the same time. Amber Fort is rated among the best hilltop forts in India.

¤ Gwalior Fort : The fort is often described as the 'Pearls in the necklace of the castles of Hind'. This sprawling fort is the testimony to glorious battles and the rule of the Maharajas of Gwalior.

¤ Jaisalmer Fort : Perched on the hills, emerging out of the sand, the gold hued walls of this majestic fortress reaches up to the sky with pride.

¤ Agra fort : Built by Emperor Akbar, this crescent-shaped fort is placed on the west bank of the river. The main highlights of this magnificent Fort are Diwan-i-Aam, Jehangir's palace, Anguri Bagh etc.

¤ Fatehpur Sikri : 37 kms from Agra, Fatehpur Sikri was built during 1571 and 1585, by the Mughal Emperor, Akbar. Diwan-I-Am, Daulat khana-I-khas etc reflects one of the finest examples of Mughal architectural splendor.

¤ Jhansi Fort : Built by Raja Vir Singh Judeo in 1613, the Jhansi Fort is an architectural delight to eyes. The fort was a residence of Rani Laxmibai of Jhansi. The main highlights are the Karak Bijli Toup, Rani Jhansi Garden, Shiv temple etc.

¤ Golkonda : Golkonda Fort was established by the Yadava dynasty of Deogiri and Kakatiyas of Warangal and named after the Telugu word "Golla Konda" means "Shephard's Hill".

Palaces of India
The palaces in India are the epitome of sheer opulence and comfort. These were built in some of the most beautiful cities of the country, offering a visual treat to visitors. These mammoth temples showcase a brilliant range of architectural style and artistry, reflecting an elegance of style. This perfection demands a mastery over eons. Some of the palaces have been renovated as luxury hotels offering a whiff of royalty.
¤ Umaid Bhavan Palace : Located in Jodhpur, Umaid Bhavan Palace is rated one of the world's largest residences. This 347 room palace leaves the impression of romance juxtaposed alongside beauty. It leaves a nostalgic feeling for the golden era of Rajputs.

¤ Fort & Palaces of Orchha : The spectacular forts & palaces of Orchha comprise of three splendidly constructed palaces called as Raja Mahal, Jahangir Mahal and Rai Parveen Mahal.

¤ Bir Singh Palace : Bir Singh Palace is regarded as one of the best surviving example of architecture belonging to late 16th and early 17th centuries.

¤ Jai Vilas Palace : Located in Gwalior, Jai Vilas Palace looks like a quaint Mediterranean resort. The palace was built between 1872 and 1874 by Maharaja Jayji Rao to welcome the 'Prince of Wales' during his visit to India.

¤ City Palace / Jaipur : City Palace Jaipur is situated at the heart of the main city. This City Palace covers one-seventh of the town. This palace reflects an imposing blend of traditional Rajasthan and Mughal architecture.

¤ Lake Palace Udaipur : Built by Maharaja Jagat Singh II, Lake Palace of Udaipur is popularly known as Jag Niwas. Situated on Lake Pichola, it gives its admirer a picture perfect floating view.

¤ Lalgarh Palace / Bikaner : Designed by a British designer, this palace is an architectural masterwork in red sandstone. This palace was built by Maharaja Ganga Singh Ji in the memory of his father Maharaja Lal Singh Ji in 1902.
¤ Ajanta Caves
The world famous Ajanta Caves including the unfinished ones are thirty in number, of which five (9, 10, 19, 26 and 29) are chaitya-grihas and the rest are viharas (monasteries). After centuries of oblivion, these caves were discovered in AD 1819. They fall into two distinct phases with a break of nearly four centuries between them. All the caves of the earlier phase date between second century BC-AD. The caves of the second phase were excavated during the supremacy of the Vakatakas and Guptas.
A few paintings, which survive on the walls of Caves 9 and 10date back to the second century BC-AD. The second group of the paintings started in about the fifth century AD and continued for the next two centuries as noticeable in later Caves. Caves 1, 2, 16 and 17 have remarkable paintings with themes intensely religious in tone and centre around Buddha, Bodhisattvas, incidents from the life of Buddha and the jatakas. The paintings are executed on a ground of mud-plaster in the tempera technique.
¤ Ellora Caves
The magnificent group of rock-cut shrines of Ellora, representing three different faiths, Buddhist, Brahmanical and Jaina were excavated during the period from fifth to the thirteenth century AD. The Buddhist Caves (1 to 12) were excavated between the fifth and the seventh centuries AD, when the Mahayana sects were flourishing in the region. Important in this group are Caves 5, 10 and 12.
The Brahmanical Caves numbering 13 to 29 are mostly Saivite. Kailasa (Cave 16) is a remarkable example of rock-cut temples in India on account of its striking proportion, elaborate workmanship, architectural content and sculptural I ornamentation. There are two dhvaja-stambhas or pillars with flagstaff in the courtyard. The grand sculpture of Ravana attempting to lift mount Kailasa, the abode of Siva, with his full might is a landmark in Indian art.
The Jaina Caves (30 to 34) are massive, well-proportioned, decorated and mark the last phase of the activity at Ellora.
¤ Elephanta Caves
Elephanta anciently known as Gharapuri, the island capital of Konkan Mauryas, is celebrated for its colossal image of Mahesamurti with three heads each representing a different form.
In fact, there are seven caves out of which the most important is the Mahesamurti cave. The main body of the cave, excluding the porticos on the three open sides and the back isle is 27 metres square and is supported by rows of six columns each. The gigantic figures of dvarapalas or doorkeepers here are very impressive.
There are sculptured compartments in this cave with remarkable images of Ardhanarisvara, Kalyana-Sundara Siva, Ravana lifting Kailasa, Andhakari-murti (slaying of Andhaka demon) and Nataraja Siva.