Five Destinations in India with a Glorious Past to Explore

A guest post by Rohit Agarwalhe

All countries have a past, with a distinct heritage, and India is no exception. Sadly, several places in India with a glorious past have been almost forgotten now. These places had been the epicentres of monarchy and had the luxury to illustrate the lavish lifestyle. These were the devoted and the enlightened places where the grandeur of art and architecture could be witnessed.

India has witnessed civilization earlier than most parts of the world and has contributed an incredible amount to the world’s glory. The wonderful past of a few cities is listed here for travel buffs,  history admirers and culture enthusiasts to have a look and explore.

1. Nalanda


Photo by Arunava de Sarkar, CC BY-SA 3.0

This city tops the list. It was a renowned center of learning in Asia. Scholars from far and wide came to this city to seek knowledge on various subjects, especially Buddhism. There were thousands of scholars learning at this place at one time. Sanskrit, Vedas, logic, medicine, and so on were other topics the students got enlightened on during the course of their study. Located in Bihar, this city was in ruins being attacked by different invaders. Many manuscripts have been lost but now the site has been revived thanks to the efforts of the like of Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam, a former President of India.

2. Martand Sun Temple


Photo by Martand in the Winter, CC BY 2.0

Situated in Jammu and Kashmir this temple dedicated to the Sun God is in ruins today.  A mingle of Indo-Greek architecture was used to build it in the 15th century by one Sikandar Butshikan. The temple offered a vivid view of the Kashmir valley. The creaky walls and gigantic pillars at the site are witness to the fact that a rare and excellent architectural marvel once stood in the place which is lost to us forever.

3. Kumbhalgarh


Photo by Heman kumar meena, CC BY-SA 3.0

This was called the jewel of Mewar, a well-known region of Rajasthan and the birthplace of the great warrior, Maharana Pratap. It was the second largest fort in India and has a 36-km extended wall which is just second to the Great Wall of China. Fortified gateways herald its glory blocking the invasions of the Moghuls and other invaders. It is still standing tall, making Mewar proud and displaying the royal past of Rajasthan. Kumbhalgarh also houses 360 temples which are must-visit sites well known for their architecture. It is one of the World Heritage Sites of India.

4. Leh Palace


Photo by Drmaliktariq, CC BY-SA 3.0

Cradled among the Namgyal Hill, Leh boasts of royalty of the Namgyal Dynasty. Once the royal abode of King Singe Namgyal, this palace is now the Archaeological Conservation Organization of the Indian Government. The royal family abandoned it after it was captured by the Dogra forces who took over its control in the 19th century. From the nine-storied palace, which is open to public, you can have a picturesque view of the surroundings. It also houses a museum which has an exhaustive collection of jewelery, ornaments, crowns, dresses and more.

5. Golconda Fort


Photo by Bobsodium, CC BY-SA 2.5

Located in Hyderabad in the state of Telangana, Golconda Fort is one of the noteworthy historical places in ruins that depicts the architectural marvel of India. Built on a hilltop, you can have a view of the scenic beauty of the city of Hyderabad from its top. Many dynasties have held the fort as their seat of power before it was annexed by the Mughals. The famous Kohinoor Diamond along with other magnificent diamonds and precious gemstones were stored in the vaults of this fort. Mounted cannons, gateways, regal halls, drawbridges, stables, magazines built during the reign of the sultans are still a pride of this fort.

History lovers and culture enthusiasts, architecture enthusiasts will surely love and enjoy visiting these places. Why not make them your next vacation destination?

Rohit Agarwalhe is a well-known blogger and traveller. Learn more about historical places and their significance at his website

About Adventures in Preservation

Huge fans of the world's architectural heritage, making it a point to seek out historic buildings wherever we travel. Bloggers include co-founder of Adventures in Preservation, a non-profit organizing historic preservation-based volunteer vacations, and AiP interns.
This entry was posted in Cultural Heritage, Cultural Travel, Heritage Travel, Historic Buildings, Historic Sites and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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