Must Visit Historical Places in India
India can proudly boast of preserving its ancient structures and monuments as well as marching with élan with the modern developments all around the globe.
Here, on one hand you can visit historical sites and know about the glorious past of India or just walk into sprawling IT Parks and 'modern temples', that is, modern industries.
Each state in India shines with its own specific culture and lively
traditions, tribes, languages and a historical past. Let us know more
about historical places in the diverse states of India.
- Andhra Pradesh: Vijayawada, Kurnool, Nellore, Guntur, Kadapa
- Bihar: Buxar, Patna, Siwan, East Champaran
- Gujarat: Rajkot, Bharuch, Gandhidham, Anand, Vapi, Udvada
- Haryana: Karnal, Sonipat, Panipat
- Jammu and Kashmir: Kargil, Leh
- Jharkhand: Jamshedpur, Bokaro, Hazaribagh, Koderma
- Karnataka: Hospet, Bijapur, Gulbarga, Belgaum, Bidar, Kozhikode
- Madhya Pradesh: Gwalior, Ratlam, Sagar, Indore, Chhatarpur, Bhind
- Maharashtra: Chandrapur, Ellora, Pune, Wardha, Alibaug, Ratnagiri
- Punjab: Kapurthala, Amritsar, Ferozepur, Ranthambore
- Puducherry: Yanam Pondicherry
- Rajasthan: Mandawa, Bharatpur, Udaipur, Kota, Sriganganagar
- Telangana: Karimnagar, Hyderabad, Warangal
Best Historical Places in India You Must Visit
There are many places with historical and archaeological sites, forts and museums for those who love to delve into history of a place.
We bring here top five places in India which you must visit for witnessing a really large number of ancient buildings and forts and relive the ancient past of this country and understand its culture in a better way!
New Delhi - Capital City of India
The capital of India has Old
Delhi area to show you the past culture and life in Delhi as well as the
most modern infrastructure of New Delhi. Well, your time in Delhi will
be well spent discovering ancient monuments and buildings such as India Gate
which was built in the honour of Indian soldiers who fought during
World war and Afgan wars.
You will love to see Sansad Bhavan
House), Rashtrapati Bhawan
(built in European, Mughal and Indian style),
much loved Connaught Place
and Lodhi garden
with monuments belonging to
15th and 16th century.
Mughal Monuments in Delhi comprise of Purana
Quila (Old Fort) depicting Mughal military architecture, Red fort and
Salimgarh fort, Chandni Chowk --- wholesale market in old city, Jantar
Mantar, Nizamuddin Dargah, Safdarjung's tomb, Qutb Minar
This is not all! There are a few ancient religious
places too you must surely take out time and visit. These include
Viceroy Church, also known as Cathedral Church
of Redemption, Gurudwara Bangla
Saheb, Jama Masjid, St. James Church (one of the oldest Churches
in India), Kalkaji Mandir
Delhi will surely mesmerize you with its
combination of the most ancient and some really modern structures which
is mind boggling. On one hand, you can experience history in Red Fort
and old Chandni Chowk market while on the other hand, you have malls and
metro rail -- modern achievements in this place!
Aurangabad in Maharashtra
Visiting Aurangabad will give you a lifetime experience by touring Ajanta and Ellora caves. You will go back in time - about 2000 years back into ancient India! Both are protected monument sites taken care of by ASI (Archaeological Survey of India).
There are 30 Ajanta rock caves
in Sahyadri hills and were discovered by British Army officer John Smith in 1819. The murals and carved figures throw light on Buddhism and Buddhist scholars and researchers visit the site even today for research.Ellora caves
, nestled on Chamadari hills, are popular for their architecture, monasteries and Buddhist temples. These 'Halls of worship' were constructed way back in the 5th century AD --- an amalgamation of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.
The site has 12 Buddhist caves, 17 Hindu caves and 5 Jain temples belonging to Digambara sect. The Kailasa temple at Ellora caves is a fine example of Dravidian art. Cave number 10 has a statue depicting Buddha in seated position and is known as Vishwakarma cave.
You will see great artistic splendour in these ancient sites which subtly brings alive the ancient civilization of this country! Do you know that your visit to Ajanta and Ellora site has actually shown you world's largest monolithic structure too!
- Timings: Open from sunrise to sunset
- Ellora caves are closed on Mondays.
- Entry Fee: The Ellora Caves entry fee for Indians is Rs 40 and even the SAARC and BIMSTEC nationals have to pay Rs 40 as entry ticket to Ellora Caves. The Caves entry ticket for foreigners is Rs 600. There is no Ellora Caves entry ticket price for children up to 15 years.
You can also visit nearby places such as Mumbai and tour 'Film City
' which has many production houses. Flora fountain is yet another beautiful site dedicated to Governor of Mumbai Sir Bartle Frere as a tribute to his service in Bombay. Mumbai High Court which is a very old serving High Court in India. Kanheri caves
, Gateway of India
, Rajabai Clock Tower, University Building, Worli fort, Balodyan gardens, hanging garden, Jijamata Udyan zoo, Kamala Nehru park etc. are also interesting places you can visit.
Among ancient religious places are Haji Ali Dargah
, Babulnath temple
, Mount Mary Church
, Siddgivinayak temple and Walukeshwar temple.
Ajanta caves are 99 kms. from Aurangabad while Ellora caves are just 30 kms. from Aurangabad and 250 kms. from Pune. You can also reach Jalgaon which is only 59 kms. from Ajanta
Visit this place between November-March, that is, during winter season or monsoon season for seeing gushing water and streams alongwith greenery all around.
- Nearest Railway Station: Jalgaon Railway Station
- Nearest Airport: Aurangabad Airport
Jamshedpur in Jharkhand
is an old city in Jharkhand state popular as 'Steel city' due to the existence of Steel plant which has provided employment to large number of people here. However, some really old buildings in Jamshedpur still tell old tales of its glorious past.
There is Hudco lake, Keenan Stadium, JRD Tata Sports Complex, Dimna lake, Tata Steel Zoological Park and Jubilee park which are interesting places to visit.
One of the oldest temples in Jamshedpur include Kalibari temple in Kadma and Bhuvneshwari temple in TELCO. Sir Dorabji Tata Park, Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary and River's meet are some peaceful spots which will rejuvenate you.
You can also visit Centre for Excellence and know about the history behind building of the extensive steel factory in Jamshedpur.
An old city like Jamshedpur, earlier known as 'Sakchi', fulfils not only domestic steel requirements in India but also exports superior quality steel to countries all over the world. That's an ancient city with a most modern outlook!
Hyderabad in Telangana
Hyderabad is a bustling town with It Parks, famous markets, palaces, forts, museums - an ever growing city. Twin city Secunderabad is also witnessing infrastructural development at a large scale. Your visit to this ancient city will introduce you to the finest cuisine - the popular Hyderabadi biryani
Well, the culture of the Nawabs can be understood best by touring this city. You will love to see Mecca Masjid which was built 400 years back, Charminar
with ever busy bazaar all around it, Golkonda fort
and Qutb Shahi tombs
dedicated to rulers of Qutb Shahi dynasty rulers.
There is a lot more to discover in terms of History in Hyderabad. You must take time to visit Paigah tombs located in Chandrayanagutta, Falaknuma Palace built using Italian marble and now under taken by Taj Group, Chowmahalla Palace which served as a seat of Asaf Jahi dynasty and place of entertainment for guests, Asman Garh Palace
built by Sir Asman Jah (Prime Minister of Hyderabad) in 1885 and based on Gothic architecture.
Purani haveli, King Kothi Palace
, Bella Vista, Taramati Baradari palace near Gandipet lake, Himayat sagar, Mir Alam tank are other places having historical significance.
Among the religious places, you can derive serenity by visiting places like Makkah masjid, Hebron House of Worship, Ananda Buddha Vihara and Lakshminarasimha Swamy temple.
Your visit to Hyderabad will fill you with memories of delectable cuisine, lovely architecture of very ancient buildings and yes, some lively white pearls and lac bangles to make you a queen in your own right!
Udaipur in Rajasthan
is a beautiful city also known as 'The City of Lakes
' and 'Venice of the East
'. This city has a rich cultural and historical background - the architecture and grandeur that existed during the rule of Rajputs here. You must tour the City Palace on the banks of Pichola lake.
It was built in 1559 by Maharaja Udai Mirza Singh. The beautiful paintings, architecture and antiques inside the palace will fill you with awe!
There is Bagore-ki-haveli constructed in the 18th century by Chief Minister of the Royal Court of Mewar. It was also the residence of Maharana Shakti Singh of Bagore and hence is called 'Bagore-ki-haveli'.
There is a 15th century fort - Kumbhalgarh fort which was the birth place of Maharana Pratap, the King of Mewar. Lake Pichola was built in 1362 AD and later extended by Rana Udai Singh II in the 16th century.
Sajjan Garh or Monsoon Palace is a place from where you can witness a magical sunset. The palace was built by Maharana Sajjan Singh in 1884 who wanted to make an observatory here. Udaipur is surely a place of palaces!
Rabdentse in Sikkim
Rabdentse, located in West Sikkim district, is a saga of royalty to ruins. However, this is what attracts hundreds of tourists here to this heritage monument! Rabdentse was the second capital of Sikkim from 1670 to 1814 but turned into ruins due to invasions.
The capital city was invaded by Gurkha army and completely destroyed. Today, one can see chortens here. You can also visit one of the oldest monasteries of Sikkim which is close by - Pemayangtse Monastery.
This is one place you must visit to understand the history of Sikkim --- a first hand experience. Today, preservation work is carried out by Archeological Society of India (ASI).
The place can be divided into Northern wing and Southern wing. The Royal family resided in the Northern wing. This is where the 'Dab Lhagang' can be seen where the royal family offered prayers.
The Southern wing was the place where the King sat on the stone throne and gave heard the woes of common people. You can reach Rabdentse from Pemayangtse Monastery or just trek through a 2 kms. path through the green and thick forest commencing from Pelling to Geyzing.
Nalanda in Bihar
Remember the song 'O mere raja
' from the film 'Johny Mera Naam
'? Well, the song was picturized in Nalanda --- one of the very ancient historical sites in India. Nalanda
which was a large Buddhist Monastery in ancient Magadha (Modern-day Bihar) was a great centre of learning.
Infact, it attracted scholars from China, Central Asia, Tibet, Korea etc. It is believed to be the oldest University of the World! A thing of pride for Indians.
Nalanda received patronage from Gupta Empire, Emperor harsha and also from the Kings of Pala empire. However, this centre for learning was devastated and ransacked by Muslim Mamluk Dynasty under Bakhtiyar Khilji in c.1200 CE.
However, the institution was revived with the setting up of Nava Nalanda Mahavihara which is a centre for learning Pali and Buddhism and became a Deemed University in 2006. In September 2014, the first academic year of modern Nalanda University commenced.
Tourists visit Nalanda as it is an important Buddhist site too. Nalanda Archeological museum comprises of rare and ancient artefacts which were excavated from Nalanda and Rajgir nearby.
Another place must visit here is the Xuanzang Memorial Hall constructed to honour the famous Buddhist monk and traveller. If you are eager to know about history of Nalanda, you have an opportunity to glimpse through the 3-D animation and multimedia presentations in nalanda Multimedia Museum. Sounds interesting?
Hampi in Karnataka
means champion! Hampi is a village which is situated amidst the ruins of Vijainagar city which was the capital of Vijainagara empire! The empire has a massive army and more than 500,000 people resided here in around 1500 AD.
With passage of time, invasions and large scale destruction, the royalty came to ruins. Large stones present here have been carved into idols of Hindu deities. Hampi had a strategic location - with Tungabhadra river flowing in the vicinity and surrounded by big hills on all three sides.
- Distance from Bangalore: 353 kms.
- Distance from Bellary: 74 kms.
- Distance from Hospete: 13 kms.
However, due to presence of Virupaksha temple (also called Pampavati temple), this place is an important religious centre. There is a Jain temple on Hemakuta hill along with two Devi shrines.
Other temples in and around Hampi include Achyutaraya temple, Badavi linga, Chandramauleshwara temple and Malyavanta Raghunathaswamy temple (with fish and marine motifs on the temple walls).
Hazara Rama temple complex is popular for depiction of story of Ramayana by means of carvings and inscriptions on temple walls.
Vittala temple complex is the most visited site among ruins in Hampi. There are musical pillars in this temple. Two of these were cut by the British to know how sound was produced from hollow pillars. Road leading to this temple was a place for trading horses.
One can witness the ruins of the market. Even the temple has images of foreigners and Persians trading horses. Other interesting sites here are the Lotus Mahal, Bhim's gate, Talarigatta gate and elephant stables along with Anjeyanadri hill and lake near Sanapur.
For those interested in History and Architecture, this is one place you must visit and witness ruins of Vijaynagara empire as well few buildings which belong to pre-Vijayanagara times!
Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh
Ayodhya, situated on the banks of Saryu river, is an ancient city in India and believed to be the birth place of Lord Rama (seventh incarnation of Lord Vishnu).
This city was the capital of ancient Kosala Kingdom. Ayodhya city is believed to be 9,000 years old! Ayodhya is a sacred city and comprises of many Hindu temples.
In the Arthveda, Ayodhya has been described as 'City built by God which has to be as prosperous as paradise itself'. However, the beauty of this city is that it amalgamates the essence of all other religions such as Buddhism, Jainism and Islam including Hinduism.
The five Thirthankars were born here. The city derives its name from King Ayudh, the forefather of Lord Rama. During the times of Buddha, Ayodhya was known as Saketa.
There are many Buddhist temples, monuments and centres of learning here which were established by Mauryan empire and Gupta Dynasty. Valmiki is said to have begun writing the Ramayana in Ayodhya!
You must visit Hanuman Garhi in Ayodhya which is a large four-sided fort with Hanuman temple inside. You have to climb at least 76 steps to reach the temple. According to a legend, Lord Hanuman lived here in a cave and protected the Janambhoomi
or Ramkot (main place of worship in Ayodhya).
Kanak Bhawan is another temple which was given to Sita by her mother on the auspicious occassion of her marriage to Lord Rama. Swarg Dwar is the site where Lord Rama was cremated. Chhoti Devkali mandir is dedicated to Goddess Ishani or Durga devi who is believed to be the Kuldevi of Sita. Distance of Ayodhya from Other cities
Temple of Nageshwarnath was built by Lord Rama's son named Kush. This is the temple he built for Nag-Kanya with whom he fell in love with and gifted her this Shiva temple.
Later, when Ayodhya was abandoned until the time of Vikramaditya, although the entire city was covered by dense forests, this temple helped Vikramaditya to recognize the city of Ayodhya!
Yet another place you must visit here is Chakravarti Mahraj Dashrath mahal also known as Bada Sthan and Badi Jagah situated at Ramkot in Ayodhya.
Chakravarti Mahraj Dashrath Mahal Timings: 8 A.M. to 12 Noon and 4 P.M. to 10 P.M.
Other sites to visit in Ayodhya include Ram ki Paidi, Janki Mahal, Sri Rama Janaki Birla Temple, Tulsi Smarak Bhawan, Kaleramji ka Mandir, Datuvan Kund, Gurudwara Brahma Kund, Laxman Quila, Rishabhadeo Jain temple, Valmiki Ramayan Bhawan, Rama Katha Museum, Tulsi Chaura etc.
Visit any or all of these ancient places in India and experience the culture of the country first hand. After all, to really understand and enjoy a place, you must be conversant with its history first. This historical tour will give you beautiful memories of ancient structures standing aloft in most modern settings in the metro and mini metro cities of India.