The origins of Indian history lie in its prehistoric temples, momentous forts, and fascinating Mughal architecture. Unravelling these gems is an excellent way to peek into the rich histories and impressive architecture of India. From antique temples to the finest monuments, we have compiled a list of 7 ancient buildings in India which truly mirror the cultural heritage of our country.
7 Top Ancient Buildings In India
1. Konark Sun Temple, Odisha
The Konark Sun Temple is located at Konark in Odisha. Constructed in 1255 C.E, this beautiful ancient temple is UNESCO world heritage site and time and again it has been named as one of the seven wonders of the country. Shaped like a gigantic chariot, this temple contains elaborately carved pillars, walls and stone wheels which all together are pulled by a set of seven beautiful horses. The most interesting thing about this temple is that it is structured in such a way that the first rays of the sunrise strike its main entrance.
2. Vittala Temple Complex, Karnataka
Hampi, once one of the largest and the richest cities across the globe. Today, its recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the key attractions for several tourists visiting our country. Located near the banks of the Tungabhadra River in the north-eastern part of Hampi, the Vittala Temple is an ancient monument which is quite popular for its unmatched craftsmanship and exceptional architecture. The temple features an iconic stone chariot, impressive sculpture work, and famed musical pillars. This temple is truly an architectural wonder.
3. Makkah Masjid, Telangana
Makkah Masjid, one of the oldest and largest mosques in India located in Hyderabad, Telangana. This architectural wonder is a listed heritage building and often considered a historic landmark. Built by ruler Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah during the 16th century, the structure is one of the greatest examples of the Islamic architecture. The central arch of the mosque was built using bricks made from soil brought from Mecca, Islam’s holiest city, hence the mosque got its name.
4. Taj Mahal, Uttar Pradesh
One of the Seven Wonders of the World, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Taj Mahal is an epitome of Mughal Architecture and doesn’t really need much introduction. Situated in one of the “Golden Triangle” cities this historic structure is recognized as the Icon of eternal love. This pristine white marble architectural wonder represents Mughal artistic heritage at it’s best. No wonder it attracts more than 7-8 million visitors every year.
5. Qutub Minar, Delhi
Built in the early 13th century, this 240-foot-tall brick minaret is one of the tallest creations in Indian history. It was built by Qutb al-Din Aibak, the founder of the Delhi Sultanate, the Muslim predecessors of the Mughals in ruling most of the Northern parts of India. Along with its red sandstone and aesthetic Iranian architecture covered with detailed iron carvings and verses from the Quran, this historic minaret is one of the most significant monuments in the country.
6. Brihadeeswarar Temple, Tamil Nadu
Also called Rajarajesvaram or Peruvudaiyar Koyil, this temple is one of the largest South Indian temples and is a classic example of a fully realized Dravidian architecture. Completed in 1010 C.E., this temple is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is said that this temple is made of around 60,000 tons of granite. It features historic frescoes, painstakingly detailed sculptures, and mural paintings.
7. Hawa Mahal, Rajasthan
Built in red and pink sandstone with a façade rich intricate details, Hawal Mahal is one interesting structure designed by Lal Chand Ustad. This structure is more of a gallery and it was created for the royal ladies to observe street life and festivals celebrated outside as they were always under ‘purdah’. This five-storey pyramidal monument is one of the most popular attractions in Jaipur in the state of Rajasthan.
These Historical Monuments are not only wealth of our Indian tourism along with other World Heritage Sites but also a lesson for our young generation designers and architects – A lesson on India is rich in culture, traditions, and heritage. With modernism striking hard, don’t let the true charm of Indian architecture fail.
Curated by a building expert from Wienerberger India