& MONUMENTS OF INDIA
It is the location of the world
centre of the Theosophical Society.
Aga Khan Palace:
Place where Mahatma Gandhi and Kasturba Gandhi
were interned. Kastuba Gandhi had breathed her last here.
Agra: Uttar Pradesh. Historical
place renowned worldwide for its great monuments like
Mahal, Fatehpur Sikhri, Itmad-ud Daulah's tomb, Agra Fort, Chini
and the darga of Salim Chisti.
It is also famous for its marble inlay work.
Andhra Pradesh. This is the most popular center of
Narasimha worship. It is also known as
being the only place where the nine forms of Lord Narasimha are
worshipped. The temple is divided in two parts, the lower and the
upper Ahobilam. The lord of the upper Ahobilam is Ahobaleshwar. The
lower Ahobilam is the abode of the Prahlada Varada Narasimha, the
aspect of the Lord Vishnu blessing Prahlada and is a masterpiece
from the Vijayanagar art.
Ahmedabad was historically known as Karnavati before it was
founded by Sultan Ahmed Shah. Ahmedabad is famous for the Jumma
Masjid (built by the cityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s founder Sultan Ahmed Shah in 1423);
Rani Rupmati Masjid at Mirzapur (built between 1430 and 1440);
Sidi Bashir's Mosque (famous for its Ã¢â‚¬Å“shaking minaretsÃ¢â‚¬Â); Teen
Darwaza, Rani Sipri Mosque; Haibat Khan Mosque; Ahmed Shah's Tomb;
Bhadra Fort; Three Gates (the triple-arched gateway built by
Sultan Ahmed Shah); Kankaria Lake (constructed in 1451 by Sultan
Qutb-ud-Din) with an island-garden and a summer palace known as
Nagina Wadi; Swaminarayan Temple; Hatheesingh Jain Temple;
Shah Jehan's Shahibagh Palace; Sabarmati or
Satyagraha Ashram (Set up in
1915 on the banks of
river Sabarmati, it was the nerve center of India's freedom
movement. Mahatma Gandhi started his famous Dandi March from this
place in 1930); Calico Textile Museum; Adalaj Step-well; Nal
Sarovar bird sanctuary, Kankaria Lake, Shamlaji
(which is one of the principal Vaishnava shrines of
Gujarat), Doshi's Gandhi Labour Institute and Kamala Nehru
Karnataka. Once the capital of the early Chalukyan dynasty
(6th to 8th centuries), Aihole is famous for
by the Chalukyas of Badami, which follow the Vesara style of
architecture. Important temples include Lad Khan Temple, Durga
Temple and the Meguti Temple.
Mizoram. The hilly city of Aizawl located at nearly 4,000
feet above sea level, is a religious and cultural centre of
Mizoram. Champhai (a beautiful resort), Tamdil (a natural lake),
Vantawng falls and Thenzawl (a hill station) are some of the
attractions of Aizawl.
Jewish names are commonly used in Aizawl.
For instance, a road is named as 'Zion Street' while a
traffic junction is names as 'Israel Point'.
Aurangabad, Maharashtra. Discovered in the 19th century, the
Ajanta group of caves depicts the story of Buddhism, spanning the
period from 200 BC to 650 AD. They have 24 monasteries and 5
temples. Cave 1 houses some of the most well preserved wall
paintings which include the two great
Padmapani and Avalokiteshvara.
Rajasthan. The city of
was founded by Raja Ajai Pal Chauhan in the 7th Century AD.
Ajmer is most renowned for the Darga of the Sufi Saint,
Khwaja Moin-ud-din Chisthi, who came to Ajmer from Persia in 1192
AD and died here in 1236 AD. The construction of the shrine was
completed by Humayum and a gate was added to the complex by the
Nizam of Hyderabad. The Akbari Masjid and the Shahjahan's Mosque
are located in the complex. The
located beyond the Darga, was constructed
AD and converted into a mosque in 1198 AD by Mohammed of Ghori.
Taragarh Fort, India's first hill fort built by Akbar, the
the "Magazine" where Jehangir received the
representative of the East India Company, Mayo College (founded in
1875 AD), shrine of Swami Dayanand Saraswati and Foy Sagar
are other important places around Ajmer.
Allahabad was known in
times as Ã¢â‚¬ËœPrayagÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ famous for the Triveni Sangam
i.e. confluence of rivers Ganga, Yamuna and the mythical Saraswati.
Allahabad is also famous for the Allahabad Fort, which has
in its precincts the Ashokan Pillar built in 233 BC and the Rani
Mahal, built by Rani Jodha Bai. The other important buildings of
Allahabad include the Anand Bhawan (the traditional home of the
Nehrus, which was donated to the Indian National Congress by
Motilal Nehru in 1931 and was renamed as the Swaraj Bhawan), Alop
Devi Temple, Mankameshwar Temple, Kalyani Devi Temple, Khusro Bagh,
St.Joseph's Cathedral and Patalpuri Temple.
It is the site for the annual Magh Mela and one of the
sites for the Kumbh Mela, which takes place once in 12 years.
Kerala. Often called the 'Venice of the East', Allappuzha is
famous for the Sreekrishna Temple at Ambalapuzha; St.Andrew's
Church at Arthunkal; Krishnapuram Palace, the Chettikulangara
Bhagavathy Temple and the Mannarsala, which is an important centre
for serpent worship in Kerala.
Kerala. It is famous for its large network of canals and the
long sandy beach.
snake-boat race is held here every year.
Capital of the Kumaon district, it was founded in 1560 by Balo
famous for the temples of Katarmal, Jageshwar, Gananath, Baijnath
Rajasthan. As early as 1500 BC, the erstwhile state of
Alwar, formed part of the Matsya territories of Viratnagar, which
also encompassed Bharatpur, Dholpur and Karauli. This Rajput state
was formerly known as Mewat. The magnificent Alwar Fort has has
remains of Jal Mahal, Nikumbh Mahal, Salim Sagar, Surij Kund and
the Vinay Vilas Mahal.
picturesque garden of Purjan Vihar, Vijai Mandir Palace, Jai
Samand Lake, Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary and the Sariska Palace are
other important places around Alwar.
Ambala: Ambala is
renowned for the three historical
gurudwaras --- Badshahi
Bag Gurudwara, Sis Ganj Gurudwara and Manji Sahib Gurudwara --
which are associated with Guru Govind Singh, Guru Tegh Bahadur and
Guru Hargovind respectively.
The other religious places in Ambala are the Bhawani Amba
Temple, Saint PaulÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Church and the shrines of Lakhi Shah
(associated with Tej-ud-Din Chisti) and Taqwal Shah. The
magnificent Rang Mahal at Buria nearby was erected during Shah
Pradesh. Located 30 miles from Vijayawada on the right bank of the
Krishna River, Amravati (or Amaresvaram) houses one of the
best-known Buddhist relics. Also known as
"Deepaladinne", it was the capital of the later
day Satavahanas and was considered as the most sacred Buddhist
pilgrimage center in India. Amravati is most famous for the
largest Stupa in the country, the Mahachaitya Stupa, built during
the 2nd century BC. The Stupa was discovered in 1797 by the
British archaeologist Colonel Colin Mackenzie. Amravati is also
famous for the temple of Amareswara, which consists of a massive
mounds of Dharankota located on the west of Amravati, together
with Nagarjunakonda and Amravati form the Golden Triangle of
Buddhism in Andhra Pradesh. About five kilometers from Amravati
lies the cave temple of Lord Venkateswara at Vaikuntapuram.
Mangalgiri, located en route to Vijayawada, is famous for its
ancient Panakaalaswamy temple.
Amritsar is famous for the
Golden Temple built by the fourth Sikh Guru Ramdas, the Akal Takht
built by Sikh Guru Hargobind, Durgiana Mandir, Jallianwala Bagh
and Rambagh Garden.
Gujarat. Situated 35 Kms. from Vadodara, the Anand milk
cooperative is one of the most successful examples of a
cooperative venture in the country.
Andhra Pradesh. It is a beautiful with cascading water falls and
is inhabited by 17 colourful tribes. The traditional folk dances
like Dhimsa dance are still performed here.
Pondicherry. It is about 20 km from Pondicherry town. Recent
excavations at some sites in Arekamedu have unearthed Roman coins,
wine jars and other artifacts, establishing it to be the earliest
Indo-Roman trading centre (around 2nd century AD). Further
evidence points to a Buddhist stronghold.
Maharashtra. Malik Amber, the Prime Minister of
Murtaza Nizam Shah II, founded Aurangabad in 1610 AD. When Malik
Amber's son Fateh Khan, succeeded the throne in 1626 AD, the city
was renamed as 'Fatehpur'. In 1653, when Aurangzeb became the
Viceroy of the Deccan, he made it his capital and renamed it 'Aurangabad'.
Aurangabad is famous for the Bibi-ka-Maqbara, built by Aurangzeb
between 1657-1661 AD as a tribute to AurangzebÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s wife, Begum
Rabia Durani. It was completed by Aurangzeb's son Prince Ahmad
Shah. The monument is a replica of the famous Taj Mahal.
Panchakki is an ancient water mill
designed in 1595 AD by Malik Amber.
Aurangabad is famous for Aurangzeb's tomb and the
saint Khaja Zainuddin Shirazi.
The 18th century Ghrishneshwar Temple, near Aurangabad, is
regarded as one of the 12 jyotirlingas in the country.
Aurangabad is also famous for the 12th century
Daulatabad or Devagiri fort. However, the city derives its fame as
a base for the nearby caves of Ajanta and Ellora.
The typical arts and crafts of Aurangabad include
saris, Himroo shawls and
work (zinc with
Pondicherry. Auroville or the City of Dawn was
developed under the Mother's direction in 1968 with the
co-operation of many nations. Designed by the French architect
Roger Arger, Auroville is envisioned as a place where people could
live "freely as citizens of the world, obeying one single
authority that of the Supreme Truth, a place of peace, concord,
harmony". There are about 40 odd settlements located around a
central focus called the Matri Mandir. These settlements
are engaged in a variety of activities, including afforestation,
farming, education and handicrafts.
Madhya Pradesh. The ancient name of modern Ujjain
city in western Madhya Pradesh.
It was one of the Mahajanapadas of the 5th
century BC. Later on, it became one of the four great cities of
India under its king Pradyota.
Karnataka. Badami or Vatapi, the one time capital of
the Chalukyas, is famous for its rock-cut temples built by the
Out of the
five temples, three are Brahmanical, two are Buddhist and one is
It is the Shiva temple at Deogarh which has been an important
pilgrimage centre for centuries.
According to legend, this is the place where Ravana rested
on his way to Lanka after abducting Sita.
Madhya Pradesh. This is a small National Park situated in Shahdol
district and has the highest density of the tiger population in
India. White Tigers, Indian bison, Sambar, Barking deer and Nilgai
are common in the park.
Known as the 'Silicon Valley of India', Bangalore is famous for
the Vidhana Soudha, Chowdaih Memorial Hall, Cubbon Park, Ulsoor
Lake, Bangalore Palace, Tipu Sultan's Palace, Lal Bagh Garden and
the Sri Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple.
It is also famous for the Whitefield, the Ashram set up by
Sri Satya Sai Baba; Nrityagram Dance Village and Dodda Alada Mara
or Ramohalli (a 400-year old Banyan tree).
Barabar and Nagarjuna
Caves: Bihar. Located about 35km north of Gaya, the caves date
back to period of Emperor Ashoka (the third century BC). The
Barabar Caves consist of temples and sanctuaries hacked out of
huge granite outcrops and give details of the life of Buddha. The
architecture of these rock-cut caves depicts the Ajivika sect of
Two of the
caves have inscriptions of Ashoka The Lomas Rishi cave is
sculpted to resemble lattice screens. The Barabar Caves find a
mention in E.M.Foster's magnum opos 'A passage to India'
as Marabar Caves. The Nagarjuna caves are smaller and younger than
the Barabar caves.
Madhya Pradesh. It is famous for the Barhut Stupa built by the
Basar: Andhra Pradesh.
This place is famous for its Saraswati temple.
Kashmir is the only other place besides Basar where a
Saraswati temple is located. The temple at Basar is also the abode
of Goddess Lakshmi and Kali. Hence, Basar is considered the sacred
place of the divine trinity.
Belur, popularly known as 'Dakshina Varanasi' or 'South Benaras',
is famous for the Channakeshava temple, built by the Hoysala King
Vishnuvardhana in 1117 AD.
Belur Math: West
Bengal. It is the headquarters of Ramakrishna Mission Ashram,
founded by Swami Vivekananda.
Its architecture is an amalgamation of the Christian, Hindu
and Islamic styles.
Pradesh. This place, situated on the left bank of the river
Godavari, is famous for the Sree Seetharamachandra Swamy shrine,
where the 48 forms of Lord Vishnu are shown.
The uniqueness of the temple is that the idol of Lord Rama
has a bow on one side and also shanku and
showing two avatars - that of Lord Vishnu and Lord Rama. Also,
unlike in other temples Sita is seated on Rama's lap.
Located close to the temple is the Ushnagundam which is
believed to the place from where Lakshama had brought hot water
for Sita to bathe.
located about 35 km away from Bhadrachalam is Parnashala which is
believed to be the hut where Lord Rama, Sita and Lakshaman lived
during their exile in the forest and where Sita was separated from
Lord Rama and taken away by Ravana.
Bharatpur is popular for its bird sanctuary, the Keoladeo (Ghana)
National Park; the Bharatpur Palace,
(designed by Maharaja Suraj Mal, the
founder of Bharatpur.), the three palaces of
Kishori Mahal, Mahal Khas and Kothi Khas within the fort
and the imposing towers
Burj and Fateh Burj.
Madhya Pradesh. Bhimbetka is an archaeological treasure house and
consist of the biggest repository of prehistoric art in India.
Recent excavations here have revealed over
700 rock shelters belonging to the Neolithic age.
The name 'Bhiwani' comes from goddess Gauri Bhawani. The place is
described as 'the Little Kashi' since it has nearly 300 temples.
ki Kutchery (or
Baradari), shrines of Khera Baba and
Lohar Pir, Loharu fort and the Raja Khetri mosque and tomb are
some of the well-known places in Bhiwani.
These are 18 Buddhist caves located near Mumbai, built
during the 2nd century B.C.
Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh, is situated on the 11th
century city, Bhojapal, founded by Raja Bhoja. An Afghan
soldier Dost Mohammed (1707-1740) established the present city. A
succession of powerful Begums had ruled over Bhopal from 1819 to
1926. Important places in Bhopal include the Taj-ul-Masajid (said
to be the largest mosque complex in India);
by Kudsia Begum in 1820 and
1837 respectively; Moti Masjid (built in 1860 by Sikandar Jehan,
the daughter of Kudsia Begum); Shaukat Mahal; Sadar Manzil; Bharat
Bhawan; Gandhi Bhawan; Van Vihar and Islamnagar (developed by
Afghan ruler Dost Mohammed Khan, it is famous for the synthesis of
Hindu and Islamic decorative art).
Bhuj: Gujarat. The old
walled city of Bhuj is famous for its Museums, Ayanamahal,
Cenotaphs and a Flamingo Sanctuary. Narayan Sarovar, near Bhuj, is
one of the five holy lakes of the Hindu faith. Kera is renowned
for the 10th century Shiv temple.
Khoteswar is an ancient place of pilgrimage. The town came
into the news recently after it was completely destroyed by a
devastating earthquake on 26th January, 2001.
This is famous for the tomb of the 14th century Muslim
saint Makhdum Shah Sharif-ud-din.
Karnataka. The foundation of this historic city was
laid during the reign of the Chalukayan Dynasty of Kalyani between
10th and 11th Centuries. Bijapur is famous
for the Gol Gumbaz built by Adil Shah, the second largest
dome in the world, which is 51m high and has a diameter of
37metres. Bijapur is also famous for the
Sat Manzil, Ibrahim
Roza, Bara Kaman, Mehtar Mahal,
Nagar Khana and
the Gagan Mahal.
Roza is the tomb of Adil Shai Sultan Ibrahim II (1580-1627
was founded in the 15th century by Rao Bikaji. Junagarh Fort
(constructed between 1588-1593 AD by Raja Rai Singh) with its
Suraj Pol or Sun Gate, Chandra Mahal, Phool Mahal;
Mahal, Karan Mahal, Dungar Niwas, Ganga Niwas, Gaj Mandir,
Mandir; Lal Garh Palace with a museum known as Shri Sadul Museum;
the 16th century Bhandasar Jain Temple;
Devi Kund (a royal crematorium);
Wildlife Sanctuary; Shiv Bari Temple;
Karni Mata Temple and Kolayatji having a temple
dedicated to Kapil Muni are some of the interesting places in and
Bihar. It is the birthplace of famous Maithili Poet
Bihar. Located 13 kms from Gaya town
and situated on
the bank of river Niranjana (Modern Falgu), it is the place where
Lord Buddha attained the supreme enlightenment and became
"The Buddha", the enlightened one. The
is the direct descendant of the original tree under which
Buddha had attained enlightenment. A sapling from the original
tree was taken to Sri Lanka by Emperor Ashoka's daughter
Sanghamitra when Ashoka took Buddhism to the island. The tree now
flourishes in Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka.
The170 feet high
Mahabodhi Temple stands east to the
Bodhi Tree with Chatras on its top. The main
sanctorum has a colossal image of Buddha in a sitting posture
touching the earth by his right hand.
the stone platform where Buddha used to meditate.
marks the sacred spot where Buddha meditated during the third week
after the pious enlightenment. It is believed that wherever Buddha
put his feet lotuses sprang up. Animeshlocha
believed to be the place where Buddha spent one week looking
towards the great Mahabodhi Tree out of gratitude, without
blinking his eyes.
is believed to be the place where five colours came out of his
body. Sujata Asthan is the place where a young village
woman approached Buddha and offered him bowl of rice just before
monasteries are located around Bodh Gaya.
The prominent among these include the Thai temple; the
Tibetan temple, which is a monastery belonging to the Gelug-pa
(Yellow Hat) sect; the Karmapa monastery, the Daijokyo Japanese
Monastery and the Indosan Nipponji temple. The
built by the king of Ceylon in the fourth
century AD is the earliest of the Buddhist monasteries built
outside India. Bodh Gaya is also renowned for the Hindu
Shankaracharya Math and the Dungeshwari and Surya temples.
Bombay: See Mumbai.
Arunachal Pradesh. Bomdila, a peaceful unspoiled town set among
apple orchards on a spur of the Thagla Ridge, has a couple of
Buddhist monasteries and a small local museum.
Vizag, Andhra Pradesh.These are the one million-year old beautiful
and natural limestone caves located about 56 miles off
Visakhapatnam and occupying an area of 2 square kilometers. The
limestone caves were formed as a result of the action of the
Rajasthan. Bundi, a picturesque town surrounded by the
Aravalli Hills, is famous for its magnificent palaces, forts and
the royal cenotaphs. The Bundi palace presents one of the finest
examples of Rajput architecture. The walls of Chatra-Mahal are
adorned with artwork using gold. The famous Chitra Shala is also
located in the palace and provides a colourful glimpse of history.
Bundi is also known as the city of wells. It has about fifty
beautiful tanks and step-in-wells called Baories. Of these,
Raniji-ki-Baori or the Queen's Baori is the best known for its
Bihar. It is believed that Lord Rama and Lakshmana had their
earlier training here in the Ashram of Vishwamitra. The
battlefield of Chausa where Sher Shah defeated the Mughal emperor
Humayun is located nearby.
(now called 'Kolkata'), is a historical and culturally rich city. It
is believed that the city of Calcutta was founded by Job Charnock
in 1690, after buying the three villages of Sutanati,Gobindopur
and Kolikata from a local landlord.
The important places in the city include Academy of Fine
Arts, Academy of Indian coins and History, Centre of International
Modern Art (CIMA), Birla Industrial and Technological Museum,
Birla Planetarium, Botanical Gardens (laid out in 1787, it is the
largest and oldest of its kind in India), Burrabazar, Dakshineswar
Temple, Dhakuria Lake, Eden Gardens, Fort William,
Howrah Bridge, Kalighat Temple, Nandan, Nicco Park, Rat
Park, Shaheed Minar, St John's Church (dating back to 1784, the
church houses the tombs of Job Charnock and
his family), St Paul's Cathedral (built in 1847) and Victoria
Memorial (built between 1906 and 1921 in memory of Queen
Calicut or Kozhikode was the capital of Zamorin Rajas.
It was at Kappad, near Calicut that Vasco-da-Gama landed up
Castella de Aguanda:
Mumbai. This is a Portuguese fort which is declared as a
& Nicobar Islands. This
is a three-storeyed prison, constructed by the British in 1906 at
Port Blair in the Andaman Islands. This is a virtual pilgrim
destination for freedom fighters. In this colossal edifice untold
tortures were inflicted on freedom fighters and they were
virtually incarcerated. These brutalities led to this place being
referred as the Kalapani. It is here that Netaji Subhash
Chandra Bose had hoisted the Indian tricolour on December 30,
1943. This place was declared as a "National Memorial"
in 1979 and is called the Mukti Tirtha.
Pradesh. It was the summer capital of the erstwhile Patiala State.
The Choor Chandni or the
panoramic view of the picturesque hills and undulating ranges. The
Chail Cricket ground is the highest cricket ground in the world.
Pradesh. Chamba was the ancient capital of the Pahari Kings and
was founded in 920 AD by King Sahil Verma.
The town is well known for its temples, which closely
resemble the temples of Rajasthan and some of them
characteristically have shikharas or spires. Some of the
well-known temples are the Lakshminarayan temple, Katasan Devi
temple, Mani-Mahesh Shikara temple, Hari Rai's Dera and the
Chamunda Devi temple.
Gujarat. Champaner lies at the foot of Pavagadh Fort about 47 Kms
form Vadodara. It was subjugated by Sultan Mehmud Berara in 1484
AD who made it his new capital. It is famous for the 'Champaner
Karnataka. Hills in Mysore whose summit bears the mighty temple of
Chamundeshwari (Durga), the guardian goddess of the Mysore
houses one of the biggest statues of Nandi in India.
Madhya Pradesh. The place is famous for the Koshak Mahal built by
Mohammed Khilji in 1445, the Jama Masjid, Shahzadi ka Rouza,
Battisi Bandi and the Parameshwa Tal. Chanderi is also famous for
The Union Territory of Chandigarh is the joint capital of
the states of Punjab and Haryana. It has several interesting
places and monuments like the Government Museum and Art Gallery,
Museum of the Evolution of Life (Science Museum), Child Art
Gallery, National Gallery of Portraits, International Dolls
Museum, Sukhana lake, the Rock Garden (built by Nek Chand), Zakir
Hussein Rose Garden
largest Rose Garden, spread over 30 acres and having over 1600
different species of roses), Mata Chandi Temple, Jayanti Devi
Temple, Shiv temple at Saketri, Mansa Devi temple, Naina Devi
Temple, Gurudwara Nada Sahib and
the Open Hand Monument.
Delhi. The Chandini Chowk or the Moonlit Square belongs to Shah
Jahan's times and was conceived by his daughter Jahanara. It is
now a busy commercial area.
Also known as "Sur
Kuti", this place located in the Persauli Village, about 25
km from Mathura is the hometown of saint Surdas from where he
composed works like Sur Sagar and
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. Often called "The Arc de triomphe
of the East", the Charminar was built in 1591AD by Mohammed
Quli Qutb Shah. It is a beautiful structure with four intricately
carved minarets built with granite and lime-mortar. The Charminar
depicts the Indo-Saracenic tradition - a symbiosis of the Hindu
and the Muslim traditions, which has woven the magic of a rich
Tamil Nadu. Popularly regarded as the
'Gateway to the
South', Chennai (formerly known as Madras), the capital of
Tamil Nadu, is the country's fourth largest city. It was founded
at Fort St. George in 1639 AD by Francis Day of the East India
Company on a piece of land given by the Raja of Chandragiri, the
last representative of the Vijayanagar rulers of Hampi. The city
had interactions with different cultures since a long time, which
is reflected in the use of many foreign names in the street names
such as the China Bazaar Road, Armenian Street and Portuguese
Church Street. Important places in Chennai include Fort St.
George, Santhome Cathedral (it derives its name from St Thomas,
the apostle of Christ who came to Madras during 52 AD), St.
George's Cathedral, St. Andrew's Church, St. Mary's Church (the
oldest Anglican Church in the country, consecrated in 1679),
Thousand Light Mosque, Marina Beach (the second largest in the
world), Gandhi Mandapam, Anna Square, Snake Park, Theosophical
Society, Valluvar Kottam (memorial of the poet-saint Tiruvalluvar),
Ripon Buildings, Elliot's Beach, Walajah Big Mosque, Ashtalakshmi
temple, Kalakshetra or 'Temple of Art' (an internationally
renowned institution of classical music and dance founded in 1936
by Rukmini Devi Arundale), Kapaleeswarar Temple (8th century
Pallava temple, considered to be the biggest temple in Chennai),
Parthasarathy Temple, Kandaswamy Temple, Vadapalani Temple,
Gandhi, Rajaji and Kamaraj Memorials and the B.M. Birla
Planetarium at Kotturpuram.
Meghalaya. Better known today as Sohra, Cherrapunjee is the
rainiest place in the world.
It is also famous for the
Nohsngithiang falls, the
Dain Thlen Falls,
Park and the
Cherrapunjee Theological College.
Nadu. Chidambaram (also known as Thillai) is an important pilgrim
centre and a holy place for Shaivaites. The place is famous for
the Nataraja Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The presiding deity
of the temple is represented by air, one of the five elements of
the universe and is known as Akash Lingam. The
Sivakamiamman temple, the Sivaganga tank, Nritha Sabha court and
the Thousand pillared-hall are other important features of the
temple. The shrines of Govindaraja or Lord Vishnu, Subramanya and
Ganesha are other sacred places in Chidambaram.
University (founded by the Raja Sir Annamalai
Hills are important places outside Chidambaram. Chidambaram is the
site for the annual Nityanjali Festival.
Madhya Pradesh. Chitrakoot is regarded as the place
where the principal trinity of the Hindu pantheon, Lord Brahma,
Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva, took their incarnations. Lord Rama and
Sita spent 11 of their 14 years of exile in the deep forests of
Chitrakoot and the great sages Atri and Sati Anusuya also
or Chittor was given to Bappa Rawal, the legendary
founder of the Sisodia dynasty, as part of the last Solanki
princess's dowry in the middle of the 8th century.
The massive Chittor
with its four main gates
Pol, Bhairon Pol, Hanuman Pol and Ram Pol, is a
fine example of the Rajput architecture. The
Stambh (Victory Tower) was built in 1440 AD by
Kumbha to commemorate his victory over the Muslim rulers of Malwa
Stambh (Tower of Fame), built in the 12th century
AD, is dedicated to Adinath, the first of the Jain Tirthankaras.
The other important places in Chittorgarh are
Kumbha's Palace, Kumbha Shyam Temple (associated with mystic
Mata Temple, Fateh Prakash Mahal and the
and Patta Palaces. The Bassi Wildlife Sanctuary,
Sita Mata Sanctuary, Sanwarlyaji Temple, Matri Kundia Temple and
Bihar. The anthropologists believe that the Chotanagpur region
witnessed the transformation of Homo Erectus to
Sapiens. This claim is based on the findings of hand axes and
blades in the region of Pathalgarwa and the discovery of Harappan
pottery in the nearby areas. The oldest geological formations of
India are also found in the Chotanagpur plateau. Ranchi, Netarhat
or the Ã¢â‚¬ËœQueen of ChotanagpurÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, Palamu and the Hazaribagh
wildlife sanctuary are important places in the Chotanagpur
Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. Built in 1750 by Nizam Salabat Jung and
designed along the lines of the Shah's palace in Tehran, it
consists of a group of palaces each used for a specific purpose.
It consists of the Khilwat, Aftab Mahal, the Tahniyat Mahal and
the Durbar Hall.
Uttar Pradesh. Chunar Fort has been a strategic point
during the incessant struggles between the Pathans and the Mughals
in the 16th century. Between 1529-1539, it changed hands many
times between Humayun and Sher Shah Suri. The fort remained in his
hands of Afghans until 1575 when Akbar won it. Later, it was ceded
to the East India Company in exchange for the fort at Allahabad.
Cochin, known as the 'Queen of the Arabian Sea', was an important
trading port since time immemorial.
It was also the site for the first European settlement in
of the Portuguese, Dutch and the British abound in the
architecture and monuments of the city. Ernakulam is the modern
part of Cochin and an important commercial centre.
The important places of interest in Cochin are: (a)
of Mattancheri: Built in 1568 AD, it was destroyed by the
Portuguese in 1662 AD but was rebuilt in 1664 AD.
The Great Scrolls of the Old Testament, the copper tablets
on which the grants of priviledge made by the Cochin rulers are
laid down and the hand-painted tiles are of great significance.
The exquisite Belgium chandliers and the hand-painted Chinese
tiles are of particular interest;
Mattancherry Palace (Dutch Palace): It was built
by the Portuguese and presented to the Cochin Raja in 1555 AD.
The Dutch carried out some repairs to the palace in 1663
AD.(c) St. Francis Church: Built by the Portuguese in 1510
AD, it is believed to be the first church built by the Europeans
Portuguese traveller Vasco-da-Gama was buried here for 14 years,
before his mortal remains were later shifted to Portugal; (d)
Santa Cruz Cathedral (Basilica); (e) Chinese Fishing Nets; (f)
Bolghatty Island (built by the Dutch in 1774) and (g) Willingdon
Nadu. Coimbatore, the third largest city of the state, is known as
the 'Manchester of South India'. Coimbatore is renowned for
the Perur Temple, Marudhamalai Temple (Thai
Tirukarthigai festivals are celebrated with
great pomp and gaiety at this temple), Sangameshwarar temple at
Bhavani (described as 'Tiruveni of South India'), Glass
Forest Museum, Vaideki
Water Falls, Siruvani Waterfalls, the
Temple and the Anamalais Wildlife Sanctuary or
Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary.
New Delhi. Designed by
Robert Tor Russel, Connaught Place or CP served as the nucleus
around which the city of New Delhi built, when it was decided on
December 12, 1911 to shift the capital of India from Calcutta to
New Delhi. The British Viceroy Lord Hardinge suggested that
a "Western architecture with an Oriental motif" be
adopted when designing the CP. Three Indian contractors
played an important role in the building of CP: Sir Sobha Singh,
Sardar Dharam Singh and Rai Bahadur Narain Singh. The Regal
Cinema in CP was built in 1928 followed by Rivoli in 1940 and
Odeon in 1945. In 1995, Connaught Place was renamed as Rajiv
Chowk and Connaught Circus (the Outer Circle) was rechristened
Tamil Nadu. Courtallam (also known as the
of the South') has nine water falls: Main falls, Chitaruvi,
Shenpagadevi falls, Thenaruvi, Five falls, Orchard falls, New
falls, Tiger falls and Old Courtallam falls.
The place is also known for Thiru Courtallanathar temple
and the Chithra Sabha having a number of mural paintings of rural
deities and stories from epics depicted in the central hall.
Cranganore (Kodungallore or Muziris) is a place near Cochin, where
St. Thomas landed in 52 AD. It was the capital of Cheraman Perumal,
the King of Kerala.
is famous for the Cheramanparambu Palace, Portugese Fort and the
Tiruvanchikulam and Bhagavathi temples.
Dadra & Nagar Haveli:
The Union Territory of
and Nager Haveli if famous for Tadkeshwar Shiva Mandir,
Deer Park Khanvel, Vanganga Lake, Dadra,
Vanvihar Udhyan, Bal
Udhyan, Tribal cultural museum and Hirvavan Garden at Silvassa.
West Bengal. It is famous for its Dakshineswar Temple (Kali
Temple) built by Rani Rasmani of north Calcutta in the 19th
century on the bank of Ganges, north east of Calcutta. It is here
that Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsadeva, the renowned spiritual
personality and the guru of Swami Vivekananda, had worshipped
Kali, the Divine Mother, and did his
sadhana at the
Panchavati Garden adjacent to the temple.
Himachal Pradesh. It is the famous hill station of the British
period. The town is named after the British Governor General, Lord
Dalhousie who visited this area around the middle of the 19th
century. Subash Baoli, Satdhara,
Kalatope, Bara Pathar ( famous for the temple of Bhulwani Matha)
and Dhain Kund (a high peak) are important places in Dalhousie.
It is a district of the Union Territory of Daman & Diu.
It is famous for the Devka Seaface, Jampore and Nani Daman
Beaches; the 17th century
Church of Bom Jesus;
the 16th century
Church of The Lady of Dolores;
of Moti Daman; Fort of St.Jerome; Kachigam Tank, Satya Sagar
Udhyan, Dalwada, Kadaiya Pond and Nani Daman Jetty garden.
Bengal. Darjeeling is a picturesque hill resort famous for its
finest blend of tea. Darjeeling was gifted to the British East
India Company in 1817. The Buddhist Monasteries and the Hindu
temples found here are of architectural and cultural importance.
Important places at Darjeeling include Batasia Loop
(along the train track at Ghoom, the highest railway
station in the world), Dhirdham Temple, Himalayan Mountaineering
Institute, Padmaja Naidu Himalaya Zoological Park, Natural History
Museum, Lloyds Botanical Garden, Tibetan Self-help Centre,
Darjeeling-Rangeet Valley Passenger Ropeway, Lebong Race Course,
Tiger Hill, Yiga-Choling Monastery at Ghoom (it belongs to the
Gelugpa Sect and houses a 15 ft statue of the Maitrey Buddha),
Japanese Temple and Gorkha Stadium.
Maharashtra. It was built in 1187 AD by Villama Raja
of the Yadava dynasty during whose time it was known as "Devagiri"
or the 'Hill of Gods'.
was plundered by Allauddin Khilji in 1294 AD and became the
capital of Muhammad Tughlaq in 1327 AD. The Chand Minar is a 65m
high spectacular tower located at this fort built by Allauddin
Bahamani in 1453 AD in commemoration of his conquest of Deccan.
Uttaranchal. It is a beautiful hill station
with several interesting places like Robber's Cave (Guchchu Pani),
Sahastradhara, Dakpather Barrage, Tapkeshwar Temple, the Forest
Research Institute and the Wadia Institute of Geology.
is an important Hindu pilgrim centre renowned for its Shiva
splendid town of Dharamshala is situated on the foothills of
mighty Dhauladhar Mountains or
"The white mountains". After the Chinese invasion
of Tibet in 1959, Dharamshala became the temporary headquarters of
the Dalai Lama. It is often described as the 'Little Lhasa in
a charming Tibetan settlement and is a major culture centre of
Tibetan Buddhism in India. His Holiness Dalai Lama also resides in
Mcleodganj. The Tibetan Institute of performing Arts (TIPA) is
also located here.
Gujarat. Dholavira is an Indus valley site, assumed to be over
5000 years old, which was excavated in 1990.
It is located half way between a range of low hills and the
Rann of Kachchh.
It is a district of the Union Territory of Daman & Diu.
It is famous for the Chakratirth, Ghoghla, Gomatimata, Jallandhar
and Nagoa Beaches; St.Paul's Church; St. Thomas Church; Diu Fort
(constructed between 1535-1541 AD); Fortress of Panikota (Fortem
du Mar); Navlakha Parshvanath Temple and Gangeshwar.
Maharashtra. Created by the Chalukyan rulers, the island of Elephanta is famous for its
great cave shrine which is the glorious abode of Lord Shiva. It
has among its beautiful stone sculptures, carvings of Shiva in his
various avatars, as 'Nataraj' and 'Gangadhar'. The three-headed 'Maheshmurti'
is the most impressive of all the sculptures. The
island, dating back to the sixth century AD, was earlier known as
the Fortress City but was renamed as 'Elephanta' by the Portuguese.
The Elephanta was accorded the title of World Heritage site in
Aurangabad, Maharashtra. The Ellora caves, 34 in number, are
the finest specimens of cave-temple architecture. These were
carved during the period 350 AD to 700 AD. The 12 caves to the
south are Buddhist, the 17 in the centre dedicated to Hinduism,
and the 5 to the north are Jain. Caves 6 and 10 house the Buddhist
and Hindu images under the same roof, the latter dedicated to
Vishwakarma, the patron saint of Indian craftsmen. The Vishvakarma
cave is both a Chaitya and a Vihara, with a seated Buddha placed
in the stupa. The
Kailasa temple in Cave 16 is an
architectural marvel, the entire structure having been carved out
of a monolith, the process taking over a century to finish. It was
built by the Rashtrakuta ruler Krishna II during 751-783 AD. The
Dumar Lena cave resembles the famous cave-temple at Elephanta and
is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The Jain caves contain grand statues
of Parasnath, images of Tirthankaras and one of them has a seated
figure of Mahavira.
This is the birthplace of the great
revolutionary poet Subramanya Bharathi who is regarded as one of
the best Tamil poets of the modern era.