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PLACES & MONUMENTS OF INDIA

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Jageshwar:  Uttaranchal. Located about 40km from the Almora district, it consists of a complex of 124 temples.  Some consider Jageshwar as the site of the 'Jyotirlinga'.

 

Jaipur:  Rajasthan. Jaipur, known as 'Pink City', is named after its founder Maharaja Jai Singh II (1693-1743), who ruled Jaipur from 1727-1793 AD. Jaipur was earlier part of the Dhunder region, which had its capital at Amber. Jaipur is famous for the City Palace; Jantar Mantar  (largest of Jai Singh's five observatories);  Hawa Mahal (built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh);  Govind Devji Temple; Sisodia Rani Palace; the Sisodia Rani Ka Bagh;  Swargasuli or Isar Lat (a very high tower built by Sawai Ishwari Singh in 1749AD); Ram Niwas Bagh (built by Sawai Ram Singh II in 1868 AD); the Albert Hall  (designed by Sir Swinton Jacob); Galtaji  (an ancient pilgrimage centre); the temple of the Sun god, built by Diwan Kriparam;  the Jain Temple;  Moti Doongri and Lakshmi Narayan Temples;  Maharani-ki-Chhatri;  the Jal Mahal located at the centre of the Man Sagar Lake (built by Sawai Jai Singh I) , the Kanak Vrindavan Complex of temples and gardens;  Ghat ki Guni ; Vidyadhar-ka-Bagh; Amer (former capital of the Kachhwaha rulers);  Amer Palace,  Shila Mata Temple;  Mohan Bari or Kesar Kyari; Maotha Lake;  Dilaram Bagh;  Jagat Shiromani Temple; Panna Mian-ka-kund; Jaigarh ; Nahargarh ; the Jain temples at Sanganer ; Ramgarh Lake; Samode Palace and Bairath (a historical place with the excavated remains of a circular Buddhist temple).

 

Jaisalmer:  Rajasthan.  The 'Golden City' of Jaisalmer was founded in 1156 AD by a Bhatti Rajput prince Rawal Jaisal. The Jaisalmer Fort with its four gateways- Akhaiya Pol, Ganesh Pol, Suraj Pol and Hava Pol; Manak Chowk and Havelis;  Gadsisar Lake;  Tazia Tower;  the 19th century Nathmalji-ki-Haveli;  Patwon-ki-Haveli;  Salim Singh-ki-Haveli and the exquisitely carved Jain Temples dedicated to the Jain Tirthankaras - Rishabdev, Sambhavnath and Parswanath are some of the important places in Jaisalmer. 

 

Jallandhar: Punjab.  Jallandhar is known as the 'Sports City of India'. It is famous for the Sodal temple, the mausoleum of Imam Nasir, Phillaur Fort and the Gurudwara at Kartarpur built by Guru Arjan Dev in 1656 AD.  

 

Jama Masjid: Delhi. Jama masjid is the biggest mosque in India. It was begun by Shah Jahan in 1650 and completed six years later at a total cost of about a million rupees.  

 

Jantar Mantar: New Delhi. This is one of the five astronomical laboratories built by Raja Sawai Man Singh.  The other four observatories are located at Jaipur, Ujjain, Varanasi and Mathura (now in ruins).  The Bhairoji Temple is located near the Jantar Mantar at New Delhi.

Jasidih:  Bihar. Located about 220 km southeast of Patna,  Jasidih attracts travellers due to the international popularity of the ascetic Swami Satyananda and his Rikhya Yoga Ashram.

 

Jaunpur:  Uttar Pradesh. The town, situated at the right bank of river Gomti, was founded by Firoz Shah Tughlaq and named in the honour of Muhammad Tughlaq (Juna Khan).  Under the Sharqi dynasty it became a great centre of art and culture.  The town is famous for the Atala Masjid built in 1378 AD.

 

Jodhpur:  The district of Jodhpur was known as the ancient kingdom of Marwar or the 'Land of Death'. It was the largest kingdom in Rajputana and the third largest of the Indian Kingdoms, after Kashmir and Hyderabad. Meharangarh Fort, Moti Mahal, the Phool Mahal, the Sheesh Mahal, the Sileh Khana , Daulat Khana, Jaswant Thada  (built in 1899 of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II), Umaid Bhawan Palace, Girdikot and Sardar Market, Balsamand Lake, Mandore,  Mahamandir Temple  (built in 1812), Dhawa wildlife sanctuary, Nagaur Fort, Badal Mahal, Sheesh Mahal and Hadi Rani Mahal at Nagaur and the Luni Fort are some of the interesting places in and around Jodhpur.

 

Jogeshwar Caves: Maharashtra. Located in the western suburbs of Mumbai, it is second largest known cave after the Kailasa cave in Ellora and houses a Brahmanical temple dating back to the 6th century AD.

 

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Kaithal: Haryana.  Kaithal was an important town during Akbar’s time.  It was earlier known as Kapisthala, or 'Abode of Monkeys' and is considered as the birthplace of Hanuman. A temple in memory of Hanuman’s mother, Anjana, is built here. There is also a tomb dedicated to Razia Sultana.  The Phelgu and the Pundri tanks are considered as sacred.  Some of the important temples in Kaithal are the Saraswati temple, Kapil Muni temples and Baba Narayan Das temple. The place is also renowned for Trori Sarai, Church of Ascension and Bidkiyar and Chakravarty Lakes.  

 

Kalahasti: Andhra Pradesh. Located in the Chittoor district on the banks of river Swarnamukhi, Kalahasti is one of the important ancient Shiva Kshetras of Southern India. The temple, built in the period of Krishnadevaraya, occupies the area between the river-bank and the floor of the hills popularly known a Dakshina Kailasam. A huge hundred-pillared Mantapam is an important feature of this shrine. Lord Shiva is worshipped here in the form of Vayu Linga.

 

Kalibangan: Rajasthan.  It is the site where extensive remains of the pre-Harappan and Harappan times have been found.

 

Kalimpong: West Bengal.  It is a beautiful hill resort in the Darjeeling district, well known for its handicrafts, especially weaving. It is also famous for its flowers and nurseries.  Some important places in Kalimpong include Dr Graham's Homes (started in 1900 by a Scottish missionary, Dr John Anderson Graham), Tharpa Choling Monastery (founded in 1937, it belongs to the Gelugpa Sect of the Dalai Lama), Thongsa Monastery or Bhutan Monastery (founded in 1692, it is the oldest monastery in the area), Mangal Dham (a temple dedicated to Lord Krishna), Lava, Lolay Gaon, Pedong Monastery (established in 1837) and Teesta Bazaar.

 

Kanchipuram:  Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu. Kanchipuram, often referred as the "Golden City of Tamil Nadu", was the capital of the Early Cholas as far back as the 2nd century BC and a Pallava capital between the 6th and 8th centuries.  It was an important place of pilgrimage for Buddhists, Jains and Hindus and is popularly referred as 'Kashi of the South' because of its numerous temples. The city is the seat of Adi Shankaracharya's Kamakoti Matha. Of its many temples, the Kailashnath Temple (built by Narasimha II in 700 AD), Vaikunta Perumal Temple (the 8th century temple built by Nandivarma Pallava), Varadaraja Temple, Ekambareshwara Temple, Kalyana Mandapam and Kamakashi Temple are the most renowned. The Vedanthangal Bird Santuary near Kanchipuram is famous for its migratory birds. Kanchipuram is also the birthplace of Dr. C.N. Annadurai.

 

Kangra Valley: Himachal Pradesh. Once the capital of the powerful hill state of Kangra, it is the home of the exquisite Pahari or Kangra miniature paintings. The Kangra Fort is the remnant of the once-impregnable Nagarkot, which the historians believe was built by the Trigarta rulers. The other important places near Kangra include Nadaun (a former capital of King Sansar Chand), the Brajeshwari Devi Temple, Baijnath temple, the Chamunda-Nandikeshwar dham and Jwalamukhi (one of the 51 Shakti Peeths).  

 

Kanha: Madhya Pradesh. Kanha is famous for sal and bamboo forests and the rolling grasslands, which houses the Kanha National park and the Kanha Tiger Reserve.  Rudyard Kipling wrote extensively about the Kanha forest in his Jungle Book.  

 

Kanheri Caves: Maharashtra.  Excavated between the 1st and 2nd centuries, the Kanheri caves contain illustrations from Hinayana and Mahayana Buddhism and shows carvings dating back to 200 BC.

 

Kanpur: Uttar Pradesh.  It is famous for the Jalmau (which has the Siddhnath and Siddha Devi Temples and mausoleum of Makhdum Shah Ala-ul-Haq), Jain Glass Temple and Bibighar (Nana Rao Park).

 

Kanyakumari: Tamil Nadu. Kanyakumari (Cape Comorin) is the southernmost point of Peninsular India. It is the meeting point of the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. It is an important pilgrim centre renowned for the Kumariamman (Kanyakumari) Temple, Guganathaswamy Temple (the 1000 year old temple built by Raja Raja Chola), Gandhi Memorial, Vivekananda Rock Memorial and Sripada Parai. The beautiful views of sunrise, sunset and moonrise over the waters are major attractions for the visitors.

 

Kargil: Jammu & Kashmir. Site of the recent incursion of Pakistani-backed infiltrators, Kargil is famous as a tourist centre for the Suru Valley, Sankhoo, Panikhar, Parkachik &Tangole villages, the Buddhist settlement of Rangdum and the rock-carvings at Mulbek and Fekar.

 

Karikal:  Pondicherry.  Karaikal is located on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal.  Karaikal is renowned for its only temple Dharbaranyeswarar Temple at Thirunallar, which is devoted to the Lord Saneeswara (Lord Saturn). More than two thousand pilgrims visit this temple everyday. Every third year a "mini Kumbh Mela" of sorts named Sani Peyarchi Festival attracts lakhs of pilgrims. Two other famous shrines, Our Lady of Health Church at Velankanni and Nagore Andavar Dargah are located nearby Karaikal. The well-preserved Danish Fort at Tranquar (Dansborg) or Tranquebar Fort or Tharangampadi Kottai is also located about 8 kms from here.  

 

Karkala: Karnataka.  Located 52 km from Mangalore in Karnataka, Karkala is famous for the 42 feet high monolithic statue of Lord Bahubali (Gomateshwara).  It is the second biggest statue of Gomateshwara after the 58-feet statue at Sravanabelgola.  The Bahubali statue, which is made of grey granite, was consecrated on February 13, 1432 at the instance of Virpandya Bairasa Wodeyar, a vassal of the Vijayanagar ruler.  The last mahamastakabhisheka  was held on February 14, 2002.  Previously, the mahamastakabhisheka had taken place in 1990, after a gap of 28 years since 1962.  At Karkala, there are three life-size statues of three tirthankaras, small idols of 24 tirthankaras and an idol of Padmavathi yakshi.

Karla Caves: Maharashtra. About 50-60 kms away from Pune, these are rock-cut Buddhist caves dating back to the 160 BC. The caves consist of several viharas and chaityas.  

 

Karnal:  Haryana. As per the Hindu mythology, Karnal is considered as a town founded by the Kauravas for Karna.   Places of interest in Karnal include the Kala Amb memorial (an obelisk commemorating the third battle of Panipat);  Kalandar Shah’s tomb;  Kos Minar; Trori Sarai fort; Babur’s Masjid and the two ancient inscribed red pillars at Amin and Bahlolpur.  

 

Katchal Island: Katchal Island, also known as ‘the Sunrise Island’, is a tiny island in the central group of Nicobar Islands.  It lies west to Kamorta and Nancowry Island and south to Teressa Island.  Its native name is Tihnyu. It began to attract international tourists after the Royal Greenwich Observatory revealed that it is this island that is going to witness the first rays of the millennium year 2000. Katchal is the largest island of the Central Group of Nicobar Islands.

 

Kausambi:  Uttar Pradesh.  Ancient city on the banks of river Yamuna in modern Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh, famous for the Kausambi Pillar depicting the conquests of Samudra Gupta.  During the Gupta rule a new school of art flourished here.

 

Kaziranga:   Assam. Kaziranga National Park lies on the south bank of the Brahmaputra and its boundary for the most part follows the Mora Diphlu River. The Park was first established in 1908, as a reserve forest with only about a dozen rhinos and was declared a National Park in 1974. Kaziranga is famous for the great One-Horned Rhinos.

 

Khajjiar: Himachal Pradesh. Often called 'India's Switzerland', Khajjiar is a huge saucer-shaped ball of emerald turfed meadows surrounded by gigantic deodar trees.  The Golden Devi Temple is the attraction of Khajjiar.  

 

Khajuraho:  The city of Khajuraho is the legacy of the Chandella Dynasty, whose rulers built exotic temples in the short span of a hundred years from 950-1050 AD. Of the 85 original temples, only 22 have survived till today. Khajuraho finds a mention in the travelogues of Alberuni and Ibn Batuta.  The Khajuraho temples are grouped in three geographical divisions: the Western Group, consisting of the Kendriya Mahadev Temple, Chausath Yogini Temple, Chitragupta Temple, Vishwanath Temple, Lakshmana Temple and Matangeshwar Temple; the Eastern Group consisting of Parshwanath Temple, Ghantai Temple and Adinath Temple and the Southern Group consisting of Duladeo Temple and the Chaturbhuj Temple. The Chausath Yogini (sixty four yogis) temple is the oldest of all the temples and was built around 935AD. The Kendriya Mahadev Temple is the largest and the loftiest monument of Khajuraho and has the best artistry among the temples in this town. The Chitragupta Temple is the only sun temple at Khajuraho and was built by the Chandela Rulers. Khajuraho is a World Heritage site. These temples celebrated their 1000 years of creation in the new millennium.  

 

Khirki Masjid: This monument is located in Malviya Nagar in New Delhi.  This mosque and the 'Kalan Masjid' of Nizamuddin are the only two covered mosques in North India.  It was built in 1380 AD by Khan-i-Jahan Junan Shah, the Prime Minister of Firoz Shah Tughlaq.  It has beautiful stone lattice windows which are perforated for light and ventilation to the upper storey.  The upper storey has a pillared courtyard that is divided into 25 squares and then each square is subdivided into nine small squares.

 

Kinnaur: Himachal Pradesh. Kinnaur is a breathtakingly scenic valley. The Kinner-Kailash massif, considered as the abode of Lord Shiva, dominates the valley. The Lotsabaage monastery, Tashigang Gompa and the Tilasangh monastery are sacred Buddhist places in Kinnaur.

 

Kishangarh: Rajasthan.  Kishangarh is home of India's most famous schools of miniature paintings. The place is also famous for the Roopangarh fort and palace.

 

Kodaikannal: This is a charming hill station located on the upper Palani Hills near Madurai. Important places of tourist attraction include the Kodaikanal Lake, Coaker's Walk, Fairy Falls, Kurinji Andavar Temple, Shenbaganur Museum, Pilar Rocks, Green Valley View, Silver Cascade, Dophin's Nose, Perumal Peak, Beryam Lake and Kukkal Caves. The temple at Palani, located about 62 kms from Kodaikannal, is considered as one of the six abodes of Lord Subramanya.

 

Kohima:  Nagaland.  It is the state capital situated at an altitude of 1444.12 metres above sea level. Kohima village (Bare Basti) is one of the biggest and most populous villages in Asia. Khonoma, located about 20 Km towards the west of Kohima, is noted for the Khonoma gate, which narrates the story of the British infiltration into Naga Hills. It is also famous for its World War II Memorial, where the longest pitched battle of Second World War was fought, checking the advance of Japanese forces. Japfu Peak, Dzukou, Dzulakie,Tseminyu, Shilloi or Lachem Lake and the Intaki Wildlife Sanctuary are important tourist places in Kohima. 

 

Kolkata: See Calcutta.

 

Kota: Rajasthan.  Kota was earlier part of the Hada state of Bundi but became a separate state in 1624. The Kota Palace and Fort; Chambal Garden; Maharao Madho Singh Museum; the Brijvilas Palace; Jal Mandir and the Haveli of Deaji are some of the important places in Kota.  Bairdoli, located about 48 km from Kota is the oldest and the most beautiful temple complex of Rajasthan dating back to the 9th century AD.

 

Kottakkal: Kerala. It is famous for the Arya Vaidyashala, which is well known for its special Ayurvedic treatment and massages.

 

Kottayam: Kerala. It is famous for the Thirunakkara Shiva Temple, St. Mary's Church at Valiapally (built in 1515, it is famous for the Persian Cross and Phalvi inscriptions), St. Mary's Church at Cheriyapally and Mannanam.

 

Kulu: Himachal Pradesh. The picturesque Kulu Valley is often described as the 'Valley of the Gods'.  It is famous for the Vaishno Devi temple, the Jagannathi Devi temple, Bijli Mahadeo Temple, the Basheshwar Mahadev temple, Lord Parshuram Temple, Ambika Temple at Nirmand and the Raghunath Temple.  The Dussehra festival is celebrated with great fervour here as the Kulu Dussehra  

 

Kumrahar: Bihar. It is the site of the ancient city of Pataliputra, where excavations have revealed relics of four continuous periods from 600 BC to 600 AD.  An important find is the huge 80-pillared hall of the Mauryan dynasty.

 

Kurukshetra:  Haryana. It is considered as the site of the Mahabharata war and the place where Lord Krishna delivered the meaning of Bhagwad Gita to Arjuna. The main places of importance at Kurukshetra are Brahma Sarowar, Jyotisar, Thaneshwar, Mahadev Temple and Birla Gita Mandir.  

 

Kusinagar (Kasia): Uttar Pradesh. This place, which is located  in the Deoria district,  is revered as the site of the Buddha's Mahaparinirvana, his death (483 BC) and cremation that marked his final liberation from the cycles of death and rebirth.  The 6m statue of dying Buddha here dates back to the 5th century AD. Kushinagar is home to many viharas, including a Tibetan gompa devoted to Sakyamuni, a Burmese vihara, and temples from China and Japan.  The Nirvana Temple (stupa), which dates back to the reign of Kumaragupta I (413-55AD), is renowned for the giant statue of the Buddha in a reclining position. The Burmese Buddhists extensively rebuilt the temple in 1927.  The Rambhar Stupa is believed to be the place where Buddha was created by the Mallas. The Muktabandhana stupa is said to have been built to preserve the Buddha's relics.  The Nirvana temple enshrines a colossal reclining statue of the Buddha. Other important places in Kushinagar include the 10th century Mata Kaur Shrine and the Japanese Temple built by the World Buddhist Cultural Association.

 

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Ladakh:  Jammu & Kashmir. It has two administrative districts called Kargil and Ladakh.  It is famous for the Hemis Gumpa, the biggest monastery in Ladakh, Thikse monastery and the Jokhang Temple.

 

Lahaul & Spiti: Himachal Pradesh. The Lahaul and Spiti Valleys have some of the important Monasteries in India. Khoksar, Keylong, Gramphu, Tandi, Udaipur, Lake Chandratal, Lake Surajtal, Bara Lacha Pass, Khardang Monastery,  Shashur Monastery, Bara Shingri Glacier and Sarchu  are important places in the Lahaul valley. The Spiti Valley is called 'Little Tibet'.  Kaza, Kibber,  Sumdo, Tabo Monastery (the oldest and archaeologically the most important monastery of Spiti),  Losar,  Lingti Valley,  Kunzam Pass, Kali Devi (Kunzam Devi) Temple and the Mrikula Devi Temple are important places in Spiti.

 

Lashkar City: Madhya Pradesh.  It is the mural site in Gwalior.  The monuments of Lashkar city include Kampur Kothi, Koteshwar temple, Danawari Jain Temple and Jankoji Rao's Chattri.

 

Leepakshi: Andhra Pradesh. This place is famous for its 16th Century Leepakshi Temple housing the largest Nandi in India and has 66 sculptured pillars. It is considered as one of the finest temples of Andhra Pradesh in architecture and painting and is known for its elaborate murals and exquisite stone carvings. The small Veerabhadra temple at Lepakshi, built on a hillock, is rich in sculptural beauty.  Leepakshi is also famous for the seven-hooded coiled serpent carved out of a single stone and the Panchalingas.  The Panchalingas are the five main lingas in the Leepakshi temple complex comprising of the Papanaseswara linga of sage Agastya, the Rama linga, the Nagalinga (17ft high), the linga consecrated by Hanuman and the Tandaveshwara consecrated by Virupanna.  The monolithic Nandi (Basavanna) is 4.6 meters high and 8.23 metres long.

 

Lotus Temple: New Delhi. Shaped like a blooming lotus, the Lotus Temple is the only Baha’i Temple in the country. The temple was constructed in 1980-81 and is the latest of the seven Baha’i temples in different parts of the world. A total of 45 lotus petals form the walls that internally create a feeling of light and space. 

Lucknow:  Uttar Pradesh.  Lucknow was the abode of Nawabs of Avadh, who constructed several important buildings like the Bara Imambara, the Chota (Husainabad) Imambara, Shahnajaf Imambara, Asfi Masjid, Rumi Darwaza, Sikander Bagh, Kaiser Bagh, Chattar Manzil and Nandan Mahal. Lucknow is also famous for the Shaheed Smaarak (built to mark the first centenary of the First War of Independence), the Prince of Wales Zoological Gardens (founded in 1921) and Dilkusha.

 

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