India, a country that is nothing less than a treasure trove of history, with a bustling mix of cultures and civilizations that is as perhaps old as time itself. There is no dearth of historical places in India which makes people from far and wide come to explore the country. Best known for its historical places, India is a top destination for all the foreign travellers who wish to explore its traditions and cultures. There are many famous historical places in India that depict the beautiful ancient past of the country. There is a big list of the places that you need to cover on your next expedition to the historical places in India.
Historical places in India
In every nook and corner of the country, you will find opulent structures, ancient forts, and royal palaces. Every inch of these structures speaks of an era gone by. They speak of heroic tales of battles lost and won, dauntless bravery and matchless romance. Indian history reflected through the grandeur of historical places in India has inspired generations of travellers and attracted them to this ancient land. So, you can be a travel buff looking for a taste of Indian culture, or an ardent history and architecture lover these ten places are a must visit on your travel list.
1. The Taj Mahal, Uttar Pradesh
The Taj Mahal is definitely something that tops the list when you think of Historical places in India. The structure made completely of white marble was built on the commission of Emperor Shah Jahan. He built it for his beloved wife named Mumtaz Mahal. This towering structure took 22 years to be completed and stands tall today as a symbol of love of a king for his favourite wife. Legend has it that the Emperor cut off the hands of the workers who built the structure to make sure that such magnificence is never repeated. Standing amidst the beautiful city of Agra, often called as the epitome of love, Taj Mahal is one of the most famous historical places in India that you need to visit.
- How to reach: Agra is accessible by rail and road from both Delhi and Jaipur. It takes around three to four hours from Delhi and around four to five hours from Jaipur. Taxis ply all day from the nearest rail stations.
- Approximate Entry Fees: INR 20 for Indians, INR 750 for foreigners
- Operating Hours: Open on all days from Sunrise to sunset and closed on Fridays.
2. Agra Fort, Uttar Pradesh
One of the most significant periods of Indian history has been the Mughal era, and the Agra Fort is one of the greatest examples of that. It was built in the year 1565 by Emperor Akbar and is made completely of Red Sandstone. There are two gates to enter the fort namely, the Delhi Gate and the Amar Singh Gate. Tourist entry at present is only allowed through the Amar Singh gate. The passages, gateways, courts, mosques, and palaces inside the compound will leave you awestruck. Some noteworthy attractions are Nagina Mosque, Moti Mosque, and Meena Market. This Mughal construction reflect the true Mughal rule on the lands of the country, out of which the Agra Fort paves way for the most explored historical places in India.
- How to reach: It has a short drive from the Agra Cantonment railway station. You can hire a taxi or auto rickshaw from the station.
- Approximate Entry Fees: INR 40 for Indians, INR 550 for foreigners
- Operating Hours: Open on all days from Sunrise to sunset.
3. Hawa Mahal, Jaipur
The literal translation of the name is ‘Palace of Winds,’ and the name has been derived from the honeycomb-like structure of the building. There are as many as 953 intricately designed windows at the place. The shape has been made like a crown of Lord Krishna as the ruler Maharaja Pratap Singh who built it was a staunch devotee. This historical place in India will leave you stunned with its intricate architecture and beautiful design. An interesting trivia is that this is the tallest building in the world without any foundation and stands strong solely due to its pyramidal shape. Presently one of the most popular Historical places in India, it was made to let the royal women who lived under ‘purdah’ to look outside.
- How to reach: All of the major domestic flights connect the metropolitan cities to Jaipur. Rail service is available too. One can take buses and cars from there to reach the palace.
- Approximate Entry Fees: INR 10 for Indians, INR 50 for foreigners
- Operating Hours: Open on all days from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.
4. Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh
Khajuraho temples are known the world over as a place that is the epitome of sensuality. There are countless structures adorning the temple showing love, beauty, and eternal grace. The ancient name of the place is Khajjurpura. The place derives its name from ‘Khajura’ or date palms as many of those trees dot the place. The carving of the wall show gods, demigods, and other icons. One of the most sought-after historical places in India, the Kajuraho Temples attract tourists from all over the world with their beauty. Do not miss the light and sound show that takes place in the evening and shows the tale of Chandela dynasty. This is the place to be if you want to witness the expertise of the early sculptors.
- How to reach: The Hazrat Nizamuddin-Khajuraho Express plies every day. You can take an auto or cab from the station. The other nearest railway station is the Mahoba Junction.
- Approximate Entry Fees: INR 10 for Indians, INR 250 for foreigners. The fees are only needed for the western temples.
- Operating Hours: Open on all days from Sunrise to sunset.
5. Sanchi Stupa, Madhya Pradesh
This famous Historical places in India was built in the 3rd century B.C. by Emperor Ashoka for Lord Buddha. The relics of Buddha are housed at this place. There are four gateways to the place and each show various stories from the life of Buddha. The stupa symbolizes Moksha or freedom from the cycle of life and death. The dome of the stupa signifies righteousness according to the wheel of law. You will see the origin of the national emblem, the Ashokan pillar, at this place. The Mauryan polish on the relics makes them shine like glass. This stunning piece of architecture is one of the most famous historical places in India among the foreigners.
- How to reach: The place is situated in Bhopal which is well-connected to the rest of the country via rail, road, and air.
- Approximate Entry Fees: INR 10 for Indians, INR 250 for foreigners
- Operating Hours: Open on all days from 8:30 am to 5 pm.
6. Konark Temple, Odisha
1200 artisans worked under the directions of King Narasimhadeva I in the 1250 CE to give shape to this lofty structure. The temple is dedicated to the Sun god and is one of the most memorable contributions of the Ganga dynasty to Indian history. It is said that the temple is built in such a way that the first rays of the Sun touch the entrance of the temple. The twelve wheels at the base are actually sundials that denote time accurately. There are three Sun god statues around the temple where the rays fall at sunset, noon and dawn. This historical place in India holds a great importance in terms of both geography and architecture that attracts people from all over the country, just to witness its phenomenon
- How to reach: People generally travel to Konark via Puri and as such hiring a cab is your best bet to travel between these places. You will also get government buses and rented cars to reach the place.
- Approximate Entry Fees: INR 10 for Indians, INR 250 for foreigners.
- Operating Hours: Open on all days from 10 am to 5 pm except Fridays.
7. Rani ki Vav, Gujarat
When you climb down the steps of this 11th century AD structure, it feels like going down a massive anthill. It was built by Queen Udayamati of the Solanki dynasty in the fond memory of King Bhimdev. This exquisite place still remains largely unexplored. It is around 24 meters in depth and on approaching the water level you will see the sculpture of Lord Vishnu in a reclining position over a thousand snakeheads. It is said that the lowest level was built as a secret escape route to the neighbouring areas. The galleries atop are beautifully carved with sculptures of demigods and gods.
- How to reach: You can take the buses or trains that ply from Ahmedabad to Patan. There are shared jeeps available too that take you from Mehsana to Patan.
- Approximate Entry Fees: INR 5 for Indians, INR 135 for foreigners.
- Operating Hours: Open on all days from 8 am to 6 pm.
8. Ajanta-Ellora Caves, Aurangabad
Walk around the caves of Ajanta-Ellora and take in the fact that all of those intricate carvings have been done by hand. The tale of how the caves were discovered is as interesting as the carvings. John Smith, a British officer, went on to chase a tiger and discovered the presence of these caves.
Best known as the most famous historical place in India, it bears 29 caves in total in Ajanta, and the sculptures depict the tales of Jataka. Ellora is an amalgamation of three religions of Buddhism, Brahmanism and Jainism with 12 Buddhist caverns, 5 Jain caverns and 17 Hindu caves. The common belief is that when the monks residing in the caves used to make these carvings when they could not go out during the monsoons.
- How to reach: After you reach Aurangabad, you can take a local taxi or get up on the government buses that will take you to the caves.
- Approximate Entry Fees: INR 10 for Indians, INR 250 for foreigners. No entrance fees needed on Fridays.
- Operating Hours: Open on all days from 9 am to 5:30 pm. The Ajanta remains closed on Monday, and the Ellora remains closed on Tuesday.
9. Mysore Palace, Karnataka
This was once the abode of the royal family of Mysore. At present, it is a museum that houses royal clothing, pictures, and artefacts pertaining to the Wodeyar dynasty. Since the place has been built and rebuilt over the years, there have been several architectural styles that you get to see at the place. So, there are Rajput, Hindu and Mughal styles that perfectly merge to give this place the cult status in Indian history and among the must-visit tourist spots in India. During the festival of Dussehra, the place is still lighted up with more than ten thousand lights.
- How to reach: After you reach Bangalore, you can either take a hired taxi or the bus that leaves from Kempegowda Bus stop, and that will drop you off at Mysore.
- Approximate Entry Fees: INR 40 for Indians, INR 200 for foreigners.
- Operating Hours: Open on all days from 10 am to 5:30 pm. It remains closed on government holidays and Sundays.
10. Hampi, Karnataka
The stories of one of the greatest Hindu kingdoms resonate through the chariot structures, rocky outcrops, elephant stables, gopurams and ornate hallways. The place finds mention in the Ramayana as the kingdom where Lord Rama and Laxmana came looking for Sita after her abduction. This is the place where the coin mint of the famous Vijayanagar Empire was situated. The interesting fact about the place is it has records of human settlement as early as 1 CE. The carvings on the monuments date back to the 14th century. It has been enlisted in the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- How to reach: The nearest rail station is Hospet which is well-connected to the major cities like Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Mumbai. Get a cab from Hospet to reach Hampi.
- Approximate Entry Fees: INR 10 for Indians, INR 330 for foreigners.
- Operating Hours: Open on all days from 10 am to 5 pm. It remains closed on Fridays.
The list of Historical places in India is endless and these ten places standout among the rest for their sheer splendour and brilliance. Every year, the country attracts thousands of tourists from every nook and corner of the world who come to see these historical structures and soak in the rich cultural vibes of India. The historical tour of India has a cult fan following over the world.
Frequently Asked Questions about Historical Places in India
1. Are these famous Historical Places in India safe for female travellers?
The places like Agra, Mysore, Jaipur, and Mumbai are known as some of the safest places for women. These places even get many solo female travellers from around the world.
2. What is the best time to visit these places?
India is a tropical country so the best time to visit these places would be from October to March. The weather is mild and pleasant at this time. The monsoons periods are best avoided.
3. Are the Historical Places in India well connected by Transportation Facilities?
Being major tourist spots of the country, all the attempts have been made to keep the places well connected. All of the spots can be reached via roads, rails, and airways.
4. Are there nearby markets for souvenirs?
One of the interesting features of these places is that you will get well laid out markets near most of the Historical Places in India. Tourists can shop knick-knacks like replicas of the structures and more to take back home with them.
5. What are the things to be carried with you while visiting the places?
Make sure you carry your identity card just in case you need that. An umbrella and sunscreen are also must to tackle the warm Sunrays.