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  • Famous Forts of India

    India is a land of rich cultural history and architecture. To experience it one must see the majestic palaces and forts built by royal kingdoms of India. Forts were built to guard off enemies in the past. Whole of India is dotted with breathtaking forts of different sizes and types. Everything in a fort, from window to porch to bastion to courtyard and even the outer wall recounts some historic tale. Constructed with an extreme sense of finesse and ability, one cannot stop falling in love with these outstanding pieces of architecture that India feel so proud of. Here is a list of few popular and marvelous forts of India:

    1. Mehragarh Fort, Jodhpur

    An elevated platform and thick boundaries make the Mehragarh Fort of Jodhpur as one of the largest forts in India. The magnificent fort has 7 huge gates, one of which still has a distinct cannonball imprint that signifies the wars of the past. Inside, lies a big museum which documents the rich history of the rulers of that time which is exhibited mainly in the form of paintings, dresses, ammunition etc.

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    1. Red Fort ,Delhi

    Red Fort (or Lal Quila) is an apex of Mughal art and the most popular monument in the capital city of India. It is situated on the banks of river Yamuna and was built by Shahjahan.  Carved with only red sandstones, red fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the most well preserved and massive forts of India. The fort reflects Islamic sense of architecture with splendid Persian motifs and carvings.

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    1. Gwalior Fort, Madhya Pradesh

    Gwalior fort is known to be ruled by 110 rulers of different dynasties. Gwalior fort is believed to have witnessed some great historical events where Tantya Tope fought with the British army and Rani Lakshmi Bai took her last breath. The dramatic Jain sculptures, ceramic tiles, attractive motifs and intricate lattice work make the Gwalior fort a very unique monument of India.

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    1. Amer Fort

    Amer Fort is located in Amer which falls between Delhi and Rajasthan and is therefore known as Gateway to Rajasthan. This huge fort is built on top of Cheel ka Teela (Eagle’s hill) amongst Aravali hill range and is never known to be conquered by any ruler. The major attractions of Amer Fort are Sheesh Mahal, Diwan-e-Aam, the Summer Residence and Sila Mata Temple. The intricately carved and beautifully painted palaces inside the fort, gardens, rooms and terraces reflect the rich culture of India and artisan’s hard work. Built by Raja Man Singh, Amer fort represents a distinct blend of Hindu and Muslim architecture.

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    1. Golconda Fort, Hyderabad

    Golconda was basically a mine from which precious gemstones of the world were believed to be mined. The fort reflects the richest histories and traditions of India. The unique domes, entrances, pillars of fort are surrounded by 10 kilometer long boundary wall. The fort renders an acoustic affect where a clap at the entrance of The Fateh Darwaza can be heard a kilometer away at Bala Hisar pavilion.

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    1. Red fort, Agra

    The huge Agra fort was built by Mughal emperor Akbar in 15th century. Agra Fort is spread over an area of about 94 acres and has believed to witness a number of Indian wars and battles. Diwan e khas, diwan e aam, khas mahal, shish mahal, and an octagonal burj are some of the most aesthetically designed complexes inside Red fort. It is believed that Shahjahan died in the marvelous balcony of the octagonal burj only, when he was held captive by his son Aurangzeb.

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    1. Chittoragarh fort, Rajasthan

    Chittoragarh fort of Rajasthan is a World Heritage Site and is located 175 kilometers east of Udaipur. The fort has two uniquely designed pillars, the Kirti Stambh and the Vijay Stambh, reflecting the ultimate art and finesse of the artisan. With about twenty pools, nineteen temples and four palaces, Chittoragarh fort leaves you spell bound by its unique architectural beauty.

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  • 5 Monuments and temples with the best architecture in South India

    South India has some of the best monuments and temples that are architecturally brilliant. Some of these historical monuments and temples are visited both by national as well as international tourists. In South India, the temples that were constructed long back can even be classified as monuments because of their old world charm and their architectural profoundness. Let’s find out the best temples and monuments that you just need to visit when you have south India on your travel agenda.

    Mamallapuram Shore Temple, Chennai

    Located in the Kanchipuram district, it is about 60 kms from Chennai. Being one of the oldest temples of the country and a UNESCO World Heritage site, it is also a good example of structural temples made in stone. It was in fact the first building of its time that was made of granite stone rather than rocks. It was built in the 7thcentury; this temple is a group of three temples located overlooking the Bay of Bengal in Mamallapuram. The temple is literally located on the shore, and an early morning sunrise when the sun shines through the sea onto Shiva Linga in the main shrine is a sight to behold.

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    Mysore Palace, Mysore

    This palace belongs to the royal family of Wodeyar Maharajas. The palace you now see was redesigned and remade by an English architect in 1912. This breathtaking beautiful building has beautiful interiors and you can see different artifacts and paintings inside. One day of the week, the palace is lit with around 10000 light bulbs that make its majestic charm visible.

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    Meenakshi Temple, Madurai

    Meenakshi temple is the temple of Parvati who is the consort of Shiva. It is also one of the few popular temples celebrating a goddess. What makes the temple so epic is the fact that it has 33000 sculptures and is the largest temple complex in the state of Tamil Nadu. The other highlight of the temple is the 14 differently made Gopurams and the thousand pillar hall that has almost 1000 pillars arranged in a fashion that they appear to be in neat rows and columns, no matter which angle you look at them from.Gopurams are pyramid shaped towers that appear mostly in the entrance of temples. It is, in fact a prominent feature of Dravidian architecture.

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    Charminar, Hyderabad

    Charminar is a famous mosque in the heart of Hyderabad. This place is often recommended to be the top 10 places that need to be on your travel list in India. Built in 1591 by the fifth ruler of the Qualb Shahi dynasty, it is a tourist spot that represents Islamic architecture well. Though the reason why he built it is debated, this monument is famous because of its ornate and beautiful designs. It is during winter that most people visit the mosque.  It is a square structure with 20 meters each side and with four arches that face a direction that also opens into four streets. Though it is a piece of Islamic architecture, its architecture is also inspired by Hindu architecture. Many people say that the building does justice to the Hindu and Islamic cultures led by the society of Hyderabad.

    4 Image Credit - wikipedia.org

    Brihadeeshwarar temple, Thanjavur

    Built only out of granite, this temple is one of the greatest buildings of the Chola dynasty. Located in the city of Thanjavur, it is a temple dedicated to Lord Brihadeeshwara who was an avatar (form) of Lord Shiva. The most beautiful view is the one inside the temple of Lord Shiva which is one of the biggest idols of the deity. Many say it is one of the temples that showcase Dravidian architecture brilliantly. The temple is also famous for its sculptures of various gods like Dakshinamurthi, Ganesha, Vishnu as well as "Ashta-dikpaalakas" (deities who rule the specific directions of the space) – Indra, Agni, Yama, Nirrti, Varuna, Vayu, Kubera and Isana.

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