When was the last time you participated in a history quiz? School, right? And you dreaded those sleepy history lessons because you never understood why any emperor would build such a huge monument or what is the science behind the tall towers and beamless halls? History, in its true meanings, is not just about the monuments and relics; but it’s about going back in time and relishing the ancestral lineage.

India is a birthplace of many religions and is blessed to have some of the world's best known architectural marvels. These destinations are even more interesting because of the history behind their construction or destruction. We bring you the top 7 historic destinations in India—a delight to discover!

Hampi, Karnataka

Located on the banks of Tungabhadra River, the group of monuments at Hampi are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of our top 7 historic destinations in India. A great reminder of the majestic Vijayanagara kingdom, the monuments will take you through a mystic blend of history and mythology.

Hampi, Achyuta Raya Temple, inner gopuram. Photo by Arian Zwegers

It is believed that Vijayanagara was one of the largest kingdoms in those times, but the place now stands in ruins. It’s not only a history lover’s paradise but a unique enriching experience for everyone who is looking for some peace and tranquillity. The village is occupied by locals and you won’t get any 5-star hotels there, which makes it even more comfortable and cozy. Everything from market, temples, bicycle rides and sunset at Matanga Hill will transport you into serenity and you will return chanting ‘Happy in Hampi’!

Khajuraho Temples, Madhya Pradesh

Built during the medieval times, the group of Hindu and Jain temples in Khajuraho are world famous for their intricate sculptures. The temples attract tourists and historians from all over the world mainly because of the erotic representation of statues.

7 Historic Destinations in India

Temple at Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh, India. Photo by Paul Mannix

Built by the Chandela rulers, the temples are UNESCO-protected monuments and represent diversity in religious acceptance and significance of love in life. It is believed that these sculptures were propitious and bound to bring good luck. These temples are an incredible medley of art, culture, and religion.

Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Maharashtra

Words can never suffice to describe the beauty of Ajanta and Ellora caves, but when you see it, you will know why it's one of the top 7 historic destinations in India. An amalgam of astounding monolithic statues, prodigious rock-cut temples, exquisite paintings, cave art, and unmatched architectural excellence, the caves are a reminder of our heritage and cultural belongingness. Built during the 2nd century, the caves are a delightful mix of Buddhist, Jain, and Hindu temples.

7 Historic Destinations in India

Kailash Temple, Ellora. Photo by Kunal Mukherjee

A large number of pilgrims and tourist throng the place to admire the ancient paintings. While Ajanta caves mostly depict the Buddhist era, Ellora caves have more of Hindu and Jain temples, indicating a decline in Buddhism during that period. The most famous cave temple of Ellora is the Kailasha Temple. It has been cut from top to bottom using just a hammer and a chisel. A true example of great hardship and extraordinary will power.

Konark Sun Temple, Odisha

Built in the shape of a huge chariot of the Hindu Sun god, the Konark temple in Odisha is believed to be India’s eminent tourist spot. Often called as ‘Black pagoda’ by European marines, the aura around the temple is exquisite and nothing similar to the other temples in India.

7 Historic Destinations in India

Sun temple by the setting sun. Photo by Nagarjun Kandukuru

The temple built in the form of a chariot is pulled by 7 horses. The chariot has 24 magnificently carved wheels which are symbolic to 24 hours in a day and each wheel has 8 spokes which symbolize the eight positions of the sun over the day. This monument is a reminder of India’s contribution to the world in areas of science and astronomy.

Taj Mahal, Uttar Pradesh

The epitome of love, Taj Mahal was built by the Mughal emperor Shahjahan in the memory of his loving wife. The mausoleum is built in gleaming white marble and being here on the full moon night is a celebration in itself.

7 Historic Destinations in India

Taj Mahal. Photo by vivekgeddam via Creative Commons

When you enter the complex from the main gateway and lay your eyes upon the glittering beauty you will know why this is one of the seven wonders of the world!

Rani ki Vav, Gujrat

Built by a widowed queen in memory of her beloved husband, Rani ki Vav (Queen’s step well) is an exceptional showcase of craftsmanship. The vav is constructed in the shape of an inverted temple and houses many sculpted figures, mainly of god Vishnu. The seven levels of staircase take you down by 27 meters and at each step you can stop and appreciate the elaborate architectural thought put into constructing this monument.

7 Historic Destinations in India

UNESCO-listed Rani Ki Vav, the Queen's Stepwell. Photo by Stefan Krasowski

Qutub Minar, Delhi

Qutub Minar is one of the most famous tourist attractions after Taj Mahal. The tower was built by the Mughal sultanate ruler Qutub-ud-din Aibak, after demolishing Hindu and Jain temples. This is where history marks its presence, the end of an era for Hindu rulers and the inception of a Mughal ruler’s reign.

7 Historic Destinations in India

Qutub Complex
The Qutub Minar is notable for being one of the earliest and most prominent examples of Indo-Islamic architecture. Rajputs laid the foundation of Qutab Minar but after the invasion of Mohammed Ghori, it was converted into a structure to celebrate the victory of Mohammed Ghori over the Rajputs. It is surrounded by several other ancient and medieval structures and ruins, collectively known as Qutub complex. Photo by Sakeeb Sabakka

The Qutub Minar complex is a conglomeration of tombs, mosques, and the famous iron pillar. It is believed that if you encircle the iron pillar with your arms and make a wish, it is granted. The Qutub tower is the favorite destination for all history lovers, photographers, and tourists.

Of all our top 7 historic destinations in India, the gripping reason to visit is to experience the fascinating historical background. They are not just buildings raised by powerful rulers or invaders, but monuments that are a symbol of our ancestral roots and each of them tells us a story—of the glorious past, of great kings and queens, of faith and religion. Moreover, we as tourists are the torchbearers of incredible India and by visiting these monuments we contribute to their preservation and restoration.

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