India is known for its diverse culture and rich history. With many famous tourist destinations, India attracts millions of visitors every year. However, there are several lesser-known monuments in the country that are worth exploring. Whether you are a seasoned traveller who has already visited the well-known places or an adventure seeker who is looking for something beyond the usual, these hidden gems will satiate your wanderlust. Below are seven lesser-known monuments in India that you should consider visiting today.
1. Chand Baori Step Well, Abhaneri
Located in the village of Abhaneri in Rajasthan, Chand Baori is considered one of the largest and deepest step wells in India. With a depth of around 30 meters, the step well is a remarkable feat of ancient engineering. Built in the 8th and 9th centuries, the Chand Baori is a magnificent example of the architectural legacy of the Gujjar Pratiharas. The well is surrounded by a temple and several other structures that add to its charm. A visit to Chand Baori will leave you awe-struck with its beauty and architectural wonder.
2. Belur & Halebidu, Karnataka
The southern state of Karnataka is known for its rich culture and heritage. Belur and Halebidu are two towns in the state that are home to some of the most stunning examples of Hoysala architecture. Belur is famous for the Chennakeshava Temple, which is dedicated to Vishnu. The temple is adorned with intricate sculptures and carvings that are a testament to the craftsmanship of the artisans of that time. Halebidu, on the other hand, is home to the Hoysaleshwara Temple. This temple is an excellent example of the blending of Jain and Hindu traditions, making it a unique and fascinating destination for visitors.
3. Kanch Mahal, Sikandara
Kanch Mahal is a hidden gem near Sikandara that is shaped like a square and was built in the typical Mughal architectural style. Originally used as a hunting lodge, Kanch Mahal was built by Jahangir, the Mughal Emperor, between 1605 and 1619. The palace was also used as a resort for the ladies of the palace. The scenic garden and the watercourses that run through it make it a place of great beauty and serenity.
4. Bada Bagh, Jaisalmer
Bada Bagh is a garden complex located six kilometers north of Jaisalmer in Rajasthan. The complex is famous for the cenotaphs that were built by the Maharajas of the region. These cenotaphs are adorned with intricate carvings that depict the history and culture of the Rajputs. The Bada Bagh complex also offers stunning views of the surrounding mango groves. A visit to this hidden gem will offer a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the Maharajas of Rajasthan.
5. Basgo Monastery, Leh
Basgo Monastery, also known as Basgo Gompa, is located in the Leh district of Ladakh. Originally built for the Namgyal rulers in 1680, the Basgo Monastery served as a political and cultural center of Ladakh. The monastery is situated on top of a hill overlooking the ancient town ruins. Visitors can find a Buddha statue and murals, along with the Chamba Lakhang, Chamchung, and Serzang temples. These temples are dedicated to Maitreya Buddha and offer a unique and peaceful experience for visitors.
6. Marble Palace, Kolkata
The Marble Palace is a palatial mansion located in North Kolkata that was built during the 18th century. The mansion is known for its marble floors and walls, which give it its name. The Marble Palace is an excellent example of the architectural legacy of the British in India. The palace also houses an extensive collection of art, including paintings, sculptures, and antique furniture. A visit to the Marble Palace is a must for anyone interested in history, art, and architecture.
7. Gol Gumbaz, Bijapur
Gol Gumbaz is a mausoleum located in Bijapur, Karnataka. It is famous for its giant dome, which is one of the largest in the world. The mausoleum is the final resting place of Mohammad Adil Shah and is an extraordinary example of Indo-Islamic architecture. Visitors can also see the amazing whispering gallery that surrounds the main dome, which amplifies even the slightest sound to a great extent. A visit to Gol Gumbaz is an unforgettable experience that will leave you mesmerised.
In conclusion, India is a country that is rich in culture, history, and heritage. While the popular destinations offer an exciting and enriching experience, there are several hidden gems that are worth exploring. These seven lesser-known monuments in India will offer an insight into the untold stories of the country and its people. So, next time you plan a visit to India, don’t just stick to the well-known tourist destinations; instead, explore the hidden gems that this country has to offer.