The Taj Mahal with reflecting pool in front
The Taj is the ultimate example of historic Indian architecture.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

7 of the Best Places in India to Visit for Historic Architecture

Inside and Out, These Buildings are Fascinatingly Beautiful

India has a long and fascinating history that stretches back many centuries and is reflected in the imposing forts, elegant arches, ancient temples and other impressive buildings throughout the country.

Important historical sites make for some of the best places to visit in India, giving you a glimpse into the past of this diverse, ancient and intriguing place. Here are some of the best architectural buildings in India. If you can work them all into your trip itinerary, you won’t be disappointed!

The Taj Mahal, Agra

Obviously. The Taj Mahal is the ultimate example of historic Indian architecture — a true Wonder of the World — and is one of the most popular places to see in India. It was built by Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal.

You’ve seen hundreds of photos of this Mughal beauty, built entirely in white marble, but your jaw will still drop when you see it in real life because it’s so huge and perfect that it doesn’t look real.

When you get up close you’ll be even further spellbound — it’s just so ridiculously detailed. Every square inch is carved with delicate reliefs and intricate inlays of semi-precious stones. Plus, it’s incredibly symmetrical — so mathematically perfect that it’s hard to believe it was built by human hands way back in the 1600s.

While your kids may not be keen on visiting every historic building on this list, the Taj Mahal is a must when it comes to things to do in India with kids.

Humayun's TombHumayun's Tomb is known as the "Mini Taj."Photo Credit: Getty Images

Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi

This stunning building was the first garden tomb in India that was built in the Mughal style of architecture. The elegant arches, the soaring domes and the reddish hue of the facade make it truly striking, especially in the bright Indian sunshine.

It is known as the “Mini Taj” as it looks a little bit like a rosy-hued version of the famous huge white tomb. However, what many people don’t know is that Humayun’s Tomb was actually built before the Taj Mahal and it inspired the layout. It was built in the 1500s and was the first structure in the world to use red sandstone on such a scale.

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Meenakshi TempleThe Meenakshi Temple is considered to be one of the most impressive masterpieces of Dravidian architecture. Photo Credit: Getty Images

Meenakshi Temple, Tamil Nadu

This incredibly intricate temple was constructed in the holy city of Madurai in the sixth century BC. It is considered one of the most impressive masterpieces of Dravidian architecture and is a must-visit when it comes to India destinations. The legend is that the temple was completely destroyed by Muslim raiders in the 14th century and was painstakingly restored in the 16th century by Nayak rulers.

As you explore this huge temple complex, you’ll see intricately carved figurines and sculptures from Indian mythology throughout the various halls. Also, be sure to visit the incredible hall of a thousand pillars, each built from a single granite rock and producing a different musical note when tapped.

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