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Wonders of India

Jejuri Khandoba Temple
Jejuri Khandoba Temple / PKharote, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

WorldBlue  Highlights

India is the seventh-largest country in the world by area, and, naturally, such a large area contains a huge amount of exciting wonders.

India is characterized by somewhat less surprising nature heritage if compared with similarly sized areas elsewhere in the world, but the country is incomparable regarding the amount of historical architecture monuments. Wondermondo considers that India is the second richest center of architectural heritage in the world after Europe and maybe no single country in the world can match it in this respect.

States and territories of India

India is divided into 29 states and 7 Union territories. Here below they are listed in alphabetical order:


  • Andhra Pradesh
  • Arunachal Pradesh
  • Assam
  • Bihar
  • Chhattisgarh
  • Goa
  • Gujarat
  • Haryana
  • Himachal Pradesh
  • Jammu and Kashmir
  • Jharkhand
  • Karnataka
  • Kerala
  • Madhya Pradesh
  • Maharashtra
  • Manipur
  • Meghalaya
  • Mizoram
  • Nagaland
  • Odisha
  • Punjab
  • Rajasthan
  • Sikkim
  • Tamil Nadu
  • Telangana
  • Tripura
  • Uttar Pradesh
  • Uttarakhand
  • West Bengal

Union territories

  • Andaman and Nicobar Islands
  • Chandigarh
  • Dadra and Nagar Haveli
  • Daman and Diu
  • Lakshadweep
  • National Capital Territory of Delhi
  • Puducherry

Map with the described wonders of India

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WorldViolet Top 25 wonders of India

Architecture wonders

Ellora Caves, Kailasanatha Temple


One of the highest achievements not only in Hindu architecture but in ancient structural engineering of the world. A group of 34 rock-cut temples, including the glorious Kailasanatha Temple, are cut out from a whole rock. Built around 550 – 1000 AD.

Kailasanatha, India
Kailasanatha / , Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
Ajanta Caves


One of the most beautiful rock-cut temple complexes in the world. It was developed in the 2nd century BC – 480 AD. In total there are 28 – 30 rock-cut structures, containing murals and sculptures of high importance to the culture of mankind.

Ajanta Caves, inside the chaitya griha
Ajanta Caves, inside the chaitya griha / Geri, / CC BY-SA 2.0
Taj Mahal

Uttar Pradesh

This mausoleum was built in 1648 by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. One of the most iconic monuments of architecture in the world that unites elements of Islamic, Persian, and Indian architecture.

Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal / crazy_foolish4u, Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Uttar Pradesh

The ancient holy city of Buddhists, Hindus, and Jains. At approximately 3000 years of age, this is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. It contains a huge amount of valuable monuments of architecture and history, a location of living unique traditions.

Varanasi, India
Varanasi, India / Ken Wieland, / CC BY-SA 2.0
Harmandir Sahib


The holiest site for Sikhs, originally built in 1574 and rebuilt in 1588 – 1604. It is a gold-covered temple, surrounded by a manmade lake.

Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple), Amritsar, India
Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple), Amritsar, India / K.Wieland, CC-BY SA 2.0.
Elephanta Caves


Group of beautiful, five Hindu and two Buddhist rock-cut temples, built around the 5th – 8th century AD. Great Cave includes the famous sculpture of Trimurthi.

Inside the Great Cave, Elephanta Caves in India
Inside the Great Cave / vascoplanet, Vyacheslav Argenberg, / CC BY 2.0

Tamil Nadu

Group of the 7th – 9th-century Hindu temples. Most structures were cut in live rock. Numerous unique architectural and artistic achievements show the highly successful search for the original Pallava style in arts. Very interesting are Pancha Rathas – a group of five monolithic, very ornate shrines and Descent of the Ganges – giant, beautiful relief in the open air. Part of the monuments now is located below sea level.

Olakkannesvara Temple (above) and Mahishasura Mardini Temple (below)
Olakkannesvara Temple (above) and Mahishasura Mardini Temple (below). / Preeti Prajapati, Wikimedia Commons / BY-SA 4.0
Mahabodhi Temple


One of the holiest sites for Buddhism. Located on the spot where Buddha attained enlightenment. Its main element is a 55-meter-high, richly decorated tower built in the 5th – 6th centuries and extensively restored in the 1880s.

Mahabodhi Temple, Bihar
Mahabodhi Temple, Bihar. / Matt Stabile, Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Jagannath Temple in Puri


One of the most important Hindu temple complexes, it was built in the 11th century. Well fortified, it contains 120 temples and shrines; most of them magnificent and very diverse buildings.

Jagannath Temple in Puri
Jagannath Temple in Puri. / Ajay Goyal, Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Khajuraho Temple City

Madhya Pradesh

Group of very ornate Hindu and Jain temples built in 950 – 1150 AD. Originally 80 temples, now remain 25 spread over an area of 20 km2. Temples are world-famous due to numerous erotic sculptures.

Adinatha Temple in Khajuraho
Adinatha Temple in Khajuraho. / CR Pushpa, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0
Aihole Temple City


Group of more than 125 Hindu temples from the 7th century in various styles. Considered to be a laboratory of architectural and artistic experiments where the glorious Chalukyan style was created.

Durga Temple in Aihole
Durga Temple in Aihole. / Girish Gopi, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
Qutb Minar Complex

National Capital Territory of Delhi

Group of valuable historical buildings in Delhi, mainly from the 11th – 14th centuries. Includes Qutb Minar – the highest brick minaret in the world, an ornate, massive 72.5 meters tall building. A unique monument is the Iron pillar of Delhi – 7 meters high and more than 6 tons heavy pillar of 98% pure iron, not corroding since its production in the 4th century AD (or as early as in the 9th century BC).

The unfinished Alai Minar and Qutb Minar
The unfinished Alai Minar and Qutb Minar / Smitapp, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0
Thanjavur Brihadeeswarar temple

Tamil Nadu

One of the highest achievements of Indian art and architecture. A gorgeous Hindu temple built from granite in the 11th century. 70 meters high tower.

Thanjavur Brihadeeswarar temple, Tamil Nadu
Thanjavur Brihadeeswarar temple, Tamil Nadu / , Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0
Chand Baori


One of the most impressive step-wells in India. Built in the 9th century, 13 stories and some 30 meters deep.

Chand Baori - stepwell, Rajasthan
Chand Baori – stepwell / Wikimedia Commons, user Doron / CC BY-SA 3.0
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple

Tamil Nadu

One of the largest and most grandiose religious complexes in the world, it is the largest in India and covers 63 hectares. It includes the 72 meters high gopuram – an ornate gate tower.

Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple
Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple. / Lodo, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
Dwarkadhish temple


One of the main Krishna temples. According to legend, it was built around 400 BC. The current temple was built in the 16th century. It is 51.8 meters high and very ornate.

Dwarkadhish temple, Dwarka
Dwarkadhish temple, Dwarka. / Domino786, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0
Gol Gumbaz


Mausoleum of Mohammed Adil Shah, built in 1659. One of the largest domed structures in the world, a visually very impressive building.

Gol Gumbaz
Gol Gumbaz / Amith, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0
Palitana temples


Religious Jain city, a major center of pilgrimage with 863 gorgeous temples in several groups.

Palitana temple city, India
Palitana temple city, India / , Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

West Bengal

Monument of technology. This 86 km long railway line ascends approximately 2,100 m. It was built in 1881 and has been preserved in its historical state and is still powered by steam engines. There are several loops, including Agony Loop, an extreme site on the route.

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway
Darjeeling Himalayan Railway / A.M.Hurrell, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
Hastinapur Jainist temples

Uttar Pradesh

One of the most exquisite groups of Jainist temples.

Ashtapad in Hastinapur
Ashtapad in Hastinapur. / Rajdeep.chaudhary, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0


Ancient fortifications with 13 km long walls that enclose 280 ha. Structures have been built in dramatic natural settings with tall cliffs. Constructed in the 7th century AD.

Chittorgarh. / Bethany Ciullo, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
Red Fort, Delhi

National Capital Territory of Delhi

Enormous fort, built in the 17th century. Contains important monuments of architecture.

Red Fort in Delhi
Red Fort in Delhi / Dennis Jarvis, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
Sindhudurg Fort


An amazing fortress that was built along a complex perimeter of an island in the Arabian Sea. Fort was built in the 17th century, with 42 bastions. Interesting Neolithic petroglyphs.

Sindhudurg Fort
Sindhudurg Fort / Aparnavenugopal, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0
Lotus Temple

National Capital Territory of Delhi

Flowerlike Bahá’í temple building, built in 1986.

Lotus Temple, Delhi
Lotus Temple, Delhi / , Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
Rameswaram Temple complex

Tamil Nadu

One of the important pilgrimage sites, the oldest buildings from the 12th century. Contains a group of temples in rich Southern Indian style, including 1 219 meters long pillared corridor.

Rameswaram Temple Complex, corridor
Rameswaram Temple Complex, corridor. / rajaraman sundaram, Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

WorldYellow Recommended books

India: In Word and Image

Gorgeously jaw-dropping, India has been beautifully redesigned with 32 additional pages of glorious photos shot by Eric Meola since India was first published.

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: India

DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: India will lead you straight to the best attractions the country has to offer, with regional coverage stretching from the Great Himalayas of the north to the tropical peninsula of the south.

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