The Taj Mahal counts under 7 wonders of the world, however, other than Taj Mahal, there are several beautiful architectural wonders in India which bespeak the spectacular design story of our country with their stunning architecture. Aakanksha Umath reports…
1. Konark Sun Temple, Orissa
Located on the coast of Bay of Bengal in Odisha, Konârak Sun Temple is a monumental testimony of Sun God’s chariot which lures many tourists due to its architectural excellence. The exquisite artistry still remains a wonder for leading architects.
Constructed in 13th century by Raja Narsimha Deva, Konark was chosen as its place of construction because it has been described as the holy seat of Surya in various ancient texts. Designed in typical Kalinga style, the Konark Sun Temple is built in the form of a mammoth chariot that Surya rode. As per legends, Surya rode across the sky on his chariot pulled by 7 horses. A few texts say that the 7 horses represent the 7 days of the week, while others say that 7 horses represent the 7 components of white light that we know as the VIBGYOR. The platform of Konark is engraved with a total of 24 wheels of the chariot. Hence, the numbers 7 and 24 hold a lot of significance here.
2. Khajuraho monuments, MP
The monuments represents outstanding testimony of Chandela Rajput dynasty.
Most of these temples were built between 885 AD to 1050 AD. Famous for Nagra Style architecture, carvings and erotic sculptures, these temples are dedicated to two religions Hinduism and Jainism. Carvings at Khajuraho depict all aspects of life but the erotic sculptures often get highlighted as they appear extensively on the exteriors of the temples. These monumental representations of power of imagination of man deserve to find a mention in seven manmade wonders of India.
3. Ajanta Caves, Maharashtra
There is a multitude of caves in India. Ajanta caves is one of them. The most ancient and well known cave of India is declared as a world heritage site by UNESCO. A beautiful showcase of carvings, sculptures and wall paintings, this cave comprises remnants of Jainism, Buddhism and Hinduism. Around 102 km away from Aurangabad city, this place is blessed with nature as well as man made architectures.
4. Gommateshwara statue, Karnataka
A 57-feet high monolithic statue on Vindhyagiri hill, Gommateshwara statue is carved on a single block of granite which is a wonder in itself. This beautiful statue is tallest monolithic statue in India. One can see the grand statue from the distance of 30 km. Commissioned by the Ganga dynasty minister and commander Chavundaraya, it was constructed in 981 AD in Hassan district of Karnataka. The beautiful deity of Bahubali has ringlets of curly hair and large elongated ears.
5. Hampi, Karnataka
The ancient village in Karnataka, Hampi is dotted with numerous ruined ancient temple. Its ruins belonging to the erstwhile medieval Hindu kingdom of Vijaynagar makes it famous. It has been declared as the World Heritage site for its excellent workmanship. Also, Hampi accommodates the most famous Vijaya Vittala Temple which has 56 Musical Pillars also known as the SaRiGaMa Pillars which have been named on seven musical notes. These pillars produce musical tones when struck with a thumb.
6. Harmandir Sahib Golden Temple
Harmandir Sahib also called as Darbar Sahib is a pristine house of worship considered as the most important pilgrimage site for Sikhs. The temple is situated in the centre of a holy pond which makes it feel as it it has occupied a small island in the centre of the tank, or pool, which is called as the Amrita Saras (“Pool of Nectar”)—that is the source of the city’s name. The pond is connected to land by a marble causeway running across the water of the pool.
Harmandir means everyone’s house. The Golden Temple is spiritually the considerable shrine in Sikhism.
7. Nalanda University, Bihar
Nalanda University is situated 95 km away from capital of Bihar. This university was renowned center of education during the period of Gupta empire. Inspired by the highly organised methods of vedic learning, people from China, Korea, Tibet used to study here. The university was attacked by some Muslim invaders in the 12th century.
The Nalanda Mahavihara site in Bihar, comprises the archaeological remains of a monastic and scholastic institution dating from the 3rd century BCE to the 13th century CE. It includes stupas, shrines, viharas (residential and educational buildings) and important art works in stucco, stone and metal.