When you think of visiting India, the places that come to mind are Taj Mahal in Agra or Red fort in Delhi. If you are a party goer then your destination of choice would be Goa, for its beautiful beaches and party scene. But today we look at some of the lesser known yet equally beautiful historical sites that you must visit, if you are ever in India.
Sibsagar Shiva Doll
These are three Hindu temples on the banks of the Sibsagar. They are dedicated to Sivadol, Visnudol and Devidol. The temples were built in 1734. The Shiva Doll is 32 m high and has a golden dome. Four smaller towers are arranged here around the main tower. The outer walls of the temple are decorated with floral patterns and statues. The other two temples, the Visnudol and the Devidol, are located around the Shiva Doll and have a similar architecture. However, the tower of the Visnu Temple is built like a honeycomb, whereas the tower of the Devidol rises vertically.
Tiger Hill is a peak in West Bengal and is 11 km from Darjeeling. The view of Mount Everest and Kanchetzönga, which can be enjoyed from the summit of Tiger Hill, is particularly impressive. Mount Everest is only 175 km away as the crow flies. When the mountain peak shines in red light at sunrise, it shines in a special splendor. The summit can be reached either by jeep or on foot in about two hours through beautiful tea plantation landscapes.
Itimad-ud-daulah in Agra
The Itimad-du-daulah tomb is also located in Agra. It is set in Persian-style gardens just 3 km from the former center of Agra on the Yamuna River. The tomb was erected for Mirza Ghyas Beg by his daughter as a token of her appreciation. He was also the grandfather of Shah Jahan and Mumtaz Mahal. The tomb consists of a central burial space with eight small side rooms. The graves of Beg and his wife can be found in the main room. The mausoleum of Itimad-du-daulah is considered to be the forerunner of the Taj Mahal and is also called the “Small Taj Mahal”. Like the Taj Mahal, the entire surface of the mausoleum is clad in white marble and precious stones with floral inlays. The Itimad-du-daulah is suitable for everyone.
Fatehpur Sikri near Agra
40 km away from Agra is the city of Fatehpur Sikri, which was built by the Mughal Akbar between 1569 and 1574 as the new capital. The city served as the seat of government for 14 years until Akbar declared Lahore as the capital during his campaign against Afghan tribes in order to better direct his campaigns in northwest India. For a long time he was denied the desire to have offspring. He was all the happier when Sheikh Salim Chrishti prophesied that he would have three sons. When the prophecy came true, Akbar Fatehpur had Sikri built in honor of the sheikh. The city was completely deserted from 1619 until it was discovered by archaeologists in 1892. Today Fatehpur Sikri is a ghost town with beautiful buildings, arches and courtyards that combine Persian, Jainst and Hindu elements.
Dada Harir Stepwell
Ahmedabad city is known as Manchester of India and has a lot to provide when it comes to historical sites. But what you must see, if you are ever there is Dada Harir Step Well. It is an eight story deep octagonal well, built from sandstone, with beautiful carvings, which incorporate Hindu, Jain and Islamic architecture. Its breathtaking architecture, accompanies a deep history, having been built in 1485 by Dada Harir a lead concubine from the harem of then Sultan Mahmud Begada of Gujarat. All in all, it is a place, which deserves to be visited and contains history, worth knowing.