By Avani Anil Kumar, AK Adventures and Global Village Editor
Mark Twain, the famous author, described:
India is the cradle of human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend and the great grandmother of tradition.
Being an expatriate for a major portion of my life, India had been a country I saw in fleeting holidays, which never extended beyond a month, at most. But even then, I had heard about the cultural richness of India.
The Indian subcontinent is known for its diversity, delicacies and architecture. And I would like to examine the architectural aspect of India.
The Indian subcontinent has been ruled by many kings, of various dynasties. The entire monarchal period can be broadly classified as ancient, middle and modern period. The ancient period denotes the reign of the ancient, Hindusthani kings, of various dynasties. The middle period denotes the reign of the Afghani Mughal Emperors, while the modern period denotes the reign of the westerners or the British’s colonial India.
The three different periods have significantly contributed to the architectural background of India. The Indian soil is home to various monuments that differ in style, structure and construction designs.
Here are three examples of the most famous Indian monuments of all time.
The Great Stupa at Sanchi is one of the oldest structures in India, originally commissioned by Emperor Ashoka of Mauryan Dynasty in the 3rd century BCE. The construction work of this stupa was overseen by Ashoka’s wife, Devi herself, who was the daughter of a merchant of Vidisha. Sanchi was also her birthplace as well as the venue of her and Ashoka’s wedding. The sanchi stupa built during Mauryan period was made of bricks.
One of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, the Taj Mahal is an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna River in the Indian city of Agra. It was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, to house the tomb of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. The tomb is the center piece of a 17-hectare complex, which includes a mosque and a guest house, and is set in formal gardens bounded on three sides by a crenellated (open spaces at the top for viewing) wall.
Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, the India Gate, is a war memorial located next to the Rajpath, on the eastern edge of the ‘ceremonial axis’ of New Delhi, India, formerly called Kingsway. India Gate is a memorial to 82,000 soldiers of the undivided Indian Army who died in the period 1914–21 in the First World War.