Since ancient times, almost every century in the History of Indian art has seen the birth of impressive monuments and works of art. If you’re an art enthusiast and travelling to the continent, these vacation destinations should be swimming around at the top of your bucket list!
Artsome selects ten breathtaking sites and works that art lovers just cannot ignore!
The Ajanta Caves in Aurangabad, Maharashtra possess some of the oldest and most detailed murals of the Mahayana school in Buddhist Art. The Bodhisattva Padmapani mural in Cave number One dates back to 5th century BC and is a must-see.
9. Lepakshi, Andhra Pradesh
A small village in the Anantapur District of Andhra Pradesh, Lepakshi is historically quite significant. A gigantic sculpture of Lord Shiva’s vahana Nandi made from a single large piece of granite is situated 200 km from the Veerabhadra Temple.
8. Sanchi, Orissa
The oldest stone structure in India( commissioned by Emperor Ashoka in 3rd century BC), the highlights of Sanchi Stupa are the four ornate toranas/gateways around the hemispherical central dome. The reliefs carved on these toranas narrate various stories related to the life, birth and death of Buddha. The image below shows a female yakshi/attendant on the corner of the east torana.
7. Hampi, Karnataka
Singularly responsible for attracting tourists to Hampi, a village in the former capital of the Vijayangara empire, the stone chariot is in actuality a shrine built in the shape of a chariot. It is a part of the Vittala temple complex.
6. Kolkata, West Bengal
The Victoria Memorial is a large marble building in Kolkata built by the British between 1906 and 1921in the memory of Queen Victoria. Atop the central dome of the Victoria Memorial is the 16 ft tall figure of the Angel of Victory (shown in image). Now a burgeoning museum under the Ministry of Culture, the Victoria Memorial is a must-visit for art-crazy tourists.
5. Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh
Bhimbhetka cave paintings date as far back as 8000 BC. Located near Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, the caves are decorated with animals, people, various gods and hunt for prey – an important site in the history of Indian Art.
4. Agra, Uttar Pradesh
One of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal built by emperor Shah Jahan( in the early 1600s) for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal needs no introduction. The beautiful carvings at this world famous white marble mausoleum and the pietra dura work is worth seeing at least once in your lifetime. The image below shows the front entrance of the monument.
3. Delhi, NCR
Delhi, the national capital is home to a number of well-stocked Museums, Art Galleries and heritage sites. Out of them which deserves special mention is Humayun’s tomb, which was recently renovated. It is particularly beautiful as well as historically significant, since it was the first garden-tomb and a pre-cursor to the Taj Mahal. It was built by his widow Hajji Begum in 1570.
2. Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh
The Khajuraho Group of Temples in Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India with the largest group of medieval Hindu and Jain temples, famous for their erotic sculptures which are met with skepticism by many, but are actually just meant to appease malevolent spirits. It is worth visiting to experience the scale and magnitude at which these temples have been constructed and decorated.
1. Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
If you love sculptures, antiques and would like to see a major chunk of Indian history all in one place – Salarjung Museum in Hyderabad city is a must-visit for art lovers. The famous marble sculpture of Veiled Rebecca will leave you breathless at the dedication and skill with which it has been made.
Image Courtesy: The Culture Trip and Wikimedia Commons.