Cultural Landmarks in India

India offers many incredible landmarks to explore if you’re curious about its vibrant culture. Exploring these historic locations is the ideal way to learn about Indian history and gain more insight into its unique traditions.

India is famously home to many iconic landmarks, with the Taj Mahal being among them. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, its beauty must be experienced upon visiting.

Qutub Minar

Qutub Minar, one of Delhi’s premier tourist attractions and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasts an iconic five-storey structure built of red sandstone and marble that stands 73-feet high with decorative balconies that stand 73 feet high.

Qutubuddin Aibak was the first Muslim ruler of India. To commemorate his victory over the last Hindu ruler of Delhi and signal the start of Muslim rule across India. Iltutmish later added three floors while Firoz Shah Tuglak added two more.

This monument is considered to be India’s first Islamic structure and contains numerous inscriptions that provide information about its history; some of these inscriptions are written in Arabic while others use Brahmi script.

Basilica of Bom Jesus

Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa stands as one of India’s iconic cultural landmarks and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built during 16th-century Baroque period, its design makes an impressionful first impression.

The facade features black granite and red laterite stones for an impressive appearance that combines elements from Corinthian, Doric, and composite styles.

Architectural historian Paulo Varela Gomes notes that the front facade of this basilica ‘blended European and South Asian design, thanks to Bassein basalt quarried in Portuguese Goa’ (2011:68).

The Basilica of Bom Jesus is an international tourist magnet for Catholic Christians and one of India’s premier pilgrimage temples.

Dakshineswar Kali Temple

Dakshineswar Kali Temple is one of the most celebrated Hindu shrines in India, situated along the eastern banks of Hooghly River in Dakshineswar a small town located near Kolkata.

Rani Rashmoni’s temple for Goddess Kali on the banks of the Ganges was completed in 1855 following her dream to build one in Bengal’s traditional style – known as nava-ratna architecture.

Temple services are open to everyone regardless of caste and religion; however, during festive occasions or on weekdays like Tuesdays or Saturdays it tends to get very crowded.

Victoria Memorial

The Victoria Memorial in Kolkata, India is an iconic cultural landmark dedicated to Queen Victoria – Empress of British India.

Built between 1906 and 1921, the Memorial stands as an Indo-Saracenic revivalist structure composed of white marble. It draws its inspiration from Mughal, Egyptian and Deccani architectural traditions.

Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India under British rule, suggested creating a grand memorial to remember Queen Victoria after her passing in 1901.

Prince George V laid the initial foundation stone of this memorial on 4 January 1906. It was officially inaugurated and made available for public tours in 1921.

Sun Temple

The Sun Temple in Konark, Orissa stands as an iconic cultural landmark of India. One of the finest Hindu temples, this masterpiece was designed and built during 13th century by Narasimhadeva I of East Ganga Dynasty ruler.

It resembles the shape of an enormous chariot fitted with giant wheels and decorated with intricately detailed relief sculptures of animals, foliage, dancers, musicians, and erotic scenes. It is widely considered to be one of Orissa’s greatest temples and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001.

The Sun Temple is a must-see attraction for tourists. To enjoy it fully, visitors should go during winter when temperatures are ideal.