India: a country known for its beauty, glory, and rich history, is a home of many cities that hold uncountable stories of love, valor, and pride in the books of the past. If you are a history buff like us and digging the archives of a place gives you the rush that Ross from the sitcom FRIENDS gets when talking about dinosaurs, we are here for you! Though India has a great number of historically rich cities, here are our top 8 picks for you to visit in the country for its history.
The country’s capital is not only heaven for foodies and shopaholics but can be equally great if you want to experience the history of India. The streets of Old Delhi still carry the old-world charm and the high monuments still sing praises of the Bravehearts who became icons because of their valor and sacrifice. For years, Delhi has been honored as a highly historical city, making it a haven for history buffs.
Red Fort: Lal Qila is a historic fort in Old Delhi that used to serve as the main residence of the Mughal Emperors. It was originally red and white in color and can be said to reflect the peak of Mughal architecture under Shah Jahan. It combines Persianate palace architecture with Indian traditions and is a sight that drips history from each corner.
Qutub Minar: The Qutub Minar is another historical place in Delhi that was founded by Tomar Rajputs and located in old Delhi. It’s a UNESCO world heritage site and is also known as the Victory Complex because of its historical significance. It is the tallest tower in India and is a symbol of pride that you must see for yourself.
Humayun's Tomb: Humayun was an important Mughal ruler who ruled over Delhi and was the son of King Babar. King Humayun is credited with making many important monuments and also as the father of the great King Akbar. His tomb is a historical site that is also breathtakingly gorgeous.
By Air: The Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi is one of the biggest and main airports in the country’s capital with flights connecting it to the world and other states of the country.
By Rail: Delhi is well connected to all the major Indian cities by railways and the New Delhi railway station serves more than 300 railway lines.
By Road: Delhi has a strong road network and 5 National Highways run through the city - NH-1, NH-2, NH-38, NH-310, and NH-324.
Best Time To Visit Delhi - October to March.
Also read: Top 12 Things To Do In Delhi
The state of Rajasthan and Indian history can be considered almost synonymous because of the rich multifaceted chronicles the state has to offer. The city of Udaipur is one of the most beloved cities in the state as it offers you a perfect blend of forts, mountains, and lakes with each monument carrying an enchanting tale of its own. Also known as the Lake City, Udaipur is a goldmine of historical gems in the form of abandoned monuments, huge forts, magnificent palaces, and enormous wells.
City Palace: City Palace is an example of moving history at its finest form and is surrounded by the most popular markets, temples, and ghats of the city. Just keep an entire day free to fully experience City Palace as it is huge and you will have a lot to see and process in terms of its art, history, and beauty.
Gangu Kund: An underrated historical spot in Udaipur, Gangu Kund not only offers you the most picturesque views but will also take you by surprise with many stories of sacrifices over the years. The Ahar Museum near Gangu Kund will also give you a history trip you will never forget!
Eklingji Temple: Located in the Kailashpuri district of Udaipur, Eklingji Temple has mind-blowing architecture filled with double-storied buildings, colossal pyramidal-style roofs, and delicately carved towers. You will get to know the temple’s interesting history while taking in the many stunning walls, interiors, and kunds.
By Air: Udaipur has one of the 7 major airports in the state of Rajasthan which is Maharana Pratap Airport which is located in Dabok. It has both international and domestic flights.
By Rail: Udaipur has strong railway connectivity and two railway stations, Udaipur City Station being the major one. You are most likely to get a direct train to the city from many states.
By Road: Many private and public buses directly come to Udaipur which is also connected to major national highways, NH-76 and NH-8.
Best Time To Visit Udaipur - September to March.
Also read: Udaipur Travel Guide
Kolkata is a city that taught the world about Indian literature and culture. The city still proudly remains one of the most culturally vibrant cities and is a perfect pick for you if you are looking to visit a place that can offer you the best of history, culture, and - not to forget - the mouthwatering varieties of food. Kolkata has played a pioneering role in making India what it is today and its architecture speaks for itself.
Victoria Memorial: Victoria Memorial is the world’s largest monument which was dedicated to a royal - Queen Victoria - and is carved entirely in marble and located in Central Kolkata. The Memorial was built between 1906 and 1921 and has now become a lavish museum with 25 galleries and a lot more which you will experience once you visit the unforgettable structure.
Writer’s Building: Often shortened to just Writers', this is a heritage building which is the official secretariat building of the state government of West Bengal in Kolkata. It is open for visitors throughout the day and is a 150-meter long building that covers the entire northern stretch of the iconic Lal Dighi pond at the center of the historic B.B.D. Bhag.
Howrah Bridge: Probably one of the most popular places in the city of Kolkata, Howrah Bridge is a balanced cantilever bridge over the Hooghly River which was constructed in 1942. The Howrah Bridge represents Kolkata and is a sight you must not miss while visiting the city of joy.
By Air: Kolkata has international and domestic airports with Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport being the biggest airport in the state with regular international and domestic flights.
By Rail: Kolkata has a well-connected railway line and many big and small railway stations. The Kolkata station is situated in the Chitpur locality of North Kolkata and falls under the Eastern Railway zone with trains connecting it to the majority of the cities.
By Road: National highways and private and public buses can easily take you to Kolkata. Some major national highways connected to the main city are NH-2, NH-117, and NH-34.
Best Time To Visit Kolkata - October to March.
Also read: Kolkata Travel Guide
Lucknow is not merely a city that has become synonymous with culture and etiquettes but is the genesis of many important historical events. The city of Nawabs is most likely to transport you back to the old-world royalty of kings and imperials. Each street of Lucknow is embedded with art, silk, and stories and is most likely to spoil your taste buds with its delicious food - especially Awadhi delicacies like Mutton Keema, Kebabs, and Revadi. You will be able to taste history in these dishes while the monuments of the city will offer you a glimpse into it too.
Rumi Darwaza: Also known as the Turkish Gate, Rumi Darwaza was built in 1784-86 and is a 60-feet high entrance (Darwaza in Hindi translates to an entrance or gate in English) and displays Awadhi architectural style. The gate has a very heartfelt history behind its creation and is located at the heart of Lucknow offering you the chance to cherish history as it happened.
Bara Imambara: Also known as Asafi Imambara, Bara Imambara is an imambara complex in Lucknow that was founded by Asaf-ud-Daula in 1784. It is the second-largest imambara and is known for its incredible maze which is known as ‘Bhul Bhulaiya’ amidst the locals.
Jama Masjid: One of the most popular mosques in the entire country, the Jama Masjid is a sight for sore eyes and hearts. Do not confuse it with the one made by Akbar. This Jama Masjid was built by the third Nawab of Awadh Mohammad Ali Shah with the intention to surpass the Jama Masjid in Delhi, but after his death, the mosque was completed by his wife Queen Malika Jahan and now is a pilgrimage site by the devotees.
By Air: Lucknow has its own international and domestic airports. Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport, also known as Lucknow Airport, is the major airport in the state.
By Rail: Lucknow has solid railway connectivity. Lucknow Charbagh is one of the five main railway stations of Lucknow city, the others being Lucknow Junction, Gomti Nagar Railway station, Aishbagh Railway Station, and Lucknow City station.
By Road: The city is well connected to roadways and NH-28 is a major highway that passes through the city.
Best Time To Visit Lucknow - September to March.
Also read: Find Best Hotels in Lucknow
The northeast part of India has been wrongly overlooked by the citizens and historians alike. The northeastern cities not only possess the most breathtaking mountains and natural views but are also extremely rich in terms of history and culture. The gorgeous city of Agartala is the capital of the state of Tripura and is filled with historical masterpieces that offer you glimpses of worlds as old as the 9th century. Agartala and its palaces, temples, and museums have many stories to share with you that revolve around Manikya Kings and you will also get to learn more about the uncovered aspects of our Nobel laureate and poet, Rabindranath Tagore.
Tripura Government Museum: A former palace for the royalty which now has turned into a museum, this can be your perfect place for a historical day out where you can get acquainted with the beautiful past of the northeast.
Ujjayanta Palace: Another former palace turned museum, this palace was built by Tripura king, Maharaja Radha Kishore Manikya of the Manikya dynasty, between 1899 and 1901 and is known and loved for its display of lifestyle, arts, and utility crafts of northeastern communities.
Rabindra Kanan Park: Dedicated to our beloved Rabindranath Tagore, this is a stunning park located adjacent to the Raj Bhawan. Be prepared to be amazed by its greenery and variety of flowers and make sure to learn more about its history.
By Air: Agartala is well connected via airways through the Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport, also known as Agartala Airport which has both international and domestic flights daily.
By Rail: Agartala falls under the northeast frontier railway zone and the Agartala Railway Station is located 5.5 km from the city. Agartala is also the first state capital of independent India to be connected via a rail network.
By Road: You can also reach Agartala through road as the National Highway 8 is directly connected to the city of Agartala.
Best Time To Visit Agartala - April to July.
Also read: Camping In Northeast India
The capital of the state of Maharashtra, even the name of the city carries rich historical significance. The name ‘Mumbai’ is derived from the name of the goddess Mumbadevi which means ‘mother’ in the Marathi language. The Marathi soldiers had a very significant and important role in Indian history, especially in India’s freedom struggle, and in Mumbai, you will find various monuments and forts proudly standing as proof of their journey and bravery.
Gateway Of India: This is a prime location to visit in Mumbai which has a great historical significance and aesthetic beauty attached to it. It is an arch-monument built in the early 20th century by King-Emperor George which would most likely deliver a scoop of history along with aesthetic pictures.
Elephanta Caves: Dubbed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the Elephanta Caves are a collection of cave temples which are dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Visiting these caves located on the island will not be a historical experience but also an adventure.
Hanging Gardens: Also known as Pherozeshah Mehta Gardens, Hanging Gardens are one of the most popular historical sights in the city of Mumbai that will also prove to be spectacular. It was built in 1881 over a water reservoir and is perched at the top of Malabar Hill.
By Air: Mumbai has India’s biggest and the fanciest airport called the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport with two terminals. Terminal 1 has all the domestic terminals while Terminal 2 is an international airport/terminal.
By Rail: Mumbai has one of the biggest railway systems in India and Mumbai Central is a major railway station on the Western line. More than the interstate railway, Mumbai also has the strongest local chain of intercity railways known as Mumbai Local.
By Road: Reaching Mumbai is convenient via road too. As it is a huge city and a hub of Bollywood and a bustling economy, it has one of the strongest road connectivity in the country. NH-48 is one of the biggest highways that connect to Mumbai.
Best Time To Visit Mumbai - October to February.
Also read: Mumbai Travel Guide
This City of Love is a high bet on the list because though small in size, Agra has a lot to offer in terms of history, art, and culture. Each nook of the city has a scent of history amalgamated with the sweetness of Agre ka Petha so you can get to see a lot of the past even on a short trip to the region.
Taj Mahal: Yes, yes, we know. It’s the most obvious choice here, but you cannot talk about Agra without the Taj Mahal. Known globally as a symbol of love and one among the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal is a palace one should experience at least once in their lifetime. The grandeur of the place, the story, and its architecture make it a perfect sight to visit with your loved ones or family.
Buland Darwaza: ‘Buland’ means ‘grand’ and ‘Darwaza’ means ‘door’ and this is exactly what Buland Darwaza is all about. Also known as the Door of Victory, this is the main entrance to the Jama Masjid at Fatehpur Sikri and was built in 1575 A.D by Mughal emperor Akbar to commemorate his victory over Gujarat.
Agra Fort: The Agra Fort used to be the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal Dynasty until 1638 and has now become one of the most prominent historical forts in the city. It is gorgeous and guaranteed to give you more perspective about the city of Agra and its Mughal backdrop.
By Air: Kheria Airport (AGR) in the city is well-connected to all major cities in India.
By Rail: Agra has a strong railway network and falls under North Central Railway. Agra Cantonment is the main railway station in the city.
By Road: Agra is extremely accessible via road and the NH-44, which is one of the biggest national highways, connects it to Delhi.
Best Time To Visit Agra - October to March.
Also read: Find Best Hotels in Agra
The city of Jaipur is all things grand and royal and is filled with various historical sights that still stand proudly. Jaipur is a lot more than fancy resorts and destination weddings. The Pink City isn't just simply stunning because of its gorgeous views but can also be a learning experience for you because it honestly has a lot to offer, historically and aesthetically.
Hawa Mahal: Hawa Mahal translates to ‘Palace of Wind’. Made of stunning red and pink sandstone, the palace was made with the purpose of providing access to the outside world for royal women and has a total of 953 windows keeping the place airy and justifying the name (also known as Jharokhas in Hindi). Hawa Mahal is worth visiting to experience the wind in your hair and get a fair share of history and good pictures.
Galtaji Temple: Galtaji Temple is nestled between the Aravali Hills and offers a breathtaking view while traveling to the heights. It is located just outside the main city of Jaipur and is a sight you will cherish forever. The most beautiful part is the fact that the complex is set around a natural spring and waterfalls that create 7 Holy Ponds. Just be cautious of the monkeys and you should be fine.
Nahargarh Fort: Loved by both tourists and locals, Nahargarh Fort is the favorite child of the city of Jaipur that offers you rich historical museums and gorgeous views during the day and immense peace and beauty during the night. Rent a bike or car to visit Nahargarh Fort because it stands on the edge of the beautiful Aravali hills and can be savored at the end of a journey like that.
By Air: Jaipur has one of the major airports in the state of Rajasthan which is the Jaipur International Airport that has many international and domestic flights connecting it to the world.
By Rail: Jaipur is connected to the North-Western Railway and has multiple trains plying to and from everyday.
By Road: The state of Rajasthan has 20 national highways that pass through it, out of which 7 pass through the pink city too. RSRTC provides the local bus service and Agra - Jaipur (NH-21), and Delhi - Jaipur (NH-48) are two of the most popular national highways.
Best Time To Visit Jaipur - October to March.
Also read: Jaipur Travel Guide
Spices, culture, history, and love are some of the biggest strengths of India and when you talk about history, almost every Indian city has something to offer. Never stop traveling and exploring because at times, visiting a new place can teach you a lot more than a history book. Whenever you travel to a new city, we would suggest you get in touch with the locals and try exploring the lesser-known tourist places because there is a good possibility of you learning something new and being amazed at the underrated feathers on the cap of India.
Which Is The Most Historical Place In India?
India is filled with history and historical places so selecting one may not be possible but the state of Rajasthan and the cities of Lucknow and Delhi have a huge number of historical forts, sights, and monuments for you to experience as a whole.
How Many Historical Places Are In India?
India is filled with historical monuments and each state has its own history and monuments attesting to the same. According to the Archeological Survey of India, India has 116 ticketed monuments in 19 states and according to UNESCO, there are 40 World Heritage Sites located in India out of which 32 are cultural, 7 are natural, and 1 is mixed.
Which Is The Oldest City of India?
India is an old nation and hence filled with many old cities that still carry their quaint charm but the city of Varanasi is one of the oldest among the lot. Varanasi has been a center of religious and cultural activity since the Bronze Age Collapse and is alternatively called Banaras.