7 Wonders Of India
India is a land of diversity, art and culture. While everyone knows about the Seven Wonders of the World, India has its own Seven Wonders to boast of and they are symbols of pride for the country. They reflect the heritage and rich history of the nation and its archives the greatness of the country as a whole.
Here is a list of these very special seven wonders in India:
- Gomateshwar (Karnataka)
This is a statue of Bahubali, Rishabhanatha’s son. It is the tallest monolithic statue in the world, carved out of a single block of granite. It is a 57-foot (17 m) high statue and located on Vindhyagiri at Shravanabelagola in Karnataka. It is so tall that it can be seen from 30 km away. It symbolizes Peace, non-violence, sacrificing worldly affairs, and simple living as followed by Jainism. The Gomateshwara statue is dedicated to the Jain figure Bahubali. It was built around 983 A.D. and is one of the largest free standing statues in the world. An event known as Mahamastakabhisheka attracts people from all over the world. The festival is held once in 12 years. The Gomateshwara statue is anointed with milk, saffron, ghee, sugarcane juice etc. The next abhisheka will be in 2030.
In 2007, the statue was voted as the first of Seven Wonders of India in a Times of India poll. 49% of the total votes went in favor of it.
- Hampi (Karnataka)
Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in East-central Karnataka. It became the pilgrimage centre of the Hindu religion. It is linked to India’s history. It was the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire in the 14th century. Chronicles left by Persian and European travellers, particularly the Portuguese, say that the Hampi state was a prosperous, wealthy and grand city. It had numerous temples, farms and trading markets. By 1500 CE, Hampi was the world’s second largest medieval era city after Beijing, and probably India’s richest at that time. It attracted traders from Persia and Portugal. The Empire was defeated by a coalition of Muslim sultanates. Its capital was conquered, pillaged and destroyed by sultanate armies in 1565, after which Hampi remained in ruins. Hampi’s ruins are spread over 4,100 hectares.
- Golden Temple (Punjab)
The Golden Temple, also known as Harmandir Sahib. Which means “abode of God”. It is a Gurdwara located in the city of Amritsar, Punjab. It is the preeminent spiritual site of Sikhism. The Gurdwara is built around a man-made pool that was completed by the fourth Sikh Guru, Guru Ram Das in 1577. The Gurdwara is spiritually the most significant shrine in Sikhism. The temple is an open house of worship for all men and women, from all walks of life and faith.
The Khajuraho Group of Monuments is a group of Hindu temples and Jain temples in Chhatarpur district, Madhya Pradesh. About 175 to southeast of Jhansi. They are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.The temples are famous for their nagara-style architectural symbolism and their erotic sculptures. Most Khajuraho temples were built between 950 AD and 1050 AD by the Chandela dynasty. Historical records note that the Khajuraho temple site had 85 temples by the 12th century, spread over 20 square kilometers. Of these, only about 25 temples have survived, spread over six square kilometers. The Khajuraho group of temples were built together but were dedicated to two religions, Hinduism and Jainism. Which suggests a tradition of acceptance and respect for diverse religious views among Hindus and Jains in the region.
- Konark Sun Temple (Odisha)
Konark Sun Temple is a 13th-century CE Sun temple at Konark. Much of the temple is now in ruins. The structures and elements that have survived are famed for their intricate artwork, iconography, and themes, including erotic kama and mithuna scenes. The cause of the destruction of the Konark temple is unclear and remains a source of controversy. Theories range from natural damage to deliberate destruction of the temple in the course of being sacked several times by Muslim armies between the 15th and 17th centuries. The temple that exists today was partially restored by the conservation efforts of British India-era archaeological teams. It was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1984. It remains a major pilgrimage site for Hindus, who gather here every year for the Chandrabhaga Mela around February.
- Nalanda (Bihar)
Nalanda was an ancient Mahavihara, a revered Buddhist monastery. It also served as a renowned centre of learning, in the ancient kingdom of Magadha (modern-day Bihar) in India. The university of Nalanda obtained significant fame, prestige and relevance during ancient times, and rose to legendary status due to its contribution to the emergence of India as a great power around the 4th century. Nalanda flourished under the patronage of the Gupta Empire in the 5th and 6th centuries, and later under Harsha, the emperor of Kannauj. Nalanda was destroyed three times but was rebuilt only twice. It was ransacked and destroyed by an army of the Mamluk Dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate under Bakhtiyar Khalji in c. 1200 CE. On 25 November 2010, the Indian government, through an Act of Parliament, resurrected the ancient university through the Nalanda University Bill, and subsequently a new Nalanda University was established. It has been designated as an “International University of National Importance.”
- Taj Mahal (Agra)
The Taj Mahal ‘Crown of the Palace’,] is an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the southern bank of the river Yamuna in the Indian city of Agra. It was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (reigned from 1628 to 1658) to house the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. It also houses the tomb of Shah Jahan himself. Construction of the mausoleum was essentially completed in 1643, but work continued on other phases of the project for another 10 years. The Taj Mahal complex is believed to have been completed in its entirety in 1653 at a cost estimated at the time to be around 32 million rupees, which in 2020 would be approximately 70 billion rupees. The construction project employed some 20,000 artisans under the guidance of a board of architects led by the court architect to the emperor, Ustad Ahmad Lahauri. The Taj Mahal was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 for being “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world’s heritage”. It is regarded by many as the best example of Mughal architecture and a symbol of India’s rich history. The Taj Mahal attracts 7–8 million visitors a year and in 2007, it was declared a winner of the New 7 Wonders of the World (2000–2007) initiative.
An interesting fact is that one of the most popular legends about the Taj Mahal is that the emperor had every workers hands cut off so so they couldn’t recreate the design. About 1000 elephants were used to transport construction material to the site.