Mini-vacation for the mind – 8 monuments and 8 mysteries

Let’s go on a mini-vacation!

Travel industry especially felt the first burns of Coronavirus. Our borders are sealed, our people are cooped up in their houses, our lifestyle is now measured in “essential and non-essential services”, airports and railway stations look lifeless, all days are the same days.

Certainly, everything we knew and existed has been turned upside down. Now staying away is a sign of love, staying indoors is the new “safe and healthy” and community living is now social distancing.

How often does one wake up to a world that he never knew existed! Stepping out of the house is out of bounds for all of us. And staying indoors locked up all day can be frightening and sickening at the same time! Therefore, we decided it would be great to refresh your memory with interesting details of some of India’s famous monuments. Let this be a mini-vacation for the mind – the only kind of traveling legally permitted at the moment!

1. The hanging pillar of Lepakshi

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The gorgeous temples of South India have always fascinated us with their architecture and design. One such temple in the Anantapur District of Andhra Pradesh, known as the Lepakshi Temple amazes us with its engineering wonder. Among the 70 stone pillars installed inside the temple, there is one that hangs from the ceiling. The base of the pillar visibly stops a few inches from the ground and visitors are often seen passing a thin paper or cloth from one side to the other. 

2. Hawa Mahal, Jaipur

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Hawa Mahal or the Palace of Breeze was constructed in the year 1799 by the then king, Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh. One of the most interesting facts about the Hawa Mahal is that it never had a direct entrance. Added to this, the never-ending rows of windows were designed especially for the women in the royal family to help them keep a track of the city life outside.

Interestingly, the palace is adorned with 953 Jharokas or windows. These windows were big enough for the women to catch a glimpse of the life outside the palace, yet small enough to protect them from the eyes of the masses.

And finally, Hawa Mahal in Jaipur is the world’s tallest building without a foundation. The five-storied palace never had a foundation. No wonder the palace attracts people from different corners of the world, come rain or shine. Read about the best time to visit Jaipur.

3. Qutub Minar, New Delhi

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While we know all about Qutub Minar through our history books, did you know there is an iron pillar that has not rusted even after 2000 years?  The best time to visit Qutub Minar is during the winter months of November to February. When you visit Delhi for a mini-vacation once all of this is over, do not miss out on the amazing street food. Here’s a guide to Delhi’s finest street food.

4. Konark Temple, Odisha

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Konark Sun Temple is one of India’s crown jewels. But apart from being an architectural marvel, a very interesting fact baffles all visitors. There are in fact 12 wheels at the base of the temple that are actually sundials and perfectly denote time.

5. Gol Gumbaz, Karnataka

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Gol Gumbaz is the world’s second-largest tomb. The walls of this tomb are hollow and to this day no one has managed to find an entry to the whispering walls. In fact, the real reason behind the construction of such a monument still remains a mystery.

6. Taj Mahal, Agra

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We have been taught that the Taj Mahal in Agra is the biggest monument of love in the world. But did you know, the Taj Mahal appears different at different hours of the day? From slight pink at sunrise, to perfect white at noon and finally dull yellow at sunset. This was in fact observed by Shah Jahan, the very creator of this structure, who thought this was the perfect expression of a woman’s changing mood! Ironical! 

7. Bhangarh Fort, Rajasthan

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Talk about a mini-vacation in Rajasthan? One needs years to explore all that Rajasthan has in store for us! One of the monuments which tops the list is – Bhangarh Fort for reasons more than one!

Regarded as India’s most haunted place according to the Archeological Survey of India, people are prohibited to roam the premises after sundown. Even today, the mystery around Bhangarh Fort continues to feed the local folklore.

There have also been instances where a distinguishable perfume was emanating from the premises of Bhangarh Fort along with ghostly shadows and inexplicable lights. Some people have felt a strange presence around them, while others claim they have been slapped by an invisible entity. However, no one perhaps knows what the real truth is. 

Locals believe that it is a sanctuary of ghosts. People have allegedly claimed to have heard noises that are unaccounted for. The locals have often heard women screaming and crying, bangles breaking and strange music coming from the fort.

8. Rani ki Vav, Gujarat

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Being one of Gujarat’s prominent attractions, Rani ki Vav is located on the banks of River Saraswati. One of the most striking facts about Rani ki Vav is that it is probably the only monument in India that is not built in loving memory of a queen. Built in the loving memory of Bhimdev I by his widowed Queen Udayamati in 1050 AD, Rani ki Vav literally translates to ‘Queen’s Stepwell’.

The stepwell is designed like an inverted temple, with seven levels of stairs that are beautifully carved and sculpted with mythological as well as religious figures. There used to be a tunnel carved down under which helped the kings to escape to the nearby town of Sidhapur in case of war-like situations.

We hope you liked this virtual mini-vacation! Tell us about your favorite monument in India!

About the author

Road Trip Expert, India Tourism Expert
Exploring India, one road trip at a time. Travel begins with Savaari.

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