10 Quirky Monuments That Deserve To Be On Your Travel Bucket List

Meveryone can be familiar with architectural gems of India such as Taj Mahal, Ajanta Caves, Charminar, Sun Temple or India Gate etc. We have heard the stories behind their construction and read their tales of war and wonder in our history books. But it’s the lesser-known structures that demand equal, if not more, admiration.

Whether they are isolated temples, partially demolished forts or even rock formations with beautiful carvings, these staggered monuments from different parts of the country have historical significance and artistic value.

1. Jaswant Thada, Rajasthan

The structure serves as a cremation ground for the royal Rajput family of Marwar.

An amazing marvel of marble, the Jaswant Thada is a cenotaph located in Jodhpur in Rajasthan. It was built by Maharaja Sardar Singh of Jodhpur State in 1899 in memory of his father, Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. The structure serves as a cremation ground for the royal Rajput family of Marwar. However, in the land of monuments, this place is often passed over in silence.

Photo credits: Altug Galip (@kyrenian on Instagram)

2. Teenager Dasiyo Ka Mahal, Madhya Pradesh

India in photos: 10 unusual monuments that deserve to be on your travel list
“The city is poetry in stone.”

It is believed that this small palace was built by the ruler of Orchha for his three favorite servants. It is partially ruined now but still gracefully bearing glory. The whole place has several small and large architectural delights. One Instagram user aptly describes it as, “The city is poetry in stone.”

Photo credits: Pritam

3. Nagadevathe, Karnataka

India in photos: 10 unusual monuments that deserve to be on your travel list
There are many such great sculptures in this “secret temple”.

The Nagadevathe, or the 4-foot-tall seven-hooded serpent shrine, is believed to have been built to guard the palace treasures of the Kavaledurga fort. This fort was the last stronghold of the kings of the Keladi dynasty, who were the feudal rulers of the Vijayanagar Empire. The place is also known as a secret temple with several of these sculptures.

Photo credits: Abhishek Annamma (@abhishek.o.jacob on Instagram)

4. Ratneshwar Temple, Uttar Pradesh

India in photos: 10 unusual monuments that deserve to be on your travel list
Did you know that this temple is more inclined than the Leaning Tower of Pisa?

The Ratneshwar temple in Varanasi was built very close to the Ganges and has an inclination of nine degrees. Even the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy only tilts 4 degrees. It is also called Kashi Karvat, that is, a temple in Kashi, which leans to one side. The temple is said to have been built by a certain servant of Raja Man Singh for his mother Ratna Bai. It is believed that he started to swing backwards when he said he had repaid the debt to his mother by building this temple.

Photo credits: Erik Solheim

5. Hampi, Karnataka

India in photos: 10 unusual monuments that deserve to be on your travel list
The Glorious Chariot at Hampi.

On the rock-strewn banks of the Tungabhadra River in Karnataka lie the ruins of Hampi, home to countless architectural marvels. It is impossible to note every monument located in this place. In 1565, this metropolis was larger than that of Rome. The Hindu temple of Virupaksha, near the revived Hampi bazaar, is an important place here where a chariot is placed in front.

Photo credits: Ignatius Sandesh (@ignatius_sandesh on Instagram)

6. Toorji ka Jhalra, Rajasthan

India in photos: 10 unusual monuments that deserve to be on your travel list
Recently, a huge amount of debris was discovered there.

It is an old stepwell located in Jodhpur, the blue city of Rajasthan. It is at least 250 years old. Today it is not well maintained but people visit the place to enjoy its architecture. Interestingly, this stepwell was full of debris for decades. It was only recently emptied, cleaned and restored.

Photo credits: Pinal Jain (@wanderluststuff1993 on Instagram)

7. Kavaledurga Fort, Karnataka

India in photos: 10 unusual monuments that deserve to be on your travel list
The place is a perfect combination of history and natural beauty.

Resting on top of a hill in the middle of a dense forest, one has to climb a 5 km long hill to reach this destination. Several shrines of Virupaksha, Vijaya Vittala, Veerabhadra, Mallara and Bhuvaneshwari are housed in the fort which is a perfect blend of history and natural beauty. Beautiful views of the Sahyadri hills can be seen from the top of the fort.

Photo credits: Akshay Kulakarni

8. Jal Mahal, Rajasthan

India in photos: 10 unusual monuments that deserve to be on your travel list
There are four other floors of this mahal which are under water.

There is a picturesque palace in the middle of Man Sagar Lake in the city of Jaipur. This palace was built in 1699 and renovated by Maharaja Jai ​​Singh II of Amber in the 18th century. Constructed of red sandstone, the Mughal architecture employed in the palace is top-notch. There are five floors in this palace, four of which are under water.

Photo credits: Sanjana Bhargava

9. Adalaj ni Vav, Gujarat

India in photos: 10 unusual monuments that deserve to be on your travel list
What splendid architecture!

Built in the Solanki style of architecture, Adalaj ni Vav is a beautiful structure, descending five stories. It was built in 1499 to retain water and serve as a refuge for travellers. It is unique with three sets of entry stairs, all of which meet at the first level, on a large square platform. The stepwell was built to keep out sunlight and provide a cool refuge.

Photo credits: Vastuchitra – anupgandhe on Facebook

10. Chennakesava Temple, Karnataka

India in photos: 10 unusual monuments that deserve to be on your travel list
The temple dates back to the 12th century.

Undoubtedly, the ancient temples of Hassan district of Karnataka are an architectural marvel. The Chennakesava Temple is the epitome of the grandest examples of Hoysala architecture in the city of Belur. The temple was built by the Hoysala ruler Vishnuvardhana in the early 12th century.

Photo credits: Mahima Singh (mahima_10 on Instagram)

(Editing by Yoshita Rao)

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