India is one of the biggest countries in the world, both in terms of population and geographical extent. It also holds one of the richest and most storied civilizations the world has ever known. Here, a wide range of scenery, national monuments, traditions, and sacred places can be experienced, which could partially introduce someone to what the Indian culture and identity can really be all about. As a guide to travelers who are interested in visiting the Asian subcontinent, here are some of the most interesting landmarks that the country has to offer:
1. The Ghats of the Ganges River
In India, Ghats are known as a series of steps which lead down to a body of water, usually a river. The Ghats of the Ganges River is of immense cultural importance because it is one of the holiest places in the country and indeed, in the world. Events such as Aarti, bathing, cremation, and morning meditation occur in the area. There are currently around 85 Ghats along the river.
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2. The Taj Mahal
The ever-iconic Taj Mahal is distinctively Indian. To this date, many tourists still mistake the structure as a mansion or castle where in fact, it is a mausoleum commissioned in 1632 by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Architecturally, it a fine mix of Mughal, Persian, Ottoman Turkish, and Indian styles.
Image source: famouswonders.com
3. The Harmandir Sahib
The Harmandir Sahib is a golden temple situated in Amritsar, Punjab. It is a Sikh Gurdwara (or place of worship) and is one of the h0liest shrines in the country. Sikhs often visit this temple as a pilgrimage site. In the temple, a Holy Granth Sahib or a Sikh scripture is always present.