The most famous buildings in India: From ancient wonders to modern marvels (part 1)

If you’ll boil India’s architecture right down to one word or phrase, what wouldn’t it be? Dynamic? Melting pot? Overwhelming? Complex?

It are often all those things and more. From historic houses of worship to modern marvels reflecting the country’s rising global status, India’s architecture exactly demonstrates where it is.

Here are India’s most famous buildings from the most historically and culturally rich places on Earth.

The Lake Palace

Now home to at least one of India’s most luxurious hotels, the Lake Palace are often found within the middle of Udaipur’s Lake Pichola. The Lake Palace’s gleaming white marble looks as if it’s floating on the surfaceof the lake.

Did you know? If you are a Bond fan, you would possibly recognize the palace from the 1983 movie “Octopussy.”

Konark Sun Temple

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Konark Sun Temple (sometimes spelled Konarak) may be a superb example of Indian temple architecture.

Dedicated to the Hindu sun god Surya, the temple faces east to greet the rising sun, whose rays illuminate the doorway. It had been designed within the shape of giant chariot, pulled by seven stone horses (only six of which still stand) and 12 pairs of wheels, symbolizing the times of every week and therefore the months during a year.

Its main sanctum is believed to possess once stood at 70 meters (229 feet) tall, though it’s since fallen. Despite lying partial in ruins, the temple remains considered a superb example of the region’s so-called Kalinga architecture.

Did you know? The temple is decorated with reliefs including lions, birds, mythological creatures, dancers, musicians, and even erotica.

Taj Mahal Palace Hotel

The regal Taj Mahal Palace hotel is one among Mumbai’s most iconic structures.

The project was started by two Indian architects and completed by an English engineer so it’s an attractive union of European and Islamic architectural influences.

Standout features include so-called “onion” domes and an arch borrowed from 16th-century Islamic architecture. The hotel, which has hosted celebrities and politicians from the Beatles to Barack Obama, features a further modern tower completed in 1973.

Did you know? The hotel features a storied but tragic history. It had been used as a hospital during war I and, in 2008, was the location of a deadly terror attack.