India's history has seen a melting pot of different religions, rulers and empires -- all of which have left their mark on the countryside with their elaborate styles of architecture.
- Not surprisingly, the spellbinding Taj Mahal tops the list of India's best historical destinations.
- India also has some evocative, once powerful but now abandoned cities, which are architectural masterpieces. The most famous one is Fatehpur Sikri, near Agra. The incredible ruins of Hampi are just as fascinating. The state of Madya Pradesh is also full of well preserved abandoned cities, such as Orchha.
- Badami and Aihole are two places that you can see historic rock-cut cave temples and experimental architecture. However, the most impressive deserted cave temples are at Ellora and Ajanta, in Maharastra. There are also some interesting ones in Mumbai -- particularly the Elephanta Caves, and Kanheri Caves in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park.
- Cities such as Delhi and Mumbai exude history and architectural splendor -- Delhi is dotted with remnants of the Mughal rulers who once occupied the city, while Mumbai has a distinctly British influence with its grand colonial architecture.
- Rajasthan is an excellent place to marvel over immense forts, which serve as a reminder of India's tumultuous history. Find them in Chittorgarh, Bundi, Kota, Jodhpur, Jaipur, and Jaisalmer.
- The Shekhawati Region of Rajasthan, located in the triangle between Delhi, Jaipur and Bikaner, is worth a visit for anyone interested in architecture. Rajasthan's most beautifully painted havelis (mansions), constructed by the merchants of the region, can be found in this area.
- The states of Maharastra and Madhya Pradesh also have their share of forts. There are hundreds of them in Maharastra, with the most notable one at Daulatabad, near the Ellora caves. In Madhya Pradesh, head to Mandu.