Towns Places of Historical Importance

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Ancient Places in India

Ahichhatra : Originally Ahikshetra in Bareilly district of Uttar Pradesh was once the capital of Panchalas.

Aihole : Situated in Karnataka contains chief sites of Chalukyan architecture — nearly 50 structural stone temples.

Ajanta Caves

Situated 66 miles north of Aurangabad in Maharashtra State. These are rock – cut Buddhist caves. These caves represent a record of unique painting, sculpture and architecture of the period from about the 2nd century B.C. to about 7th century A.D.

Amaravati : A historical site near modern Vijaywada, believed to have flourished under the Satavahana dynasty.

Arikamedu : It was a seaport near Pondicherry during Chola times.

Ayodhya : Situated in modern Faizabad ( UP ), was capital of the Kosala. Birth place of Lord Rama.

Badami ( or Vatapi ) : Situated in Karnataka is well known for Chalukyan sculpture found in the cave temples here. These are groups of Hindu temples dating back to 7th or 8th century and are examples of pure Dravidian architecture.

Bodh Gaya : It is situated six miles south of Gaya in Bihar State. It is famous as the place where Buddha got enlightenment.

Belur : Situated in Karnataka is famous for its elaborately sculptured Cheena Kesava temple of the Hoysala period.

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Bhubaneswar : Situated in Orissa and is known for ancient temples viz., Rajarani, Lingraja, Brahmesvara.

Chidambaram : A town 150 miles south of Chennai was once the capital of the Chola kingdom. Its temples are among the oldest in India and are gems of Dravidian architecture. It is famous as the abode of Natraja, the Dancing Siva.

Elephanta Caves : Situated on the island of the same name about 6 miles from Mumbai harbour are rock – cut caves of the 7th and 8th century.

Ellora Caves : Situated about 15 miles north west of Aurangabad in Maharashtra State are about 34 caves excavated in the face of a hill.

Halebid : Situated in Karnataka, 10 miles from Belur, is well – known for its elaborately sculptured temples of the Hoysala period. The monuments rank among the masterpieces of Hindu art.

Harappa : Situated in Montgomery district of Punjab, now in West Pakistan, is known for excavations carried out here showing signs of Indus Valley Civilization.

Junagadh : Situated in Gujarat State is one of the most ancient cities of India. It is situated below the Girnar Hill. The temples on the Hill are known for their architecture and paintings.

Kalibangan : Situated in Rajasthan where recent excavations brought to light the varied achievements of Indus Valley Civilization – town planning and use of burnt bricks.

Kanauj : It was the Capital of Harshavardhan.

Kanchipuram : Situated 45 miles south – west of Chennai is known for Kailashnath temple. It was the capital of successive dynasties of Hindu rulers.

Kapilvastu : A small ancient kingdom in the north of India, associated with Mahatma Buddha.

Khajuraho : In Chhattarpur in Madhya Pradesh is famous for its group of highly ornate mediaeval Hindu temples.

Kusinagar : In the district of modern Gorakhpur, is the place where Buddha died.

Lothal : Ancient town, situated on the sea – plain of former Saurashtra, 450 miles south – east of Mohenjo – Daro. The excavation made here represent the Indus Valley Civilization.

Mamallapuram ( now Mahabalipuram ) : Situated 53 miles from Chennai, it is known for rock – cut temples, monolithic figures and carvings of the 7th and 8th centuries A.D.

Mithila : was the home of the three scholar sages – Gargi, Maitreya and Kapila. It was the capital town of Raja Janak’s territory.

Madurai : popularly known as the “City of Festivals”, was till the 14th century the capital of the Pandyan kingdom which had sea – borne trade with Rome and Greece. It is famous for Minakshi temple.

Mohenjo – daro : In the Larkana district of Sind ( now in Pakistan ) is the site of excavation revealing pre – Aryan Indus Valley Civilization.

Nalanda : In Bihar was the seat of an ancient Buddhist University. It contains a group of Buddhist temples and monasteries.

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Patan ( or Som Nath ) : In Gujarat State is the site of the famous Som Nath temple which was destroyed by Mahmud Ghazni.

Pragjyotishpur : It was the capital of an ancient tribal kingdom in Kamarupa or modern Assam. ( It is the new capital of Assam State ).

Rajgir : 8 miles south – west of Nalanda by road is an important place of pilgrimage for Buddhists. It was the capital of Bimbisara in ancient times. The Buddha preached at Rajgir, and so did Mahavir, the great preceptor of the Jains.

Sanchi : In Madhya Pradesh is famous for the largest and the most well – preserved Buddhist Stupa ( 108 – foot in diameter and 42 – foot in height ).

Sarnath : Near Varanasi is the place where the Buddha delivered his first sermon after he became the “Enlightened One”. The place is known for Buddhist temples and remains.

Seringapatam : Its in Karnataka was the ancient capital of Tipu Sultan.

Sravanabelgola : Karnataka is famous for its Jain temples and the colossal statue of Gomateswara – 65 – f oot high erected in A.D. 983, the tallest monolithic in the world.

Srirangam : An island on the Cauvery river two miles north of Tiruchirapalli. It contains one of the largest temples in south India of the Vijayanagar period.

Tamralipti : A flourishing sea port in ancient India.

Tanjore : It was the capital of Cholas. It is situated in the delta of the Cauvery in Tamil Nadu. Also known for Brihadeeswara temple.

Taxila : Ancient capital of Gandhara and one of the most renowned cities of ancient north west India.

Tirupati : In Andhra State, situated about 100 miles to the north – west of Chennai is one of the holiest places in South India. This hill temple of Sri Venkateswara is an example of early Dravidian architecture and is one of the finest in the south.

Ujjain : It is known to be the seat of king Vikrama, is situated on the Sipra in Madhya Pradesh. It is one of the seven sacred cities also known as Avanti. Mahakaleshwar temple here is known as a pilgrimage centre.

Vikramasila

was a great Tantrik University established by the Pala King Dharampala in AD 810. It was a hotbed of moral corruption, sorcery and idolatry. In AD 1198, the soldiers of Ikhtiar Khilji razed the structure to the ground and killed all the monks in the university.

Vaishali : Modern Besarch in the district of Muzzaffarpur in Bihar. It was the capital of the famous Vaishali clan in ancient India.

Kanyakumari : It is situated in Tamil Nadu and is famous for temple ( the virgin goddess ) . It is situated at Cape Comorin on the extreme southern tip of India where the Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean meet. It is also a picturesque spot which is frequented by tourists. Also famous for Vivekanand Rock Memorial, where Swami Vivekanand meditated.

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Town Places of Historical Importance

Important Modern Historical Places

Tamilnadu Historical Places

Aranthangi Fort

Aranthangi is the second largest town in Pudukkottai district. Aranthangi was the most populous locality in the south of the Thanjavur district till it was added to Pudukkottai.

A Peculiar Feature

There is a unique feature about this fort; the walls are not constructed of brick or stone. Large interstices are filled with mud. There are no ruins of palaces or any other striking building inside.

No indications are found about the history of the fort, but a line of ‘Tondaimans’ indicates that they built the fort. Little is known about the time of the Tondaimans, a lineage of feudal chieftains who controlled this Aranthangi region of India from the 15th to the 18th century AD.

Arjuna’s Penance

Arjuna’s Penance, perhaps the world’s largest bas – relief, is the universe itself in stone, throbbing with a vastness of conception. Legend has it that King Bhagiratha had to bring down to earth the celestial Ganga to sanctify and redeem the cursed souls of his ancestors. But the river in its torrential spree would deluge the earth, and so he had to undergo a penance to propitiate Shiva who finally received the flood in his matted locks and let it flow down.

This was a sight for the world’s creatures to see and they gathered round. The cleft in the rock depicts the descent of Ganga, a theory supported by the ruins of a stone water tank on the hill. There is a forest with tribal people and all forms of fauna, just as they would appear in their habitat. Women clothed in an aura of amazing grace, a rich inner beauty transfiguring the plainest of them. The whole scene has a dimension of humor too. Just a positioned against the ascetic is a cat doing rigorous penance too, eyes firmly shut, even to the delectable mice scampering around within easy reach.

Bharathiyar Illam

The greatest Tamil poets, Subramanya Bharathi ( also spelt as Bharti ) was born in Ettayapuram ( around 600 – km from Chennai ), in 1882. He was skilled enough to write verse even at the early age of seven.

The last years of his life were spent in a house in Triplicane, Chennai. This house was bought and renovated by the Government of Tamil Nadu in 1993 and named ‘Bharathiyar Illam’ ( Home of Bharathiyar ). It is a must – see place for those eager to know more about one of the greatest Indian poets ever. It was opened to public on 2nd October 1993.

The house takes us back to the life and times of Mahakavi Bharathi. Photographs of Bharathiyar, his family, and his friends are displayed here. His hand written verses are framed and displayed. There is also a letter from Mahatma Gandhi ( in Tamil ) to mark the occasion of the opening of Bharathiyar Mani Mandapam in Ettayapuram, in 1947. Bharathiyar’s letters to his friend Nellaiappar are also displayed.

Kamaraj Memorial House

Built in the memory of Shri Kamaraj, the late chief minister of Tamil Nadu, Kamaraj Memorial House is now a permanent gallery that showcases photographs and personal effects of Kamaraj who rose out of poverty to become the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu ( elected to the post thrice ).

Kamaraj Memorial House was inaugurated on 15th July 1978, by the then Chief Minister M.G Ramachandran. On the ground floor is the bedroom of this bachelor, whose austere living comes across so clearly in the plain furniture that occupies the room. Leaning over the railings, one can spot yellowed volumes of ‘Lok Sabha Debates’, ‘100 Modern Lives’, ‘Churchill’ and ‘Doctor Zhivago’ amongst the books lined up in the well – stocked library.

Obviously, having to discontinue his schooling did not stop him from becoming a well – read man. The Black and White photographs that adorn the walls of the dining hall cover Kamaraj’s life across all stages – Kamaraj at the age of five, in his youth, in middle age and in the final years.

Panchalankurichi and Kattabomman Memorial Fort

Panchalankurichi, is a small but historic village around 70km from Tirunelveli and18 km from Tuticorin. From here the great warrior Katta Bomman popularly known as ‘Veerapandiya Kattabomman’ raised his voice against the British regime in the 17th Century A.D.

Kerala Historical Places

Ambalavayal Museum

The Ambalavayal Heritage Museum, the archaeological museum in Wayanad, – has one of Kerala’s largest collections of the remnants of an era dating back to the 2nd century A.D. The exhibits here are evidences of an advanced civilisation that existed in the mountains of Wayanad.

Anchunthengu Fort

The historic remains of the Anchunthengu Fort in Thiruvananthapuram built by the English East India Company in the 17th century, and an adjoining cemetery are noteworthy relics of this first major British trading station on the Malabar coast.

Archaeological Museum

The Archaeological Museum was until recently accommodated in the Thrissur Town Hall building. Now it has been shifted to the Kollengode Palace, an architectural delight.

Bastion Bunglow

Built in the Indo – European style way back in 1667 AD, Bastion Bungalow get its name from its position on the site of the Stromberg Bastion of the old, Dutch fort.

Chacha Nehru Children’s Museum

Chacha Nehru Children’s Museum, Chacha Nehru Children’s Museum historical, Chacha Nehru Children’s Museum travel

This museum, established in 1980, is named subsequent to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who is remembered for his immense love for children.

Historical Places of Delhi

Abdul Nabi’s Mosque

Historical Construction of a Landmark Qutab – ud – din Aibak, the first Muslim ruler of Delhi, commenced the construction of the Qutab Minar in 1200 AD, but could only finish the basement. His successor, Iltutmush, added three more storeys, and in 1368, Firoz Shah Tughlak constructed the fifth and the last storey. The development of architectural styles from Aibak to Tughlak are quite evident in the minar. The relief work and even the materials used for construction differ.

Qutub Minar of Delhi was constructed in 1192 by Qutab – ud – din Aibak, the founder of Slave family and later finished by his son – in – law and successor Iltutmish. The elevated tower of Qutub Minar of Delhi is made out of brick tile and sandstones. Qutub Minar is a beautiful example of Indo – Islamic Afghan architecture.

Gandhi Memorial Museum

The origin of this Museum goes back to the period soon after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi on the fateful evening of January 30, 1948, when the slow process of scouting for, collecting and preserving the personal relics, manuscripts, books,

India Gate

India Gate, an “Arc – de – Triomphe” likes Archway in the middle of a crossroad. Almost similar to its French counterpart war memorial.

Red Fort

The Red Fort, One of the most spectacular pieces of Mughal structural design is the Lal Quila or the Red Fort. Built by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan between 1638 and 1648, the Red Fort has walls extending up to 2 kms.

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