Top Ten Perplexing Architectures of India

India is one of the world’s earliest urban civilizations. Many ancient monuments, forts and temples, of every time period, are found here. Some of them are way too marvelous and mysterious they will make you wonder about the architectural technologies used by ancient India.
The Top Ten
1 Iron Pillar of Delhi

Iron Pillar located in, the heart of India, Delhi is well known for its rust-resistance composition of the metals used in its construction. It is 7.21m in height and buried 93cm below the present ground level. It has a diameter of 41cm. It is made of 98% wrought iron and considered to be 7 tons of pure quality. The iron pillar dates back even further than the ruined Quwwat-ul Mosque, which surrounds it.
The iron pillar was forged about 1,600 years ago and moved to Delhi nearly 1,000 years ago, but no one seems to have a proper answer as to why and who moved this pillar to Delhi, and yet, leaving everyone bewildered, it has avoided corrosion from the rains, winds and temperature fluctuation over all these centuries. Even in the 21 st century only four foundries in the world could built such a large pillar but none would be able to keep it rust-free.

2 Arrow Pillar at Somnath Temple

The Somnath Temple is a symbol of Indian conviction and its rich cultural heritage. The temple has been destroyed by Mahmud Ghazni in 1024, Khilji’s Army in 1296, Muzaffar Shah in 1375, Mahmud Begada in 1451, and Aurangzeb in 1665, only to be rebuilt over and over again. For this reason, it is also known as "The Shrine Eternal."

In the 7th century, the Somnath Temple was reconstructed by the Maitraka Kings of Vallabhi. Thus, this temple is believed to have been built for the first time at some unknown time way back in the past.

The Arrow Pillar, also known as Baan Stambh, is erected on the sea protection wall at the Somnath Temple. An inscription in the Sanskrit language can be found on this Arrow Pillar, which mentions that it stands at a point on the Indian Landmass that happens to be the first point on land in the North to the South Pole on that particular longitude. It is a fact that the temple is situated at such a place that there is not even a single piece of land between the Somnath sea-shore and Antarctica, the South Pole. The perfect positioning of the Somnath Temple at that time, without any cartography or any other means which can describe the exact position of the South Pole, is still a mystery.

3 Konark Sun Temple

A symbol of India’s heritage, Konark Sun Temple, is a marvelous architecture of 13 th century, built by King Narsimhadeva of Eastern Ganga Dynasty, over a period of 12 years by 12,000 artisans. The temple is dedicated to, as one can presume from its name, Sun God and shaped like a giant chariot with exquisite stone carvings that cover the entire structure.
The biggest attraction of the Temple is 12 pairs (total 24) of gorgeously decorated wheels at the base of the chariot, two of which can also be used as sundials. The accuracy of each of these sundials is down to the minute. Imagine how much time and coordination would have happened between the astronomers, engineers and sculptors to create something like these 750 years ago.
The other 22 wheels are also supposed to be sundials, but how to use them is still a mystery.

4 Hanging Pillar of Lepakshi

One of the many mysteries of India is the Hanging Pillar of Veerabhadra Temple in Lepakshi. The Temple is said to have built in 1583AD, by brothers Virupanna and Veeranna. Out of the 70 pillars of the stone Temple, a particular pillar, known as Hanging Pillar, stands out as a triumphant masterpiece of architecture.
There is very slight gap between the ground and the hanging Pillar, though it is noticeable, people can be seen passing newspaper, handkerchief or any other stuff through the pillar to confirm what they have just seen. Archaeological survey of India has proven that this pillar was not constructed as a mistake, but was built intentionally to prove the brilliance of the builders of the time.
The pillar is so much mysterious, consequently a British engineer tried to shift its position just to find out the secret of its support. Though, it was a futile effort but it dislodged the pillar a bit, from its initial position.

5 Musical Pillars of Vittala Temple

The Vittala temple in Hampi is an ancient masterpiece of stone art. It is a monument of unmatched craftsmanship. The carvings of beautiful dancing girls, birds and animals built into the stone almost come to life under the touch of one’s hand. Its most famed segment is the fascinating and incomparable Musical Pillars.
There are 56 Musical Pillars, also known as SAREGAMA pillars, in a big hall, also known as Ranga Mantapa, of the Temple. The musical notes are emanated when the pillars are tapped gently. There are a set of main pillars and several sets of minor pillars. Every main pillar, supporting the roof of the main Temple, represents a musical instrument. Every main pillar is surrounded by seven musical minor pillars. These seven pillars produce seven notes from the representative instruments such as Sitar, Sankha and other strings. These pillars manifest India’s rich legacy of science.
The pillars even drew the attention of the Britishers. The curiosity of this unique stone art made them to cut two of the pillars to check the science behind these pillars, but all they found was hollow space.

6 Brihadeeshwarar Temple

Brihadeeshwarar Temple is the tallest Temple in India, standing at 216 feet, and the first complete granite temple in the world. Though the absence of granite quarries within a 50 mile radius of the Temple require logistics of epic proportions to get the stone to the construction site. The granites are the strongest stones in the world and it is definitely not an easy task to cut and carve the granite stones. We can’t even imagine how this would have made possible in those days without any special equipment. The biggest mystery about the Temple is the huge capstone on the top of the Temple tower. The capstone, carved out of single granite stone, weighs 80 tons. The astonishment about the capstone is how come the builders of that time period were able to place the 80 tons capstone to a height of 216 feet. There were no cranes or any other equipments used in those days to do these works, as the Temple is said to be 1,000 years old.

7 Sri Nandeeshwara Temple, Malleswaram

The ancient Nandeeshwara Temple of Malleswaram was discovered only a couple of decades ago, but it have stood there for 7,000 years. Being buried for all these years, the Temple was then excavated by the archaeological survey of India.
Its biggest mystery is the Nandi Statue, placed at the far end of the stone cut courtyard supported by ancient stone pillars, carved out of a black stone with eyes painted in gold. From its mouth a clear stream of water flows directly on to a Shivalinga made out of the same black stone at a lower level.
Though there are various controversies, but the source of the water flowing out of the Nandi’s mouth is still not known. One of the theories says it can be a natural fresh water spring that emerges from under the Temple and channeled to flow out through the Nandi.
Whatever the source of the water, this Temple is an example of the marvelous ancient hydraulic engineering.

8 Sri Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple

Gavi Gangadhareshwara Temple, also known as Gavipuram Cave Temple, is an excellent example of Indian rock-cut architecture, situated in Bangalore. It was built by Kempe Gowda, the founder of the city, in the 16 th century. But some theories believe that the Temple was built in 9 th century even when the city was not founded.
This Temple is a proof of the technical excellence of the ancient architects of India. On the auspicious occasion of festival Makara Sankranti, celebrated on 14 th of January, which marks the entry of the Sun into the zodiac sign of Capricorn, the Temple experiences a huge influx of devotees, eager to witness the headlining celestial event.
On this special day, the evening sunrays passes through an arc between the horns of the idol of Nandi (Bull, the vehicle of Lord Shiva) and falls directly on the Shivalinga (the idol of Lord Shiva) inside the cave and illuminating the interior idol. This annual, ephemeral phenomenon is called Sun Bath. Behind this architecture lies a tale of scientific knowledge, architectural prowess and some intriguing local history.

9 Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple

The earliest reference to Padmanabhaswamy Temple in historical literature was in 500BD. Other than the world's richest Hindu Temple and the mysterious doors, Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Kerala, is also prominent for the marvelous accuracy of its architecture.

The Temple's Gopuram (tower) is designed with such accuracy that during summer equinox, the sun goes down exactly through the middle of the Gopuram with the golden rays radiating out through the window-like square space on the middle of Gopuram. It's an absolute must see miracle that's so well constructed. An architectural marvel indeed, especially for those jaded-minded ones who believe that only modern technology can produce such amazing feats.

10 Gravity Defying Palace, Lucknow

An architectural marvel, the Bara Imambara a.k.a. the Gravity Defying Palace, is one of the grandest buildings of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. Constructed ages back in 1784 by the fourth Nawab, Barak Imambara Asaf-Ud-Daula, the construction of this palace brings together an Arabic and European architectural brilliance.

The strange, at the same time wonderful, thing about this massive palace lies in its architecture. The superlative central arched hall is almost 50 meters long and about three stories high without any support of pillars or beams. The entire hall was constructed merely on interlocking brick-work. It is the largest unsupported construction in the world, which was built without using any metal and wood.

The halls of this world's largest arched constructions has 'Bhool Bhulaiya' labyrinth of passage, which is made of more than 1,000 narrow staircase passages. It is, however, said to be dangerous to venture into the maze without the help of guide. The reason being, the propensity of getting lost in the maze is quite obvious there.

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