Thought the iconic Taj Mahal was the only adobe to love in India? Well, thankfully, India has much more to describe love in physical form. The seventeenth-century marvel built by Shah Jahan for his wife Mumtaz Mahal surely has a special place in our hearts but ignoring other marvels made especially to quote love just for the fact that they aren’t a world wonder, like the Taj, would be unfair.
So to not let other wonders feel deprived of the love deserve, herein we five monuments that are also monuments of love like the Taj.
Rani Ki Vav, Gujarat
Erected in the eleventh century, Rani Ki Vav is considered as one of the most unique step wells in the world. The same was built by Queen Udayamati as a memorial to her husband, King Bhimadeva I. The UNESCO world heritage site in its ruined form homes large images of Vishnu and Parvati, among others which number to around 400.
The site, which is located on the banks of the Parvati river, used to be flooded with the water that the river carries resulting in it being covered with mud, which reeks out the real essence of the same. For of course, it is a well.
Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi
Humayun Tomb is one of the most visited tourist spots in India and is often quoted as the inspiration that inspired the architect of the Taj and other Mughal monuments in the country. Again a UNESCO world heritage site, the same was built between 1569 and 1571 by Humayun’s first wife Bega Begum — also known as Hajji Begum — as a final resting place for him, almost 15 years after his death.
Bega Begum, Humayun’s first cousin, was once, during a journey, was held captive by Sher Shah Suri. On being aware of the same, Humayun reached out to rescue her, which really touched the Begum. She then personally supervised the construction of the iconic tomb.
Virupaksha and Mallikarjuna temples, Karnataka
Virupaksha and Mallikarjuna temples were built in the 740s to mark the victory of the Vikramaditya II over the Pallavas at Kanchipuram thrice. The temples were built by sister queens of Vikramaditya II — Haihaya princesses Lokamahadevi and Trailokyamahadevi.
Love is displayed in the iconography both temples has to offer to its visitors. This include carvings of the couples on the walls of the temples as well as positioning of the two fat dwarves—Padmanidhi and Sankhanidhi — in niches at the entrance hall to the Virupaksha temple.
Tomb of Abdur Rahim Khan-i-Khana, Delhi
Long before the Taj Mahal was built, Abdur Rahim Khan-i-Khana built a tomb for his wife, Mah Banu, in 1598. Rahim was a poet in Akbar’s court and also a commander and one of the Navratnas. Rahim, who had also composed poems on Krishna, was buried at the same place in 1627.
The tomb design takes inspiration from both Mughal and Hindu monuments such as the swastika and peacocks.
Bibi ka Maqbara, Maharashtra
Known as the Tomb of the Deccan, this monument was built in memory of Aurangzeb’s first wife, Dilras Banu Begum. Who built this site is still a mystery due to two different claims. The official ASI board in front of the monument credits the construction to their son Azam Khan.
However, the writer Rafa Qureshi claims that the construction of the maqbara was initiated in 1653 when Azam Khan was only 4 years old so he couldn’t have had commissioned the construction. Nevertheless, Mohammed Azam later became the governor of Deccan in 1680, when he undertook intensive renovation work of the makbara. The site is celebrated for Aurangzeb’s love for his wife.