YD News | Indian Monuments Built By Women in History | Three-minute read
India features a number of historic monuments and constructions that are well-known for their architectural beauty and rich socio-cultural past. While we admire the grandeur of these structures all around the country, we frequently overlook the tales behind them.
Hundreds of examples of powerful male monarchs paying honor to their loved ones through monuments may be found throughout history. There is, however, a list of notable historical monuments and structures erected by women.
Here are nine such jewels that continue their legacy and the stories behind them:
Indian Monuments Built By Women:
Virupaksha Temple, Pattadakal
The Virupaksha Temple is the largest and most elaborate of the monuments at Pattadakal. It is a complex of Hindu and Jain temples in Karnataka’s Bagalkot district. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva. Queen Lokamahadevi built it in the 8th century to commemorate her husband Vikramaditya II’s victory against the Pallavas.
The Virupaksha Temple is sometimes referred to as the ‘Lokeshwara Temple,’ after the queen who built it.
Itmad Ud Daulah, Agra
Agra is known for the Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in loving memory of his wife Mumtaz. However, there are a few other lesser-known monuments in Agra that are worth a visit.
Itmad Ud Daulah’s tomb is one of those sites that merit all of your attention. It is thought to be the original inspiration for the Taj Mahal. The tomb of Itmad Ud Daulah is commonly known as the ‘Baby Taj Mahal,’. It was built between 1622 and 1628 by Nur Jahan. She built it in the honor of her father Mirza Ghiyas Beg. He was also known as Itmad Ud Daulah because he served as the Mughal Emperor Akbar’s lord treasurer.
Rani Ki Vav, Patan
Situated in Patan, Gujarat, Rani ki Vav is a beautiful specimen of the Maru-Gujara style of architecture. It is built on the banks of the Saraswati River and is hailed for displaying the pinnacle of craftsmanship in stepwell construction. It has been designed as an inverted temple and is divided into seven levels with panels carrying intricate sculptures.
Rani Ki Vav was constructed by Rani Udaymati in the 11th century in memory of her husband, King Bhima 1, of the Solanki dynasty, which existed between 950 and 1300 CE.
Mohinishwara Shivalay Temple, Gulmarg
The Mohinishwara Shivalay Temple, also known as the Maharani Shankar Temple, is located in the heart of Gulmarg, Kashmir. This temple, located on a small hill with a backdrop of beautiful snow-clad mountains, was built in 1915 by Maharani Mohini Bai Sisodia, the wife of the then-Kashmir king, Raja Hari Singh of the Dogra dynasty. The temple is constructed in such a way that it can be seen from every angle in Gulmarg.
Mirjan Fort, Kumta (Indian Monuments Built By Women)
This monument in Karnataka’s Uttar Kannada district is known for its remarkable architectural elegance and is located on the banks of the Aghanashini River. This historic monument, known to have witnessed several battles in the past, is thought to have been built in the 16th century by Queen Chennabhairadevi of Gersoppa, also known as the pepper queen of India.
The Queen, who stayed in the Mirjan fort, used it as a shipping point for pepper as well as a place to conduct business. Belonging to the Tuluva-Saluva clan, she ruled as queen of Gersoppa for 54 years under the Vijayanagara Empire.
Mahim Causeway, Mumbai (Indian Monuments Built By Women)
The Mumbai Mahim Causeway was built between 1841 and 1846 to connect the island of Salsette with Mahim. The area between the two islands was swampy and dangerous, and many people died while taking ferries between Mahim and Bandra, highlighting the need for a causeway. When the British East India Company refused to fund the project, Lady Avabai Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy, wife of the first baronet Sir Jamsetjeebhoy, donated Rs 1, 57,000 to construct a causeway. The Mahim Causeway later became, and continues to be, an important lifeline for Mumbai.
Lal Darwaza Masjid, Jaunpur (Indian Monuments Built By Women)
In 1447, Rajye Bibi, the queen of Sultan Mahmud Sharqi, built this mosque on the outskirts of Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh, and dedicated it to Saint Sayyid Ali Dawood Kutubuddin. Though the design and architectural style of Lal Darwana Masjid is similar to that of Atala Masjid, it is smaller in size. The mosque was named after the vermilion-painted gateway of Queen Bibi Rajye’s royal palace, which stood next to it (‘Lal Darwaza Masjid’ or Ruby Gate mosque).
The Queen was also known for establishing Jamia Hussainia, a religious school near the Lal Darwaza in Jaunpur that still exists today.
Also read, Best places to visit in Varanasi
Khayr al-Manazil, Delhi (Indian Monuments Built By Women)
Situated in New Delhi, this historical mosque was built in 1561. Maham Anga, one of Emperor Akbar’s nurses and an influential woman in his court, built it. A fine piece of Mughal architecture, the mosque is a two-storied structure. It is built around a large rectangular courtyard with a prayer hall on the west side. One of the highlights of this mosque is the massive gateway built using red sandstone.
Humayun’s tomb, Delhi (Indian Monuments Built By Women)
The tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun in Delhi is the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent. After the death of the Mughal emperor Humayun in 1556, Hamida Banu Begum (also known as Haji Begum) commissioned the tomb in 1569. It is considered a landmark in the development of Mughal architecture. This grand red sandstone mausoleum was designed by a Persian architect named Mīrak Mīrzā Ghiyās. The experts believe that this tomb has inspired many monuments including the Taj Mahal.
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