“Incredible India” a place with unique land of vibrant colors, rich history, and breathtaking landscape.
“Incredible India” the term simply describes our beautiful country. Be the North, South, East, or West, you will find jaw-dropping sights along with inspiring stories. India is just versatile and vivacious. There’s never a boring sight when it comes to knowing India’s history and heritage associations. India has marked its presence in the world for its rich cultural heritage.
India is a land of ancient architecture and multi-diverse culture. Many kings and countries invaded India and each of the rulers left behind many beautiful heritage sites and architecture, which is standing tall to date. Read further below to know the Top 15 Indian Heritage sites that you must visit while in India.
Top 15 Indian heritage sites to visit:
1. The Taj Mahal, Agra
It is known globally that this monument is one among the Seven Wonders of the World which is a proud moment for every Indian. This historic monument was mainly located in the former capital of the Mughal Empire which is now Agra. This masterpiece was constructed with white marble and beneath it lays the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal the wife of King Shajahan. The Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan built the beautiful monument for the reminiscence of Mumtaz Mahal his beloved wife. This monument is the icon of true love. Behind the monument flows the beautiful Yamuna River and the surrounding has a park which has rose beds all around it. This monument is marked as a “lover’s paradise” because of its beauty and structure. Several personalities across the globe have visited this mega structure. If you haven’t been here yet then it’s a must visit in your lifetime.
2. Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh
The beautiful architecture is another beautiful site. It is a group of monuments having a number of Jain and Hindu temples in chhatrapur district, Madhya Pradesh. The temple is mainly famous for its intricately carved sculptures and erotic figures and known for its Nagara style architectural symbolism.
Most parts of the structures here are made of sandstone in different shades of buff, pink, and yellow. There were a group of 85 temples constructed during the medieval period in Khanjuro of which today just 22 temples remain and the rest is ruined because of Natural Calamities. Most of the monuments were built between 950 to 1050 CE which was under the reign of the Chandella dynasty. If you turn the pages of medieval Indian history each story is surprising.
3. Hampi, Karnataka
Hampi is the most ancient civilization and structure which has renowned and has the highest number of visitors compared to any other heritage site in India. This mindblowing place is located in Karnataka and is the pride of the Kannadigas. The history behind this place is taken aback to the Holy book Ramayana, where Lord Rama and his brother Lakshman visited this place while they were looking for Sita (Wife of Lord Rama). They visited this region to take help from Vali and Sugreeva who actually ruled this place during their period. In this historic place, you will even see ‘The Sugreeva Cave’. It’s a belief that the king of monkey Sugreeva used to stay here. This is also the spot where Sita dropped her jewels when Ravan kidnapped her. The famous Golden Chariot is located here which is a chariot built using a single stone and every year the Hampi Festival is held which embarks its presence across the globe. Though most of the structures have been ruined by invaders and has withered out of age it still is as beautiful and breathtaking as it was earlier. The entire area contains several monuments and structures and one visit here is not enough to see it completely. The Hampi ruins are made in the Dravidian style of architecture and art. The Virupaksha temple is the most significant heritage in the whole area which is the temple of Lord Shiva. A lot about this place is still unknown and is buried under the sands.
4 Ajanta caves, Maharashtra
Ajanta caves comes under the consideration as one of the oldest World, and Indian Heritage Site. These caves are among the best cave monuments in India. Army Officer (British Army) discovered these beautiful caves in 1819. The caves are as old as 2nd century B.C. It is mainly a group of Buddhist caves which is located near Jalgaon in Maharashtra.
There are 30 caves in total which are separated as two groups .Among which one was present during the period of the Satavahana and the other group was later cut out during the period of the Vakataka . This site is an art and photographers favourite spot as it has the oldest structures and wall painting all made by hand.
5 Ellora Caves, Maharashtra
Ellora caves are famous for their Indian-rock cut architecture. Here you will find 34 rock-cut temples and caves which are dated to about 600 to 1000 AD., The sculptures portray the presence of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain temples.
All the different art forms and beautiful structures will talk about the history and culture of India. This beautiful Indian heritage site consists of Charanandri Hills, Hindu Buddhist, and Jain rock-cut temples, and Viharas and Maths of the 5th and 10th centuries.
6. Bodh Gaya, Bihar
This place is very special and important for the Buddhists as The Buddha attained enlightenment here. It’s located near Patna, Bihar. The Holy Bodhi Tree was the place where Siddhartha gained enlightenment and became Gautam Buddha. During Ashoka’s reign, the Mahabodhi temple was established in the year 250BC. It is one of the earliest temples of the Buddhists. The Mahabodhi temple complex holds the 50m tall building. The ancient Buddhist stupas surround the bodhi tree of Vajrayana along with the Buddha’s six sacred sites. This place is indeed serene and spiritual.
7. Sun temple, Konark, Odisha
The temple across India are all varied in their structure and architecture. Each temple has its own unique charm and the history behind it all seems like a fairy tale. The name of Konark was derived from the word” Kona” which means corner and “Arka” means sun. The temple is situated in the northeastern corner of Puri. This is a 13th-century temple with many past tales to focus on. The beautiful temple used Khondalite rocks to create this magnificent structure. It was constructed by the King Narasimhadeva I of the eastern dynasty around 1250 CE. The temple is in the form of a gigantic chariot with elaborately carved stone wheels, walls, and pillars. Kalinga architecture is one of the traditional styles from which the temple was made of. So to have a look at this structure come visit first.
8. Red Fort Complex, Delhi
The majestic Red Fort is situated in the center of the historic city of New Delhi. When Shah Jahan was shifting from Agra to Delhi this fort was built. It is a famous landmark in New Delhi. At that time the place was known as Shahjahanabad and the fort was the political hub of the Mughals. Mughal art took its flame of ablaze during the time of Shah Jahan and a perfect example of that is Red fort. The blending of Indo-Islamic, Persian, and Hindu architecture forms at The Red Fort’s is a treat to watch. It’s called “Lal Kila” in the local language which is Hindi meaning “Red” “fort” because it’s built with red sandstone. This fort till date is in use and every year the Prime minister of the country addresses his citizens on The Indian Independence Day.
9. Sanchi stupa, Madhya Pradesh
In India, Sanchi is one of the hot spots for the tourist which is located in Madhya Pradesh. This beautiful monument was under commission by the emperor Ashoka the Great in the 3rd century BCE and that states how old and ancient this stupa is. The Stupa is located on the hill, with a height of 91 m. It was present as a Buddhist learning and studying center. The Ashoka pillar with four lions which you can see in Sarnath is also present in Sanchi. This was constructed in the Greco-Buddhist style. This stupa is very significant as is a must-visit while in Madhya Pradesh India.
10. Chola Temple, Tamil Nadu
During the reign of the Chola empire these temples where built in the southern part of India. The Brihadesvara temple, Airavatesvara temple, and Gangaikonda Chola Puram are the most important among all others. During the time of Rajaraj 1 the Brihadesvara ( a avatar of Lord Shiva) temple came into existence. The architecture is undoubtedly one of a kind and is still a brain teaser to many. The temple of Gangaikonda Cholapuram was dedicated to Shiva and was patronized by Rajendra 1. During the time of Rajaraj II, Aairvatesvara Temple was built. To know more about the temple and the sanctums here all you have to do is visit this place.
11. Kaziranga Wild Life Sanctuary, Assam
If you are a wildlife enthusiast then India won’t fail to impress you as we have the world-famous The Kaziranga Wild Life sanctuary. It is a landmass that is home to many extraordinary species and is located in Assam in the northeast. This place is a rain forest and is home to the Worlds 2/3rd the Great One-horned Rhinoceroses, elephant, Tigers, Swamp Deer, Wild water buffalo, and many rare animals and birds. It is residing in the banks of the great river Brahmaputra which is the main source of survival for the animals in the landmass.
12. Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu:
We all know India ‘s majority of the population are Hindus and the major religion practiced is Hinduism. If we go back to history India’s architecture is famous for its grand temples and ancient art. So one such historic and ancient place is the group of monuments at Mahabalipuram situated in Tamil Nadu. It consists of several temples built in the ancient form of the Pallavas architecture and has The Pancha Rathas Temples, Caves Temples of Mahabalipuram, Ganesh Ratha, Structural Temples including the shore Temple, and the Olakkannesvara Temple and the Descent of the Ganges.
13. Sundarbans National Park, West Bengal
This beautiful place is famous for Royal Bengal Tiger. The place is known for its Tiger Reserve and a Biosphere Reserve location in West Bengal. This is one of the largest reserves in India and this mainly covers dense Mangrove forests. Go for a night safari when you visit this place. You will even see dolphins and other mammals. This park is home to many tigers and is the pride of India. In this reserve, you will even see saltwater crocodile and the tiger population is maximum in this location.
14. Humayun’s Tomb, New Delhi
If you want to know the history of this site in brief then read further. Begum bega was the first wife of Humayun and this site was built in her name. During the time of 1565-1572., this monument came under several restoration works and was completed. It is basically a complex of tomb having many small monuments including Khan Niyazi’s tomb and also the tomb of Sher Shah Suri who was an Afghan noble of the Suri dynasty.
15. Jantar Mantar, Jaipur, Rajasthan
Jantar Mantar is one of the Indian heritage sites which was built in 18th century Rajasthan. It is mainly an astronomical observatory. Rajput King Sawai Jai Singh of Rajasthan created it in the year 1738. It consists of 19 astronomical instruments which even includes the world’s largest stone Sundial. All the instruments are manmade without using any machine. If you look back at history then India had many astronomer and astrologists who mastered the art of reading time and the planets.
The observatory consists of different tools that were mainly under the use to calculate the horizon-zenith local network, celestial coordinate system, the equatorial system, and the ecliptic system. This is one of the best examples of scientific as well as the cultural heritage of India and is the best-preserved observatories. There are in total 4 major observatories in India with the same name built in the same era and all of these are preserved even till today.
These are some of the best Indian heritage sites which come under selection by the United Nations Educational Scientific and cultural organization (UNESCO).
If you are planning to visit India then definitely visit a few of these sites each time you come. I am sure you will go back with lots of knowledge and memories.