World Heritage Sites in India
India is a land of beautiful people, diverse cultures and rich heritage. India is the largest democratic country in the world where its citizens follow different religion, speak different languages and have different lifestyles but have one nationality. India is a nation where people celebrate various festivals regardless of their religion. The major festivals in India are Holi, Diwali, Id-Ul-Fitr, Id-Ul Zuha, Ganesh Utsav, Janamashtami, Christmas, Guru Purab, Ramnavmi, Rakshabandhan etc.
India is well known for its heritage, beauty and royal past all across the world. The heritage destinations of India are the most visited tourist destinations. The well maintained heritage sites attract tourists not only form India but across the world. Some of these destinations are listed in UNESCO’s world heritage sites. These heritage destinations are the proof of India’s rich and royal historical past.
These historical sites have always been on “Must Visit Destinations” list and exploring these destinations is an experience of a lifetime. The famous heritage destinations of India include The Majestic Taj Mahal & Agra Fort of Uttar Pradesh, The Ajanta & Ellora caves of Maharashtra, Khajuraho Temples of Madhya Pradesh, The Red Fort & Qutub mianr of Delhi.
Some Heritage Destinations in India:
The Taj Mahal, Uttar Pradesh :
I guess no one in the world is unaware of this Monument of Love. This monument has found a place in the Seven Wonders of the World. Taj Mahal was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his beloved wife Mumtaj Mahal. Thus the Monument was also named after her name. The monument was constructed by 20,000 workers and took about 16 years to complete. The white marble which was used to build Taj Mahal was brought from the quarries of Makrana, in Nagaur district of Rajasthan. Over 1000 elephants were used to transport the big rocks of white marbled used in construction. 28 kind of rare & semi precious and precious stones were used to decorate the ineer inlay of Taj Mahal. The central dome of Taj Mahal is 187 feet high at the centre. May people say that after the completion of Taj Mahal Shah Jahan ordered amputation of the hands of all the workers. So that nobody is able to construct a monument like this again on this earth.
The Ajanta & Ellora caves, Maharashtra :
Ajanta and Ellora are the pride of Maharashtra, India. The rock-cut caves of both these sites are world famous and illustrate the degree of skill and artistry that Indian craftsmen had achieved several hundred years ago. Ajanta dates from 100 B.C. while Ellora is younger by some 600 years. The village of Ajanta is in the Sahyadri hills, about 99 kms. From Aurangabad; a few miles away in a mammoth horseshoe-formed rock, are 30 caves overlooking a gorge, each forming a room in the hill and some with inner rooms. Al these have been carved out of solid rock with little more than a hammer and chisel and the faith and inspiration of Buddhism. Here, for the Buddhist monks, the artisans excavated Chaityas (chapels) for prayer and Viharas (monasteries) where they lived and taught. Many of the caves have the most exquisite detailed carvings on the walls, pillars and entrances as well as magnificent wall paintings. Ajanta and Ellora has formed an epicenter of interest for those who appreciate and are eager to know more about Indian history and art.
Khajuraho Temples of Madhya Pradesh :
The Heart of India is Madhya Pradesh, and the hearth of Madhya Pradesh is Khajuraho. Khajuraho is an example of rich cultural heritage of India. Khajuraho is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Khajuraho is one of the best tourist destinations famous for its sculptures, temples and architecture. The realistic sculptures of the temples are famous world wide. These temples were built during the Chandela Empire. Most of the temples depict the lifestyle of a woman in medieval age. They represent life in 11th century. The Sculptures of Khajuraho are an example of a highly matured civilization. These temples were constructed in between 950 – 1050 A.D. The name Khajuraho came from the tree “Khajur” (the date palm tree) which is found in good number in this region. Now there are only 22 temples left after the natural calamities. Prior there were a total of 85 temples at Khajuraho.
Agra Fort :
The Agra Fort is a UNESCO’s world heritage site in Agra. The fort is also known as Red Fort of Agra, Lal Qila and Fort Rouge. It is about 2.5 km away from the Majestic Taj Mahal. The Agra Fort is the most important fort in India as the great Mughal emperors like Babur, Humayun, Akbar, Jehangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb lived here and governed the country. Not many of us know that in the second expansion pack for “Age of Empires 3, the Asian Dynasties”, Agra fort is one of five wonders for the Indian civilization to advance to the next age. Once built, it sends player a shipment of coin. In the game “Rise of Nations” the Red Fort can be built by players as a wonder.
The Red Fort, New Delhi :
The Red fort of Delhi is became UNESCO’s world Heritage site in the year 2007. It is popularly known as Lal Quilla. The construction of Red fort was started in 1638 by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan and was completed in 1648. The Red Fort was originally referred to as “Qila-i-Mubarak” (the blessed fort), because it was the residence of the royal family. The architectural design includes Persian, European and Indian style and became the Shahjahni style which is very rich in form, expression and color. Today The Red Fort of Delhi is a very important monument in India and is an example of architectural brilliance and power.
- Kaziranga National Park, Assam
- Manas Wildlife Sanctuary, Assam
- Mahabodhi Temple Complex, Bodh Gaya, Bihar
- Humayun’s Tomb, Delhi
- Qutub Minar and its monuments, Delhi
- Red Fort, Delhi
- Basilica of Bom Jesus and other churches of Goa
- Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park, Gujarat
- Group of Monuments at Hampi, Karnataka
- Group of Monuments at Pattadakal, Karnataka
- The Majestic Kandariya Mahadev Temple at The Khajuraho group of Temples
- Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi, Madhya Pradesh
- Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka, Madhya Pradesh
- Khajuraho Group of Monuments, Madhya Pradesh
- Ajanta Caves, Maharashtra
- Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai, Maharashtra
- Elephanta Caves, Mumbai, Maharashtra
- Ellora Caves, Maharashtra
- Konark Sun Temple, Konark, Orissa
- Keoladeo National Park, Rajasthan
- Great Living Chola Temples, Tamil Nadu
- Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
- Nilgiri Mountain Railway, Tamil Nadu
- Agra Fort, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
- Fatehpur Sikri, Uttar Pradesh
- Taj Mahal, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
- Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Park, Uttarakhand
- Mountain Railways of India, Darjeeling, West Bengal
- Sundarbans National Park, West Bengal