The rich cultural heritage of India is what makes the country draw in scores of visitors regardless of cultures and religions every day. From grand monuments to quaint temples, there is a lot to see and experience when it comes to the heritage of India.
If you are keen on visiting heritage places in India, here are 10 heritage tours in India you must not miss out on:
Ajanta and Ellora Caves
(Image Source: On a Cheap Trip)
Located at a little distance from the city of Aurangabad in Maharashtra, Ajanta and Ellora Caves are awe-inspiring. The caves are more than 2000 years old and proof of Buddhist influence in the country. The caves are not natural caves as some would have you believe. Instead, they were carved out of the natural rock by Buddhist monks several thousand years ago. The walls of the caves are adorned with some beautiful sculptures, which tell you the story of Buddhism.
(Image Source: Rajasthan Tourism)
The royal state of Rajasthan is a testament to the colorful cultural heritage of the country. There is much to see and explore in the desert state, starting from the capital city of Rajasthan. There are beautiful palaces to explore and which tell you the tale of the royal times. When in Rajasthan, don’t miss out on a tour of Udaipur, the city of lakes. There are some seriously beautiful man-made lakes overlooking grand palaces in Udaipur. And do not miss out on a Bishnoi Village safari too. The Bishnois are an old clan of India and an important part of the country’s heritage.
This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important parts of India’s cultural heritage. You would have to be living under a rock to not know about Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Built in the 17th century, it is a magnificent example of Mughal architecture. The white stone used on the construction of the monument still shines bright. Taj Mahal is the epitome of love around the world because it was constructed by an emperor who was truly in love with his wife.
The colonial charm of Goa is evident. The Portuguese are credited with building several beautiful churches in Goa, most of which are in the old part of the state today. On a Goa holiday, visit beautiful cathedrals of Goa, which transport you to the times gone by. Of course, there are the beaches of Goa for relaxation and fun when you get tired of visiting the colonial past of the state.
(Image Source: India Tours)
Bodh Gaya in Bihar is the place where Lord Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment. There are several old Buddhist temples to explore in Bodh Gaya, all of which give you an insight into the past of the country. If you venture a little distance away from Bodh Gaya, you can also explore the ruins of Nalanda University, one of the greatest centers of learning that have ever been built on earth.
Back in its glory days, Hampi in Karnataka was a crucial part of the Vijayanagar Empire. It was an important trade center and an administrative center as well. You can revisit the glory days of Hampi by exploring the various ruins and relics of the region. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and makes for some interesting exploration.
(Image Source: Swan Tours)
If you are interested in visiting India’s celebratory past, visit Khajuraho Temples in Madhya Pradesh. The temples are known for their erotic sculptures and deviate away from the conservative mindset of people today. Khajuraho is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which celebrates the most basic need of humans. Some might be ashamed about his aspect of India’s heritage, but if you look at it closely, it makes for a great experience. Some of the sculptures are pure work of art.
Red Fort Complex
(Image Source: TripSavvy)
Red Fort Complex in New Delhi was built by Emperor Shah Jahan when he shifted his capital from Agra to Delhi, or what was known as Shahjahanabad at that time. The fort became the political hub of the Mughals. Under Shah Jahan, Mughal art and architecture reached its zenith, and the Red Fort is the perfect example of that. In several facets of the Red Fort, one can see the blending of Timurid, Indo-Islamic, Persian, and Hindu forms of architecture made up of red sandstone. In addition, dwellings and several other smaller buildings such as the private pavilions, the Diwan-i-aam, the Diwan-i-khas.
The Red Fort is one of the most popular UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India and is managed directly by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Kaziranga Wild Life Sanctuary
(Image Source: The Economic Times)
Kaziranga Wild Life Sanctuary in Assam is famous for its one horn rhinoceroses. This park lies on the flood plains of the river Brahmaputra and consists mainly of dense grasslands, forests and also has several streams and lakes running through it. Kaziranga contains about 15 endangered Indian faunal species, of which the Rhino is the most endangered. Other mammals include capped langur, hoolock gibbon, tiger, leopard, sloth bear, Ganges dolphin, otter, wild boar, water buffalo, gaur, sambar, swamp deer, hog deer, and Indian muntjac.
Located in Rajasthan, the Jantar Mantar is an astronomical observatory built in the 18th century. It is an astronomical observatory which was built by the Rajput King Sawai Jai Singh of Rajasthan in 1738 CE. It is a collection of 19 astronomical instruments including the world’s largest stone Sundial. All these instruments are man-made.
The observatory consists of instruments which were used to calculate celestial coordinate systems, the horizon-zenith local system, the equatorial system, and the ecliptic system. One of India’s best-preserved observatories, this monument is a great example of the scientific as well as the cultural heritage of India.
By Sowmya Sangam