Top 6 Heritage Sites To Visit In India
The UNESCO World Heritage Site Convention was established in the year 1972, and since then it has been adding various sites of cultural and natural importance to the convention. These heritage sites are places that have significant cultural, natural, or even historical importance and hence are protected specially.
India, being a beautiful and diverse country, is loaded with numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Taj Mahal, Sun Temple, Qutub Minar, etc are some of the widely popular sites in this list. Apart from these man-made structures, some dazzling natural landscapes are worth visiting to get an enriching experience.
Here is a list of the top 6 must-visit sites in India.
1. Taj Mahal
If you are in India, your tourist plan is incomplete without visiting the Taj Mahal. It is one of the Seven Wonders Of The World, built by King Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaj Mahal, in the 1600s. Located in the city of Agra in Uttar Pradesh, it is one of the most iconic examples of Muslim architecture in India. In 1983, it was designated a Heritage Site by UNESCO by keeping in view its cultural and historical importance and preserving it for future generations.
The monument is the greatest Mughal architecture in India, having Indian, Persian, and even Islamic architectural styles. Tall minarets, thousands of gemstones, arch-shaped entryways, gardens, and fountains contribute to the beauty of the structure. The complex also houses several rooms, halls, and even museums within itself.
2. Ajanta Caves
Ajanta Caves are a group of 30 rock-cut Buddhist monuments, paintings, and sculpture that dates back to the 6th century A.D. This is a renowned site that has murals, sculptures, and paintings depicting the life of Buddha and other Buddhist figures. The cave houses a lot of Buddhist monasteries and chapels and hence is protected by the Archaeological Survey Of India. In 1983, it was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
3. Ellora Caves
Ellora Caves is a sequence of more than 100 rock-cut monuments that were originally built somewhere between 600 - 100 C.E. It spans across a very large area, but out of 100, only 34 monuments are open to the public.
These monuments are of significant importance to three major religions of India which are Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism. Among all the monuments, the most important cave is the Kailash Temple of Lord Shiva, which is believed to be one of the largest monolithic structures in the world.
Apart from the architecture, the Ellora Caves describe a spirit of religious tolerance and ancient civilization that prevailed in India. In those days, devotees of the three religions coexisted peacefully and mutually. This site was designated as a Heritage Site in 1983.
4. Sun Temple
Sun Temple, which is also known as Black Pagoda is, without doubt, the finest architecture of ancient Odisha. This temple was dedicated to the Sun God and was built with a massive stone chariot led by seven horses for Sun God. The entire structure of the temple has 24 wheels of chariots, huge walls, and pillars.
Three deities of the Sun God are located on three different sides of the temple, and they are placed in such a way that direct sunlight falls on them in the morning, afternoon, and evening. This temple was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1984.
5. Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka
Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka are located in the location of Vindhyachal Mountains. As per the Archeological Survey Of India, this is the place from where South Asia began around the 2nd century BCE.
In this site, five clusters of rock that belong to the Mesolithic era are present with carvings and paintings throughout the region. These paintings were made around 10000 to 8000 BC and gives a brief knowledge about the life and activities of humans during that time.
More than 750 rock shelters are discovered now, out of them, only 243 belong to the Bhimbetka group which houses the famous Rock and Natraj Paintings. In 2003, this famous site was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India.
6. Qutub Minar
This structure is located in the Mehrauli region of New Delhi, whose construction began in the 13th century. Qutub Minar is a 73-meter-tall structure and is the tallest brick minaret in the world. It is entirely made up of red stones and marble with beautiful designs and carvings throughout the structure.
Qutub Minar has a complex that houses Quwwat ul-Islam Mosque, Iron Pillar, Alai Darwaza Gate, and Alai Minar. The complex also contains the tomb of Iltutmish, Imam Zamin, and Ala-ud-din Khilji. This famous minaret was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1993.
These are the top six best Heritage sites in India that you should visit in 2023.