When we talk about UNESCO world’s Heritage sites, we are immediately reminded of the most famous sites such as Taj Mahal. Often if we start to think deeply we even think about other famous ones like Fatehpur Sikri, Qutub Minar, Red Fort, etc. But that’s all about it. We forget that there are other Heritage sites too which are as astonishing as these are. India consists of total 36 places which are included in UNESCO World Heritage sites. While a lot of us already knows the famous sites, more attention is needed to the other extraordinary geographical inheritance too.
Khangchendzonga National Park
Khangchendzonga National Park is located in the heart of Himalayan ranges in Northern India in the beautiful state of Sikkim. The breathtaking view of the place will take away your heart. It includes a unique diversity of valleys, plains, lakes, glaciers, and snowcapped mountains covered with ancient forests. The place will just give you traveling goal when you feel the calm in the rawest form of nature. Khangchendzonga National Park includes world’s third highest peak, Mount Khangchendzonga.
Mountain Railways of India
The Mountain Railways of India is a combined listing of three railways which are the Nilgiri Mountain Railway, Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, and the Kalka-Shimla Railway listed under the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Kalka-Shimla Railway and Darjeeling Himalayan Railway are located in the hill regions of Himalayas of Northern India and the Nilgiri Mountain Railways are located in the Western Ghats of Southern India. These railways of India has been a perfect example of a bold and ingenious solution of the problem of railways by making one through raw and rugged mountains.
The Western Ghats, which is also known as the Sahyadri Mountains is a mountain range with a total of thirty-nine properties which includes National Parks, reserve forests and wildlife sanctuaries. In these 39 properties, twenty of them are in the state of Kerala, five are in Tamil Nadu, ten are in Karnataka, and four are in Maharashtra. The Western Ghats is one of the ten ‘hottest biodiversity spots’.
Rani ki Vav
Rani ki Vav is located at Patan, Gujarat. It is basically a step wall which is famous for its sculpture and size. The dimensions of the step wall are 64m long, 20m wide & 27m deep. There are more than five hundred sculptures of god. Most of these sculptures are dedicated to Lord Vishnu representing his ten lives (also called dus avtars). There are sculptures of a beautiful lady, Nagkanya Yogini showcasing different styles of makeup to look more attractive which is called ‘Solah Shringaar’. This step wall was flooded by the river Saraswati in the year 1980 but when it was excavated later by Archeological Survey of India, the carvings of the step wall was found pristine.
Rock shelters of Bhimbetka
Rock shelters of Bhimbetka is a magnificent repository of rock paintings inside the natural rock shelters. It is located in the foothills of the Vindhya Range of hills in Madhya Pradesh. The rock shelters represent the prehistoric Paleolithic and Mesolithic periods. It consists of seven hills and over 750 rock shelters spread across for over 10 km. It has beautiful paintings from the historic times on the rocks. The tradition shown in the paintings of these rocks can be seen in the people of 21 villages around the shelters.
Chandigarh Capitol Complex
Chandigarh Capitol Complex is located in Chandigarh city of India. It is a government compound designed by the famous architect Le Corbusier. Spread around an area of over 100 acres, Chandigarh Capitol Complex is a prime manifestation of Chandigarh’s architecture. The complex comprises of three buildings, three monuments and a lake which are Palace of Assembly or Legislative Assembly, High Court, Secretariat, Geometric Hill, Tower of Shadows, and Open Hand Monument.
Group of Monuments at Pattadakal
Group of Monuments at Pattadakal covers a distinctive series of nine Hindu temples and a Jain sanctuary in northern Karnataka. The Hindu temples inside it are generally dedicated to Lord Shiva but one can also see elements of Vaishnavism and Shaktism that are represented. Friezes in the Hindu temples depicts stories from Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavata Purana and elements of other Hindu texts such as Panchatantra and Kiratarjuniya whereas the Jain temple is only dedicated to a single Jina.
Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park
Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park is situated around the historical city of Champaran which was built by Sultan Mahmud Begada of Gujarat. This heritage site is filled up with forts and bastions beginning from the hills of Pavagadh extending all the way to the city of Champaner. The park contains palaces, entrance gates and arches, tombs, mosques, temples, agricultural structures, residential complexes and water installations such as step walls and tanks which are dated back to 8th to the 14th century.
Nalanda Mahavira is situated in the state of Bihar. Nalanda was once a university where thousands of children used to study. All the students of Nalanda used to study Mahayana and Buddhism. Their curriculum also included subjects like logic, medicine, Sanskrit grammar, Vedas, and Samkhya. It is said that Nalanda was destroyed by an army of the Mamluk Dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate under Bakhtiyar Khilji in 1200 C. In the 19th century, the site was surveyed and excavated in 1915 which unearthed 11 monasteries and 6 brick temples in the area of 12 hectares.
Mahabodhi Temple Complex
Mahabodhi temple Bodh Gaya is situated in the Bodh city of Bihar. It was built in 3rd century BC (260 BC) and that makes it the oldest temple of the Indian subcontinent built during the ‘golden age’. The first temple of the Mahabodhi temple complex was built by Emperor Ashoka. The temple holds a great importance to the people following Buddhism as Siddhartha Gautam Buddha was enlightened at the same place in 531 BC when he was of age 35 after which he propagated his divine knowledge of Buddhism to the world.
We might have traveled to all the famous places whereas these are the places that may take you to history and show you its importance. While the historical places may do so, other beautiful heritage sites are so ravishing that your eyes will not be able to believe what it is seeing and the land will just shift from beneath your feet. If these haven’t given you travel goals yet, I don’t know what will. Book your tickets, pack your bags and go visit the wonderful creations in the world right now.