Did you know India hosts 36 World Heritage Sites? From the majestic Taj Mahal to the awe-inspiring Hill Forts of Rajasthan, each is a marvel of nature and craftsmanship. Hands down, each one of the Heritage sites is a historical and architectural masterpiece whose beauty can make time standstill. However, we cannot keep our minds off these 4 unique places that top the list, in our opinion.
Read along to find out which place we are talking about!
1. Rani Ki Vav, Gujarat
Best time to visit: October to March
Queen Udayamati built this beautiful place in the loving memory of her husband, King Bhimdev, in the 11th century. The marvel of architecture flaunts intricate carvings of Hindu deities and other religious and mythological forms and is seven stories deep. Situated on the banks of Saraswati, Rani ki Vav made it to the world heritage site list in the year 2014.
2. Hampi, Karnataka
Best time to visit: October to February
The historical significance and architectural beauty of this group of monuments make it among India’s most popular heritage sites. Situated on the banks of the Tungabhadra River, this city of ruins took to the golden era of the dynasty of the Vijayanagar Empire. It was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 1986. From majestic monoliths and boulders to grand palaces and Dravidian temples, Hampi is a site of art and grandeur.
3. Bhimbetka Rock Shelters, Madhya Pradesh
Best time to visit: October to April
This particular heritage site dates back to the Stone Age. Perched on the foothills of Vindhyachal mountains, Bhimbetka houses unique drawings and paintings featuring human beings and animals, which are believed to date back to at least 30,000 years. This incredible wonder of man and nature is believed to be among the earliest remaining traces of habitation in the entire Indian subcontinent. However, out of the 243 rock shelters of Bhimbetka, only 12-15 are open to the public.
4. Ajanta & Ellora Caves
Best time to visit Ajanta: June to September
Best time to visit Ellora: July to September
The breathtaking paintings, sculptures, and frescos make Ajanta and Ellora Caves a haven for art enthusiasts. Imbibed in the rich history of Buddhism and Jainism, these caves have been a mesmerizing site for tourists and devotees alike. Built between the 2nd century BC – 6th century BC, Ajanta Caves alludes to Buddhism. On the other hand, the 34 caves of Ellora date back to 6th – 11th century and are immensely significant for the Jains.
Bonus: Churches of Goa
Best time to visit Goa: November to February
Goa’s charm and beauty are not limited to its beaches and vibrant nightlife. The smallest state is also abounding in architectural delights in the forms of churches and convents. For example, the Basilica of Bom Jesus, Asia’s largest church – Se Cathedral, and the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary showcase the best of Baroque, Manueline, and Gothic architecture. The intricate carvings, art, and display make these sites a must-see in the country.
Indeed, India is rich in its culture, heritage, and history, and these wonderful sites further enhance its beauty of the same. However, the difference in their vibe and allure makes each of these places most notable.