There are 35 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India and each one comes with its own significance, be it religious, spiritual, historic, architectural or environmental. Here is my list of the seven best and most unique World Heritage Sites of India:
Located near Taj Mahal, another famous World Heritage Sites in India, Agra Fort is one of the famous historical monuments of the country. There are many stories attached to it regarding who the original builder of the fort was. Some say, it was built by a Rajput ruler named Badal Singh while some believe it was built by Sikander Lodi. Anyway, it was Akbar who rebuilt the fort with red sandstone. There are many structures within the Agra Fort which are also the main attractions such as the Sheesh Mahal or the Glass Palace, the Diwan-I-Khas and the Diwan-I-Aam or the halls, masjids, Khas Mahal or the Special Palace built in white marble, the Anguri Bagh or the 85 lush gardens and the Musamman Burj, which is a tower with a gallery from where Taj Mahal can be seen. It is open every day.
Located in Madhya Pradesh in Chhatarpur district, Khajuraho monuments exhibit astonishing human creativeness, the main criteria for choosing it as a World Heritage site. The credit of the building of these amazing structures goes the Chandela dynasty in the 10th century. The main attraction is the architecture which displays the artistic excellence of ancient era. Definitely a pride for India, it is a group of temples dedicated to two faiths, Hinduism and Jainism and yet stands as a common structure. It is believed that there were 85 temples in the complex but only 25 exist today. It can be visited every day.
Located in Odisha, the Sun Temple is one of the most stunning monuments in the world. Rabindranath Tagore, describing the structure, said that at the Sun Temple, the language of stone surpasses the language of humans. It was built in the 13th century by Narasimhadeva who belonged to the East Ganga dynasty. The whole structure is in the shape of a chariot with 12 stone wheels and seven horses. An interesting fact about the temple is that the wheels act as sun dials and the exact time of the day can be predicted using it. It is also believed that the design of modern clocks is inspired by the wheel’s design.
The Ajanta and Ellora caves are located in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra and lie within about 60 miles (100km) of each other. Both are rock-cut caves and present a spectacular example of Indian architecture and art. Buddhist, Jain and Hindu temples are found in the complex of the caves. With such carvings and elaborateness in the architecture, a visit to the caves will lend a glance to what can be referred to as human excellence. Ajanta caves and Ellora caves can be visited on all days except for Monday for the former and Tuesdays for the latter.
Rich in biodiversity, Manas Wildlife Sanctuary is located in Assam and spread around 39,100 hectares. It is a part of the Manas Tiger Reserve. With forests, hills, grasslands and a rich variety of flora, fauna and endangered species, Manas Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the most beautiful sanctuaries in India. The Manas River flowing through the mountains and grasslands offer the perfect setting. It houses many unique species such as the one-horned rhino, swamp deer, Bengal florican, and tigers—among many others.
Khangchendzonga National Park has a unique topography with glaciers, plains, lakes and valleys and a variety of flora and fauna. With such a variety of ecosystems, it is probably one of the few such national parks in the world. It also houses several caves and lakes within the park considered to be sacred by the local residents. March, April, May, September to December are the best months to visit the park.
Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is the main railway station of Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra and was formerly known as Victoria Terminus or VT station. Built by the British in Gothic architectural style, it is also a combination of Indian as well as British style. With carved arches, stone domes, and turrets, it is one of the best examples of human creativity.
Rohit is a travel enthusiast and believes that travelling across the world has made him a better person. His stories come out of pure experience and thus are a huge hit with his readers on Trans India Travels.
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