Heritage sites in India

By | Category: Travel destinations

Today is the start of World Heritage Week. Rather than consider sites in the UK, Just about Travel has looked further afield. To India where Authentic India Tours has taken the opportunity to highlight the fact that India actually has as many as 38 UNESCO World Heritage sites.

image of Taj Mahal
The Taj Mahal. Image © Frederic de Poligny

Most readers could guess that the Taj Mahal might be one of the locations and that the fortified city of Jaipur and the Red Fort of Agra would be two others. And although Jaipur has attracted visitors for centuries , it only became a UNESCO site this year.

But what of the rest?

The company has nominated a few others and why they should be visited.

The Mountain Railways of India is made up of the three railways out of the many that India has. The hill passenger Darjeeling Himalayan Railway dating back to 1881 is one, the 46-km long metre-gauge single-track Nilgiri Mountain Railway in Tamil Nadu is the secnd and finallym the third is the 96-km long Kalka Shimla Railway. All three railways are fully operational and provide one of the different ways to explore India, winding through the greenery of mountain landscapes punctuated by flashes of bright colour along the way.

One horned rhino in Kaziranga National Park

For history affecionados it suggests Hampi in the state of Karnataka. With around 3,700 monuments, ancient ruins and temples to explore, Hampi is set von the banks of the river Tungabadra. The entire complex dates back to the fourteenth century and provides visitors with outstanding architecture, ornate carvings and elaborate sculptures. Highlights are the elephant stables, the 15 feet tall statue of Ganesha, and Vittala Temple with its music-making pillars.

For those in search of India’s rich animal range, the Kaziranga National Park in Assam should be on their list. As one of the least disturbed sites in the country, this is the place where you can see one-horned rhinos, tigers, elephants, panthers, bears plus any amount of bird species. 

If you prefer to look at the landscape rather than animals then Western Ghats should be your choice. Claimed to be one of eight ‘hottest hotspots’ of biological diversity in the world, the Ghats which are in the Satpura Range help moderate the tropical climate of the region and act as a barrier to moisture-heavy clouds during the monsoon season between June and September. Said to be older than the Himalayas, the region is home to tourist spots, monsoon retreats, plantations and a range of flora and fauna.

jaipur only became a UNESCO site this year

Should you only be going to Mumbai then the city hosts two differing heritage sites to attract you. One is Elephanta Caves on Elephanta Island in Mumbai Harbour. Within the caves are a collection of stone sculptures hewn from solid basalt rock that portray Hindu and Buddhist ideas and iconography. The ornate carvings include likenesses of Nataraja (Lord of dance), the 20-feet high Trimurti Sadashiva (three-faced Shiva), and Yogishvara (Lord of Yoga).

The second is completely different. The Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai resemble a walk-around gallery. The 94 public buildings that make up the group represent the modernisation of Mumbai through the 19th and 20th centuries.  The Neo-Gothic constructions include climate-friendly elements such as balconies and verandas, whilst the cinemas and residential buildings of the 20th-century ensembles combine Indian design and Art Deco imagery, to create a unique style known as Indo-Deco.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,