Exploring the Rich Tapestry of India: Heritage Tours Unveiled

Posted On : 28-7-2016
Heritage Tours India

With a fascinating 5000 years old history India has many things to offer for all kinds of travellers through its Heritage tour of India. India is blessed with diverse religions, cultures, and traditions. One lifetime is not enough to visit all parts of India. Apart from ancient history, India is also blessed with a rich heritage and architecture. Heritage monuments like Taj Mahal in Agra, Jama Masjid, Humayun’s tomb, Qutub Minar, Red Fort in Delhi, rock-cut Elephanta Caves, Ajanta and Ellora caves, Char Minar in Hyderabad, and other famous UNESCO world heritage sites of India give you a chance to explore the Indian Architecture.

These are a few of the most famous Indian buildings and are some of the unique examples of great architecture in India. There is no other better way to catch a glimpse of the Indian history and heritage through Architecture tour packages of India. India has a maximum number of world heritage sites.

List of Top 10 Heritage Sites of India

1. Taj Mahal, Agra

Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal, a tomb for his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. Raised between 1631 and 1648, this chaste marble mausoleum has remained one of the most awe-inspiring architectural achievements of all time. Its architect changed the dynamics of the traditional Islamic garden tomb by setting this tomb at the far end, instead of the centre of the garden. An average of 10,000 people visit the Taj Mahal each day; during the peak season, the numbers rise fourfold.

2. Red Fort, Delhi

It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan Red in 1639. Red Fort was planned according to Islamic architecture, each pavilion contains architectural elements that reflect a fusion of Timurid and Persian traditions.

3. Fatehpur Sikri, Uttar Pradesh

This, "City of Victory" was Akbar's capital for approximately fifteen years. Here, he experimented with architectural forms and is known to have personally supervised the construction. The red sandstone palaces are extraordinarily well preserved after more than four centuries. The finest monuments are the Diwan-i-Khas and Diwan-i-Am, the Panch Mahal, the Treasury, the queens' palaces, and a short distance away, the Jama Masjid with its towering Buland Darwaza. The Sufi saint, Salim Chishti lies buried in the courtyard of the Jama Masjid and his wish-fulfilling shrine draws thousands of devotees throughout the year.

4. Kaziranga National Park, Assam

The wildlife of Kaziranga National Park (221 kilometres from Guwahati) is abundant and visible. The park is bordered on one side by the great Brahmaputra River and on the other by the Guwahati-Jorhat highway Kaziranga is the last stronghold of the great Indian one-horned rhinoceros. Water buffalo and small herds of swamp deer dot the grassy meadows and swamps, ospreys, fishing eagles, and harriers course the skies, and red jungle fowl abound. Wild elephants are also seen often.

5. Mahabodhi Temple, Bihar

The temple is located in Bodh Gaya, Patna, Bihar. It was built in 260 B.C. It is the sacred place where Lord Buddha meditated and reached enlightenment under the Bodhi tree. Sunga structures and old tailings around the temple are very ancient.

6. Amer Fort, Jaipur

Located 11 km far away from the pink city of India - Jaipur, the artistic grandeur of Amer Fort is one of the main hotspots attracting many tourists throughout the year. It was built by Raja Man Singh in 1592.

Constructed with red sandstone and marble, this majestic palace is laid out on four levels, each with a courtyard. It consists of the Diwan-i-Aam (Hall of Public Audience), the Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience), the Sheesh Mahal (mirror palace), and the Sukh Niwas where cool winds blow over a water cascade within the palace.

7. Temples of Khajuraho

Legend has it that a thousand years ago, the lovely young daughter of a Brahmin priest was seduced by the Moon God, and of their union was born Chandravarman, the founder of the Chandela dynasty: The Chandelas built 85 temples at Khajuraho in the short span of a century, between AD 950 and 1050. Only 25 of these temples remain, but they are architectural masterpieces. While the temples have been much publicized for their erotic sculpture alone, the sculpted panels are in fact an exuberant celebration of life in all its moods and forms. The Kandariya Mahadev is the most renowned of all the temples.

8. Sun Temple, Konark

This temple, dedicated to the sun god Surya, was built in AD 1238 by King Narasimha Deva of the Ganga dynasty during the golden age of Orissan art and architecture. The profusely carved temple was conceived as a chariot. Twenty-four giant wheels symbolize the division of time; seven horses draw the chariot and the three images of Surya receive the rays of the sun at dawn, noon and sunset. Though the main temple tower has fallen, the audience hall stands proof of the magnificent scale on which the temple was originally executed. Every aspect of life has been carved on the temple and it has erotic images as exuberant as Khajuraho. The Konark temple, also known as the Black Pagoda, took twelve years to build, with 1200 masons and sculptors working on the site.

9. Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu

Mahabalipuram, 45 kilometres from Chennai, is renowned for its monolithic temples and structures built during the reign of the Pallava ruler Rajasimha (AD 700 -AD 730). At the centre of this group of monuments is the magnificent Arjuna's Penance, which is believed to represent a story from the Mahabharata. This sculpture is also known as the Descent of the Ganga. There are numerous caves with exquisite sculptures, five monolithic temples and a group of three temples on the seashore collectively known as the Shore Temple.

10. Ajanta and Ellora Caves

The well-preserved Ajanta murals and frescoes remain unmatched in the world of art. The 30 Buddhist caves, which contain these murals and frescoes, were excavated by Buddhist monks from the side of a horseshoe-shaped ravine between 200 BC and AD 650. The caves lay deserted and forgotten for centuries till they were "rediscovered" by British army officers in 1819. It is believed that at its prime, some 200 Buddhist monks lived in Ajanta.

The finest examples of cave architecture are to be seen at Ellora, the ancient Elapur. There are over 100 caves, of which 34 are significant. The Buddhist caves date to between AD 600 and AD 800, the Hindu caves between AD 600 and AD 900, and the jam caves between AD 800 and AD 1100.