India is one among the top ranked country with the most number of world heritage sites listed in UNESCO. These Archaeological Sites In India are every Indian's pride. Read more and delve into these architectural marvels.
Here is the list of 22 Archaeological Sites in India For A Quick History Recap
The Taj Mahal is one of the seven wonders of the world and is considered to be the most popular tourist attraction in the country. A symbol of love, the Taj was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan for his queen Mumtaz. Tagore described the Taj as a "teardrop on the cheek of eternity". This archaeological site in India attracts a lot of tourists all around the year.
Known For : Light and sound show, Khajuraho | Kandariya Mahadev Temple | Lakshman Temple
Khajuraho is known around the world for its stunning temples adorned by erotic and sensuous carvings. Built between 950 to 1050 AD the sheer confrontational nature of these carvings shows a stark paradox with the conventional Indian ideas about eroticism, leaving everybody spellbound. Art in this archaeological site in India is engrained in all of its structures and are a classic example of the finesse of the country's cultural and artistic heritage.
Best Time : July to March
Known For : Virupaksha Temple, Hampi | Vithala Temple | Elephant Stables
Hampi, the city of ruins, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Situated in the shadowed depth of hills and valleys in the state of Karnataka, this place is a historical delight for travellers. Surrounded by 500 ancient monuments, beautiful temples, bustling street markets, bastions, treasury building and captivating remains of Vijayanagar Empire, Hampi is a backpacker's delight. Hampi is an open museum with 100+ locations to explore and a favourite way to see the archaeological sites in India.
Best Time : October to March
Known For : Ajanta Caves | Kailasanatha and other temples, Ellora | Grishneshwar Temple, Ellora
Ajanta and Ellora caves are considered to be one of the most important archaeological sites in India owing to the magnificent paintings of Ajanta and well-carved sculptures of Ellora. The rock-cut caves containing carvings are the finest example of Indian paintings and sculptures.
Best Time : June to March
Known For : Mahabodhi Temple | Great Buddha Statue | Tibetan Refugee Market
One of the most important archaeological sites in India for Buddhists, Bodhgaya is a village in the state of Bihar. It was here under the Bodhi tree that Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment. The place is bustling with pilgrims all through the year who come to pay their homage in the monasteries, shrines and temples. It also attracts tourists from India and abroad owing to its magnificent Buddha statue, the Mahabodhi Temple and the Bodhi tree.
Best Time : October to March
Dedicated to Lord Surya, this 13th century temple is an architectural marvel and the quintessential example of Oriyan form of architecture. It is believed that the temple was constructed by king Narasimhadeva I of Eastern Ganga Dynasty. The shape of the temple is of a massive chariot with sumptuously engraved stone wheels, pillars and walls. A major part of this archaeological site in India is at present in ruins. The temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Red Fort was the official seat of Mughal rule and authority from 1648 onwards, when the 5th Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, decided to move the capital of the empire from Agra to Delhi. Constructed using red sandstone, it remains one of the archaeological sites in India which is a marvels of the Mughal era. In 2007, it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Known For : Sanchi Stupa | The Great Bowl | Ashok Pillar
A symbol of the vast heritage present throughout the culturally rich India, the Buddhist monuments of Sanchi are one of the oldest stone structures in India. Designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO, the Great Stupa was installed in the 3rd century BC by Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan dynasty. The sculptures and monuments present at this archaeological site in India are a fine example of the development of Buddhist art and architecture. The stupa sits atop a hill in Sanchi, surrounded by lush gardens, providing visitors peace and serenity at this grand tribute to the peaceful religion of Buddhism.
Best Time : July to March
Apart from being known for its stunning architecture, this is the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site declared in 1993, and has undergone widespread restoration work since then. The tomb was custom-built by Humayun's son Akbar during 1569-70, and is also the first structure to have made the use of red sandstone at a massive scale.
Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is the largest stone astronomical observatory in the World. It is located just next to the city palace of Jaipur in Rajasthan. Built during the period between 1727 and 1733, the Jantar Mantar is still in a running condition and it stands as a witness regarding the wisdom of former age.
Also known as Lal Qila, Fort Rouge or Red Fort of Agra, the Agra Fort is a UNESCO world heritage site. It is situated at a distance of about 2.5km northwest of the famous Taj Mahal. The construction of the massive fort of red sandstone by the banks of Yamuna river was started by Emperor Akbar.
Rani ka Vav or 'Queen's Stepwell' is a unique step well located in the small town of Gujarat called Patan. Located on the banks of River Saraswati, it is not only a distinctive form of water resource and storage system but also represents unique craftsmanship.
An UNESCO World Heritage Site, Elephanta Caves is a specimen of rock cut art and architecture from the times of medieval India. It is an island and is located at a distance of 11km from the city of Mumbai. It also provides an amazing view of the Mumbai skyline.
Nalanda University Archaeological Complex is the excavated archaeological site in India of the ancient university. It is spread over an area of 14 hectares and is a major place of tourist attraction. The university complex had red brick buildings hemmed by gardens.
Also known as Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, the Victoria Terminus is the main railway station serving Mumbai. Constructed in the Victorian-Gothic style of architecture, the railway station is a declared as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. The station is one of the most famous historic archaeological site in India symbolizing the pre-independence British Raj of the country.
At a height of 234 feet, this minaret is the tallest individual tower in the world and is a perfect display of Mughal architectural brilliance. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is located in Mehrauli and its construction was started in 1192 by Qutb Ud-Din-Aibak, founder of Delhi Sultanate. Later, the tower was built by various rulers over the centuries. The sight of this glorious archaeological site in India takes you back to the rich history of India.
Being included in the elite list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites across the globe, this marvellous archaeological site in India is in the heart of the city of Champaner. Set amidst the Pavagadh hills, it is one of the most sought after tourist places in Gujarat.
This is a historic Hindu temple located on the southern bank of the Vaigai River, Madurai, Tamil Nadu. It is primarily dedicated to Parvati, known as Meenakshi, and her spouse, Shiva. That makes this temple different than the others is the fact that both God and Goddess are worshipped together.
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