Humans have existed on the planet for a small period of time. So small that in face if the entire lifetime of Earth was symbolized as one year, then the humans would have come into existence at the 59th minute of the 23rd hour on the 31st of December. When compared to the entire universe this seems like no time at all, and yet humans have accomplished so much in such a small amount of time. India as a country has created many historic events and memories.  UNESCO identifies sites that are special for cultural and physical significance and below are my top 10 sites in India.

  1. Red Fort

India-0037 - Red Fort

Photo by Dennis Jarvis, CC BY-SA 2.0

Constructed in the 17th century by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, it was the fortified palace of residence in the then capital city of Shahjahanabad. The extensive gardens and the exceptionally well-planned underground water system was an engineering splendour. On the gardens stand many architectural marvels that represent the Persian constructions. Today, they have been converted to museums and are visited by many.

  1. Agra Fort

Red Fort in Agra

Photo by bjoern, CC BY 2.0

Located on the banks of river Yamuna, the Agra fort is built with red sandstone and spans over two and half kilometres in length. Known for many of the palaces, mosques and towers that are enclosed, the structure comes under the Cultural category in the UNESCO list.

  1. Ajanta Ellora Caves

Ellora, cave 16, Kailasa Temple

Photo by Arian Zwegers, CC BY 2.0

The caves of Ajanta and Ellora are a symbol of cultural mix of religious arts from Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. They richly depict the paintings of the religions and are magnificently decorated. The many temples and monasteries in the surroundings reflect the civilization of those times.

  1. Humayun Tomb

Humayun's Tomb

Photo by Deepak Gupta, CC BY-SA 2.0

Situated in Delhi, the tomb is of Humayun, who was a Mughal Emperor. It is one of its kind and was the first garden tomb in India. The massive structure was the first to use red sandstone on such a scale. Standing on the banks of River Yamuna, the premises is well laid with water channels and furnished with plenty of greenery.

  1. Sun Temple

Konark Sun temple from backside

Photo by designadda, CC BY-ND 2.0

Built early in the 13th century, the Sun Temple in the town of Konark in Odisha is one of the most renowned temples in the world. Dedicated to the Sun God, the temple is built in the form of his chariot and heavily decorated with carvings and pillars. The engineering that was employed was far ahead of its time.

  1. Kaziranga National Park

Kaziranga National Park

Photo by Prashant Ram, CC BY-ND 2.0

Located in Assam and the biggest attraction for the North-eastern region of India, Kaziranga is known all over the world for its famous one horned rhinoceros, which is now listed as Vulnerable. It is to house over two-thirds of the world’s entire population of the one horned rhinoceros. For its vast variety of flora and fauna, it has been labelled as one of the world’s heritage sites.

  1. Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus

Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Mumbai pt ii.

Photo by bWlrZQ==, CC BY 2.0

Formerly known as the Victoria Terminus, the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus is the headquarters of the Central Railways in India and one of the busiest stations. The monument has a perfect blend of the Victorian Gothic architecture coupled with that of the Mughal buildings to awe any architect of the modern times.

  1. Taj Mahal

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Photo by null0, CC BY 2.0

Dedicated to Mumtaz Mahal, the structure was built by Emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his wife. On the banks of the river Yamuna stands a magnificent and absolutely stunning white ivory marble structure that is called the Taj Mahal, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. It is termed as the masterpiece of Muslim architecture in India and is one of its kind.

  1. Jantar Mantar

Jantar Mantar

Photo by Russ Bowling, CC BY 2.0

The Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is the biggest of the five monuments built by the Mughal King. It was built as a mark for converting Jaipur as the new Capital. The monument houses the largest sundial in the world and holds some of the best instruments built using the astronomy and designs from the ancient Sanskrit texts which enable observations with the naked eye.

  1. Sundarbans

Sarakkhali - An Watery Highway

Photo by Kingshuk Mondal, CC BY 2.0

The Sundarbans are one of the most magnificent creations of nature that were spawned in the country of India. It is the largest single block of mangrove forests in the entire world thus making it a part of the UNESCO list of world heritage sites. The Sundarbans are also most famous for housing the largest population of the Royal Bengal Tigers that are now an endangered species.

History is unique to a place and thus important to understand. It was once said that those who forget history are condemned to repeat it, and these historic sites in India speak a lot about our culture and tradition.

About the Author:

Rohit is an architect by profession, and travels around the country on many occasions to cherish the experiences. Being an admirer of architecture, he draws deep meaning from art. He blogs about his travels at transindiatravels.com.

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