INDIAN HERITAGE SITES BY PIYUSH PARASHARI
Ajanta Caves, Maharashtra AJANTA is world's greatest historical monument recognised by UNESCO located just 55kms from Jalgaon city and 105kms from Aurangabad City of Maharashtra, India. There are 30 caves in Ajanta of which 9, 10, 19, 26 and 29 are chaitya-grihas and the rest are monasteries. These caves were discovered in AD 1819 and were built up in the earlier 2nd century BC-AD. Most of the paintings irn Ajanta are right from 2nd century BC-AD and some of them about the fifth century AD and continued for the next two centuries. All paintings shows heavy religious influence and centre around Buddha, Bodhisattvas, incidents from the life of Buddha and the Jatakas. The paintings are executed on a ground of mud-plaster in the tempera technique.
Ellora Caves, Maharashtra Wolrd famous Ellora Caves situated 30 kilometers from Aurangabad city. Ellora Caves are World Heritage Site, really impressive rock cut temples & monasteries. There are 34 caves, structures excavated out of the vertical face of the hills. There are 12 Mahayana Buddhist caves (caves 1-12), 17 Hindu caves (caves 13-29) and 5 caves of the Jain faith (caves 30-34), 22 more caves, dedicated to Lord Shiva, were recently discovered. It is believed to have taken 7000 laborers, working in continuous shifts and 150 years to build. Ever since the first European visitors in 18th Century, Ellora has attracted chroniclers, antiquarians, scholars and in more recent years, ever- increasing number of tourists.
Agra Fort, Uttar Pradesh The Agra Fort is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. The Red Fort Complex or the Lal Qila was built in the 16th century CE towards the north of Delhi by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, intended to be the main fortification of his new capital city, Shahjahanabad. Red Fort stands aloof among other pieces of Mughal architecture as an unmatched blend of the Persian, the Timuri and the Indian architectural styles. Until the exile of the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar by the British in 1857, the Red Fort complex continued to serve as the capital citadel of the Mughal rulers.
Taj Mahal, Agra, Uttar Pradesh Taj Mahal, Agra - One of the Seven Wonders of the World as well as the most visited and most photographed Mausoleum on the earth, the Taj Mahal of Agra perhaps needs no introduction. It was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in the loving memory of his third wife Mumtaj Mahal, between 1631 and 1648 CE. The chief architect of Taj Mahal was Ustaad Ahmad Lahauri, the imperial architect of the Mughal court. Taj Mahal was declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site in India in 1983. It is one of the most visited tourist destinations in India.
Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram was a 7th century CE port city of the ancient South Indian Pallava dynasty. The Chariot or Ratha Temple of Mahabalipuram, the Shore Temples, the Krishna Mandapam, the Mahishasura Mardini Mandapam, cave sanctuaries like the Vishnu Cave Temple as well as the rock relief of Descent of the Ganges, alternatively known as Arjuna's Penance, are some of the world famous temples and tourist attractions in Mahavalipuram. Arjuna's Penance is the world's largest open air rock relief in the open air. Mahabalipuram was inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India in 1984.
Sun Temple, Konark, Odisha Sun Temple, Konark - Located in the Puri district of the Orissa state, the Konark (or Konarak) Sun Temple is constructed in the shape of the chariot of the Sun God, Surya or Arka. The chariot has 24 wheels and is pulled by 6 horses. The Sun Temple of Konark was constructed by King Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty in the 13th century CE. One of the most famous temples of India, The Konark Surya Mandir or sun temple was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India in 1984 under categories I, III and VI
Manas Wild Life Sanctuary, Assam Manas Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the State of Assam in North-East India, a biodiversity hotspot. Covering an area of 39,100 hectares, it spans the Manas river and is bounded to the north by the forests of Bhutan. The Manas Wildlife Sanctuary is part of the core zone of the 283,700 hectares Manas Tiger Reserve, and lies alongside the shifting river channels of the Manas River. The site's scenic beauty includes a range of forested hills, alluvial grasslands and tropical evergreen forests. Manas has exceptional importance within the Indian sub-continent's protected areas, as one of the most significant remaining natural areas in the region, where sizeable populations of a large number of threatened species continue to survive.
Kaziranga Wild Life Sanctuary, Assam The Kaziranga National Park, formerly the Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary, in Assam proudly houses world's largest population of the Great Indian One-Horned Rhinoceros. The wild Asiatic water buffalo, Eastern Swamp Deer, gaur, sambar, Indian Muntjac, wild boar and hog deer are some of the other habitants of the Kaziranga National Park. It was also declared a tiger reserve in 2006, boasting a high tiger density. The Kaziranga National Park was declared a natural UNESCO World Heritage Site in India in 1985.
Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur, Rajasthan Keoladeo National Park, located in the State of Rajasthan, is an important wintering ground of Palaearctic migratory waterfowl and is renowned for its large congregation of non-migratory resident breeding birds. A green wildlife oasis situated within a populated human-dominated landscape, some 375 bird species and a diverse array of other life forms have been recorded in this mosaic of grasslands, woodlands, woodland swamps and wetlands of just 2,873 ha. This 'Bird Paradise' was developed in a natural depression wetland that was managed as a duck shooting reserve at the end of the 19th century
Fatehpur Sikri, Uttar Pradesh Listed among the World Heritage Sites, Fatehpur Sikri ranks among the mostly visited spots in India. Situated at an easy distance from the city of Agra in the state of Uttar Pradesh, Fatehpur Sikri is an important specimen of the Mughal dynasty. Fatehpur Sikri was made the political capital of the Mughal Empire by Emperor Akbar from the period of 1571 to 1585. The capital was later shifted to the city of Agra, There is a fort in the site which is a blend of Mughal and Persian architecture. The ideal time for undertaking tours to Fatehpur Sikri is between the months of November and February
Elephanta Caves, Maharashtra The Elephanta caves are located on an island in the Arabian City, not very far from the city of Mumbai. The chain of sculpted caves located on Elephanta Island is also known as Gharapuri. There are numerous archaeological remains which offer us a glimpse into the rich. cultural past of Indian civilization. These caves are famous for their rock- cut sculptures and carvings depicting Shiva as the Creator and the Destroyer of the Universe. The most important of all the caves here is Cave 1, where one can see the Sadashiva at the entrance of the cave, which depicts 3 sides of Shiva: as the Creator, Preserves and Destroyer.
Group of Monuments at Pattadakal, Karnataka Pattadakal is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an important tourist site located in Karnataka. It is famous for its Chalukya style of architecture that originated in Aihole and blended with the Nagara and Dravidian styles of architecture. It is at Pattadakal that all the Chalukya kings were coronated and was the capital of the Chalukyas as well. Notable for the numerous temples constructed by the Chalukya rulers, it includes 8 temples dedicated to Lord Shiva and Jain and Shaivite sactuaries. The important monuments are- Virupaksha Temple, Sangameshwara Temple, Chandrashekhara Temple, MallikarjuTemple, Kashivishwanaath Tenmple. Galganath Temple, Jain Temple and many more.
Sundarbans National Park, West Bengal Famous for the Royal Bengal Tigers, the Sunderban National Park is a known Tiger reserve and a Biosphere reserve located in the Indian State of West Bengal. It is situated on the Sunderban Deltas formed by the river Ganges in Bay of Bengal. It is one of the largest reserves in India covered mostly by dense Mangrove forests. It's the world's largest mangrove forest reserve. Home to the critically endangered Royal Bengal Tiger, there are also other animal species such as the gangetic dolphin, spotted dear, wild boar and other mammal and amphibian species. The rare salt water crocodile is another attraction of this reserve. The tiger population of India is the maximum in this location.
Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks, Uttarakhand The Nanda Devi is the highest mountain peak of Uttarakhand and the highest mountain peak of India also because the Kanchenjunga is known to share its border with Nepal. There are two peaks of the mountain, the eastern peak named the Sunanda Devi. It has its importance back from the era of Puranas and Upanishads, remarked several times in the mythological works of the Hindus. The Valley of Flowers is a National Park near Nanda Devi peak which stretches upto 8 kilometers in length and 2 kilometers in width. It is famous for the astonishing variety of flowers which covers the entire valley like a bed sheet. This World Heritage Sites in India is home to more than 600 species of Flora and over 520 species of fauna.
Piyush Kumar Parashari
M.A. in ECONOMICS,POLITICAL SCIENCE CS executive student and IIT JAM qualified in phycics AIR 512, appeared in IES,IAS,IFoS exams