Heard of Sas-Bahu temple? 14 must-visit heritage sites in India
There's so much that India country has to offer with regards to rich cultural heritage and history. Every year, World Heritage Week is observed from November 19-25 to create awareness among people about the need to preserve cultural heritage and monuments. Here's a list of heritage sites you must visit
Udaygiri Caves (Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh)
Udaygiri Caves in Vidisha is notable for the sculpture of Vishnu in his man-boar avtar of Varaha saving Earth. Reprsnt'n of the same is shown in sculpture in which Bhudevi, the Earth Goddess is shown dangling. The caves have important inscriptions of Chandragupta II & Kumara Gupta
Martand Sun Temple (Anantnag, J&K)
The Martand Sun Temple in Anantnag, J&K dedicated to Lord Surya was built by 3rd ruler of Karkota Dynasty, Lalitaditya Muktapida, in 8th century CE. Wall carvings in temple depicts Lord Vishnu, River Goddess - Ganga & Yamuna & Sun-God Surya.
Sun Temple (Mehsana, Gujarat)
The Sun Temple Modhera in Mehsana, Gujarat was built in 11th century during the reign of King Bhima I of Chaulukya dynasty. The Temple is situated on the bank of river Pushpavati & the place finds mention in Skanda Purana as Bhaskar region.
Konark Sun Temple (Odisha)
Built in the 13th century, Konark Sun Temple was conceived as a gigantic chariot driven by Lord Surya with 12 pairs of exquisitely-ornamented wheels dragged by 7 rearing horses. The temple comprised a sanctum with a lofty sikhara, a jagamohana and a detached nata-mandapa.
Kailasa temple (Aurangabad, Maharashtra)
The Kailasa temple dedicated to Lord Siva is the largest single monolithic rock excavation at Ellora. The temple features scenes from Mahabharata, Ramayana, Siva the ascetic, Siva the dancer, Ravana attempting to lift Mt. Kailasa.
Ajanta Caves (Aurangabad, Maharashtra)
The Ajanta are group of 32 rock-cut Buddhist caves dating from 2nd century BCE to 5th CE in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. The caves discovered in 1819 are famous for murals & are finest surviving examples of Indian art, particularly paintings.
The paintings in Ajanta caves depicts life of Buddha, Jataka tales & other subjects. Various rock cut sculptures includes Buddha & representations. The caves provided a calm & serene environment to Buddhist monks for their religious pursuits.
Rani-ki-Vav (Patan, Gujarat)
Rani-ki-Vav, a stepwell situated in Patan, Gujarat was built as a memorial to King Bhima I by his Queen Udayamati, of 11th century Chaulukya dynasty. The stepwell was flooded by Saraswati river & silted over for centuries before getting rediscovered in 1940s. Rani-ki-Vav is designed as an inverted temple divided into 7 levels. The sculptures in stepwell depicts numerous Hindu deities - Brahma, Vishnu (in various forms), Siva Ganesha, Kubera, Lakulisha, Bhairava, Surya, Indra, Mahishasurmardini.
Kapilavastu (Piparahwa, UP)
Identified as ancient Kapilavastu site at Piparahwa has great importance in the history of Buddhism. Kapilavastu is frequently mentioned in Buddhist literature as Buddha’s native place and a glorious town.
Nalanda Mahavihara (Bihar)
The Nalanda Mahavihara in Bihar comprises archaeological remains of a University dating from 3rd century BCE to 13th century CE. Famous Chinese traveler Hiuen Tsang also studied in Nalanda University. Excavations by the ASI commenced at Nalanda in 1915, unearthing 11 monasteries & 6 brick temples. A trove of sculptures, coins, seals & inscriptions were discovered from the site, which are now on display in Nalanda Archaeological Museum.
Palakkad Fort (Kerala)
The Palakkad Fort was constructed in mid 18th century CE. The fort was under the occupation of local kings and later passed on into under Hyder Ali of Mysore (1757) and British (1790).
Rasmancha Temple (Bishnupur, West Bengal)
Rasmancha Temple, which is datable to the 16th century CE, has a pyramidal superstructure, surrounded by four rectangular spires on each side and four square-shaped corner spires.
Airavatesvara Temple (Darasuram, Tamil Nadu)
Airavatesvara Temple was built by Rajaraja Chola II during the 12th century CE and completed in 1166 CE. Dedicated to Siva, the temple has elements of a stone chariot incorporated in its architecture.
Sas-Bahu temple (Nagada, Rajasthan)
The twin-temples, popularly known as Sas-Bahu temple, Nagada, Rajasthan, are dated to early eleventh century CE and dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The remarkable feature of these temples is the profuse ornamentation and sculptural exuberance.