World Heritage Day 2022: Top 5 heritage sites in India
There are 40 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India that are a delight for cultural lovers, architecture enthusiasts, and adventure lovers. All these sites reflect the country's magnificent history and cultural significance. World Heritage Day is celebrated annually on April 18 to raise awareness about our rich culture and heritage and the need to preserve the same. Here are India's top five heritage sites.
Taj Mahal in Agra is one of the Seven Wonders of the World that was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983. Also known as the "Jewel of Muslim Art in India," the monument was commissioned by emperor Shah Jahan in 1631 in the memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal. The monument reflects the beautiful Mughal architecture style with intricately carved marble walls.
A cluster of 32 rock-cut Buddhist cave monuments, sculptures, and paintings, the Ajanta Caves were constructed in two different phases: first during the Satavahana period and second during the Vakataka period. One of the first Indian sites marked on the UNESCO list, the caves will give you a glimpse of the beginning of Indian Classical Art through carvings and sculptures related to Lord Buddha.
One of the Seven Wonders of India, the Sun Temple in Konark is a 13th-century ancient temple that was constructed in around AD 1250 by King Narasimhadeva I of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty. Dedicated to Surya Devta, the temple reflects the Kalinga-style architecture and is shaped like a gigantic chariot that stands on 24 carved wheels. It is one of India's largest brahmin sanctuaries.
Run by the Assam government, Kaziranga National Park is popularly known for housing the famous one-horned rhinoceros. The project was started in 1905 by Lord Curzon after his wife urged him to take measures to protect the endangered species of one-horned rhinos in the region. The park has 15 endangered faunal species, including swamp deer, wild Asiatic water buffalo, Asian elephant, and capped langur.
Well-known for Hindu and Jain temples, the Khajuraho Group of Monuments reflects the unique Nagara style architecture with erotic figurines and sculptures depicting human emotions. It is believed that these monuments were built between 950 and 1050 CE by the Chandela Dynasty. There are 85 temples in total covering an area of 20 square kilometers. The Kandariya Mahadeva Temple is the most popular here.