India has been visited by people from different cultures and religions over the centuries. Everyone has left their mark on India, which can be seen in the rich cultural heritage of the country. From quaint temples to grand monuments, there is a lot to see and experience when it comes to heritage of India.
7 heritage tours of India
If a heritage tour of India interests you, here are 7 heritage tours in India you must not miss out on:
1. Taj Mahal, Agra
This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important parts of India’s cultural heritage. You would have to be living under a rock to not know about Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Built in the 17th century, it is a magnificent example of Mughal architecture. The white stone used on the construction of the monument still shines bright. Taj Mahal is the epitome of love around the world, because it was constructed by an emperor who was truly in love with his wife.
2. Ajanta and Ellora Caves
A little distance from the city of Aurangabad in Maharashtra are the awe-inspiring Ajanta and Ellora Caves. The caves are more than 2000 years old and proof of Buddhist influence in the country. The caves are not natural caves as some would have you believe. Rather, they were carved out of natural rock by Buddhist monks several thousand years ago. The walls of the caves are adorned with some beautiful sculptures, which tell you the story of Buddhism.
3. Rajasthan tour
The royal state of Rajasthan is testament to the colorful cultural heritage of the country. There is much to see and explore in the desert state, starting from the capital city of Rajasthan. There are beautiful palaces to explore and which tell you the tale of the royal times. When in Rajasthan, don’t miss out on a tour of Udaipur, the city of lakes. There are some seriously beautiful man-made lakes overlooking grand palaces in Udaipur. And do not miss out on a Bishnoi Village safari too. The Bishnois are an old clan of India and an important part of country’s heritage.
4. Bodh Gaya
Bodh Gaya in Bihar is the place where Lord Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment. There are several old Buddhist temples to explore in Bodh Gaya, all of which give you an insight into the past of the country. If you venture a little distance away from Bodh Gaya, you can also explore the ruins of Nalanda University, one of the greatest centers of learning that has ever been built on earth.
5. Goa Cathedrals
The colonial charm of Goa is unmistakable. The Portuguese are credited with building several beautiful churches in Goa, most of which are in the old part of the state today. On a Goa holiday, visit beautiful cathedrals of Goa, which transport you to the times gone by. Of course, there are the beaches of Goa for relaxation and fun when you get tired of visiting the colonial past of the state.
6. Khajuraho Temples
If you are interested in visiting India’s celebratory past, visit Khajuraho Temples in Madhya Pradesh. The temples are known for their erotic sculptures, and deviate away from the conservative mindset of people today. Khajuraho is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which celebrates the most basic need of humans. Some might be ashamed about his aspect of India’s heritage, but if you look at it closely, it makes for a great experience. Some of the sculptures are a pure work of art.
Today, Hampi is a small village of Karnataka. But back in its glory days, it was a crucial part of the Vijayanagar Empire. It was an important trade center and an administrative centre as well. You can revisit the glory days of Hampi by exploring the various ruins and relics of the region. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and makes for some interesting exploration.