Everyone dreams of travelling the world, visiting cities and exploring the wonders of the world, both natural and man-made. The 7 wonders of the world lie in different corners and visiting each one will obviously be pretty heavy on the pocket. But why travel all the way to foreign shores when there are so many wonders right here, waiting to be explored?
Here are some majestic heritage places that you can visit closer home, which are in no way less than the wonders of the world!
1. Hampi, Karnataka
Situated in the centre of Karnataka's Deccan Plateau, Hampi offers the incredible ruins of a medieval city, which was the capital of Vijayanagar empire. Around 500 years ago, the Sultan of Bijapur laid siege on the city reducing it to rubble. Spread over more than 25 kilometers, the ruins of magnificent temples, lavish palaces, fortifications and the city markets offer a mesmerizing view.
The main attractions to visit are Virupaksha temple, Vittala temple, Hemakuta hill, Sule Bazaar, and Royal centre.
2. Konark Sun Temple, Odisha
Dedicated to the Sun god, the magnificent Konark Sun temple in Odisha will leave you spellbound the moment you cast your eyes on it. Shaped like a huge chariot with stone-carved wheels, the temple was built in the 13th century.
The main attractions to visit are Virupaksha temple, Vittala temple, Hemakuta hill, Sule Bazaar, and Royal centre. It's a spectacular piece of architecture, particularly famous for its exquisite stone carvings.
3. Nalanda University, Bihar
The ancient centre of higher learning, Nalanda University was constructed in the times of Gupta rulers, in present day Bihar. The Buddhist University was the world's first residential University that housed 2,000 teachers and 10,000 students. Didn't know that, did you? It flourished between the 5th and 12th century and attracted scholars from all across the world.
Excavation of the University has uncovered many stupas, temples, chaityas, and Buddhist monasteries, all of which will take you back to the ancient age.
4. Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand
Situated in the backdrop of Zanskar ranges and popular for its endemic alpine flowers and a variety of flora, the Valley of Flowers is spread across 87 sq kms in Chamoli District of Uttarakhand. One look at it, even in pictures, and it is safe to say that it's one of the most fascinating natural wonders in India. The rich flora and fauna of the valley offers picturesque beauty, perfect for some pensive sitting on a solo trip.
Fun fact: The biodiversity hot-spot is also believed to be the hills from where lord Hanuman brought the divine herb Sanjeevani to resuscitate Lakshman.
5. Lonar Crater Lake, Maharashtra
Created by the impact of a massive meteor which crashed into Earth around 50,000 years ago, Lonar lake in Maharashtra is the third largest impact craters in the world. It's a salt-water lake which is also the only hypervelocity-natural-impact crater lake in basaltic rock. Explore the dense forest cover, historical temples and the ecological diversity by trekking along the perimeter of the lake, which is around 6 kms long.
Pretty, ain't it?
6. Khajuraho Temples, Madhya Pradesh
A culmination of the finest Indian arts, Khajuraho temples in Madhya Pradesh, are a thousand years old. They're also included in the UNESCO world heritage sites. For the past 500 years, these intricately carved temples depicting erotic sculptures were buried under thick forests, until a British officer discovered them in the 19th century.
Look at all those sculptures!
7. Dholavira, Gujarat
Dholavira is one of the largest archaeological sites of Indus Valley Civilisation in India. It is located on the Khadir bet island in the Kutch Desert Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat. If you're a history lover, you will love this ancient city with exquisite planning which has incredible architecture, monumental structures and a sophisticated water management system, all revealed during the excavation work.