There's something about the rich cultural heritage of India that makes it one of the favourite destinations all around the world. We proudly boast of having some of the marvellous architectural wonders which also find a place in the UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites.
1. Ajanta Caves
This group of 30 caves is famous for its temple architecture and delicately drawn murals. These caves preserve some of the best masterpieces of Buddhist art in India and some of them date back to 2nd century BC.
How to reach: It is only 100 km from Aurangabad, which is well-connected by rail, road, and air.
2. Ellora Caves
One of the largest rock-cut temple cave complexes in the world, they exhibit the art and architecture of Jainism, Buddhism, and Hinduism. The Kailash temple is the largest single monolithic rock excavation in the world.
How to reach: It is only 30 km from Aurangabad which is well-connected by rail, road, and air.
3. Sun Temple, Konark
The Sun Temple at Konark is built in the form of Lord Surya's chariot. It has 24 wheels decorated with symbolic designs and driven by six horses.
How to reach: The temple is located 35 km from Puri and 65 km from Bhubaneshwar.
4. Group of monuments at Mahabalipuram
The temple town of Mahabalipuram is known for several temples dating back to the Pallava dynasty. Few of the notable ones among them are the Shore Temple and the 'Ratha Cave' temples.
How to reach: Chennai is the nearest airport and railway station situated at around 60 km from the group of magnificent temples.
5. Khajuraho Group of Monuments
The temples in Khajuraho are known for their erotic sculptures and magnificent architecture. The 25 temples of Khajuraho have been divided into Eastern, Western and Southern groups. Of these, the Western group of temples, especially the Kandariya Mahadev, Lakshmana, and Vishwanath temples are well known.
How to reach: Khajuraho has a domestic airport and a railway station that is well connected to all the major cities of India.
The ancient temples and palace ruins of Hampi belong to the 16th century Vijayanagar Empire and has been attracting tourists from around the world. The Virupaksha and Vittala temple are quite well-known here.
How to reach: Belgaum and Bengaluru airports are at a distance 270 km and 300 km respectively from the ancient site of Hampi. Hospet is the nearest railway station.
7. Group of monuments at Pattadakal
Pattadakal group of monuments are famous for their harmonious blend of architectural forms of northern and southern India. This famous world heritage site consists of a group of 10 major temples.
How to reach: It is just 14 km from Badami railway station.
8. Elephanta Caves
Located on the Elephanta island, off the coast of Mumbai, these caves perfectly depict the rock-cut art and architecture of the medieval India.
How to reach: You can take a ferry ride from the Gateway of India in Mumbai.
9. The Great Living Chola Temples
The Great Living Chola Temples in Tamil Nadu stand testimony to the achievements of the royal Chola dynasty. They comprise of three temples: the Brihadesvara Temple at Thanjavur, the Temple of Gangaikonda Cholapuram and the Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram.
How to reach: Trichy is the nearest airport and railway station.
10. Buddhist monuments at Sanchi
Sanchi is famous all over the world for its stupas. These stupas are noteworthy for their gateways that contain ornamented depiction of incidents from the life of Buddha and his previous incarnations.
How to reach: The site is 40 km from the capital city of Bhopal. You can also reach there through Vidisha.
11. Rock shelters of Bhimbetka
The rock shelters of Bhimbetka belong to the paleolithic and mesolithic periods. The paintings in these caves represent the earliest traces of human life on the Indian subcontinent.
How to reach: Bhopal is the nearest airport and railway station at 45 km.
12. Champaner-Pavagadh Archaeological Park
The archaeological park consists of temples and monuments from the prehistoric era. You can see a mix of Hindu and Muslim architecture here.
How to reach: Vadodara is the nearest railway station and airport from where you can hire cars.
13. Rani ki vav
Literally translated as the 'Queen's Stepwell', Rani ki Vav is designed as an inverted temple that pays homage to water. The well has seven levels of stairs that are beautifully carved with over 1500 mythological and religious sculptures.
How to reach: You will have to reach Patan from Ahmedabad that is well-connected by air, rail, and road.
14. Nalanda Mahavihara
For most part of the history, Nalanda has remained a centre of learning. Now the archaeological remains of the institution make for a great tourist and learning centre with its many stupas, temples, chaityas, and Buddhist monasteries.
Over the centuries, India has given the world its riches #nalanda The only Buddhist temple to be built in stone and in the purest style of the Hindu temples of #bihar #India.This unusual temple, nestled in a marvellous setting, has a unique charm and few visitors. When cooled by the breeze from the lake, this very atmospheric site is idyllic and should not be missed.
How to reach: Rajgir at a distance of 11 km is the nearest railway station.
15. Red Fort Complex
The Red Fort Complex is a sprawling fortress in Old Delhi. Built during the Mughal era, this fort was the administrative centre of British India since India became independent.
How to reach: Quite easily accessible in the capital city of New Delhi.
16. Humayun’s Tomb
It was the first garden-tomb in the Indian subcontinent. It is also the inspiration behind several major architectural innovations, like the Taj Mahal.
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How to reach: Once you are in New Delhi, you can take the metro either to Jor Bagh on yellow line, or JLN stadium of purple line.
17. Fatehpur Sikri
A fortified city, it was the capital of the Mughal emperors for a short period in 16th century. There is a fort in the site which is a blend of Mughal and Persian architecture.
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How to reach: Agra Cantt. railway station is the best way to reach Fatehpur Sikri.
18. Mahabodhi Temple Complex
The Mahabodhi Temple is one of the oldest brick structures in India. It has great religious and spiritual significance because it is believed that Buddha attained enlightenment here.
How to reach: Gaya is the nearest railway station. Although if you are looking for better connectivity it takes 3 hours to reach Bodh Gaya from Patna.
19. Chittorgarh Fort
A historical marvel in Rajasthan, this fort is one of the largest in India. It houses several temples and palaces and holds a great significance for Rajputs.
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How to reach: Chittorgarh is well-connected by rail and road. If you want to travel by air, then Dabok airport in Udaipur is the nearest.
20. Kumbhalgarh Fort
The wall of Kumbhalgarh fort is the second largest wall in the world after the Great Wall of China. There are several temples and palaces within the fort complex.
How to reach: It is a 2-hour ride from Udaipur which is well-connected by rail, road, and air to all the major cities of India.