By Team Mojarto
India’s culture truly reflects its rich, cultural and natural heritage, which are a testimony to its invaluable treasures. The cultural sites are a repository of archetypal diversity and artistic excellence. It stands as a chronicle of centuries-old history, the ancient grandeur of various empires and the diverse physiography of the Indian subcontinent. The Indian heritage treasures of India is a strong, cohesive narrative bringing together India’s origin as a landmass, the earliest humans who lived on this subcontinent, the various kingdoms and empires that left their mark as architectural testimonies of different periods, styles and technologies.
Travel is a joy like no other. It is a chance to experience new places, lives, cultures and history. Below are some artworks that celebrate these heritage sites and travel. These are also the five important places where everyone should visit in their lifetimes.
The austere, grandiose site of Hampi was the capital of the Vijayanagara kingdom. It is located along the Tungabhadra river in present-day Karnataka. The denuded boulders and craggy hills add to the rustic beauty of the place. Walking through the ruins of this erstwhile capital city there is a sense of travelling back in time. One gets to be awestruck with the architecturally and artistically exquisite temples of Virupaksha, Vitthala and Hazara Rama.
Located in the present-day Madhya Pradesh, the temples at Khajuraho were built during the Chandela dynasty(9-13 Cent. CE). Around eighty-five temples were built by the kings in and around the capital city of Khajuraho, of which only twenty-five survive. The hallmark of the Khajuraho temples is the profusion of sculptures on their elevations. These comprise cult images, divinities and their families, erotic couples and mythical vyalas. This heritage site is believed to be the epitome of Indian temple architecture.
Ajanta caves, present in Maharashtra are one of the most important historical mountainous landscapes in the country. They comprise thirty caves cut into the side of a cliff that rises above the Waghora river. Though accessed today via a road running along a terrace midway up the cliff, each cave was originally linked by a stairway to the edge of the river waters. The site provides outstanding murals on Jataka stories and Buddhism.
Mahabalipuram or Mamallapuram is a monumental site in Tamil Nadu. These monuments are located along the shore and a nearby hill. One can find different architectural styles like monoliths, rock reliefs, caves and temples. The five-tiered pyramidal roof of the Shore Temple or the Krishna’s Butterball (huge rock boulder) never fails to amuse the travellers. The huge larger than life sculptures are evidence of the Pallava kingdom’s architectural legacy and knowledge.
Taj Mahal located in Agra is an iconic image of the country. It is cherished for its beauty, radiance and architecture. Built by the Mughal emperor Shahjahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal is a pure token of love and memory. It is one of the important monuments that has been romanticised over the centuries, eulogised by poet laureates and itinerant travellers. Construction of this architectural masterpiece took twenty-two years and was recognised as the zenith of Mughal architecture in India.