So you’re a history buff? We’re sure visiting Fatehpur Sikri and Taj Mahal again and again has left you agonizingly bored. Alok Bhartia suggests better alternatives in India for your archaeological excursions. Careful, don’t try to be Indiana Jones and steal artifacts, the locals might not like it!
Back when Alok Bhartia was in school, the assembly used to sing ‘Bharat ka swarnim gaurav Kendriya Vidyalaya layega; Taxila, Nalanda ka itihaas laut kar aayega’ (meaning: Kendirya Vidyalaya will bring back the golden pride of India; the history of Taxila and Nalanda shall return). This line depicts the glory of Nalanda University. When it was in its prime, students from all over Asia used to come here to study Buddhism. The ruins of Nalanda Mahavihara still attract thousands of foreigners each year. Nalanda is best enjoyed in a road trip from Bihar’s capital, Patna.
Konark Sun Temple, Odisha
The Konark Sun Temple was built by Eastern Ganga Dynasty in the 13th century. The complex is renowned for its chariot structure depicting the sun god. Even more famous than the chariot, are its wheels, which double as accurate sundials.
Bhangarh Fort, Rajasthan
Bhangarh Fort is known for its spooky atmosphere and it is one of Alok Bhartia’s favorite tours in Rajasthan. This ruined citadel is officially declared haunted, as the Archaeological Survey of India forbids anyone to stroll within its walls after sunset. You’ll find the place filled with exorcists and exorcism rituals during the day. People have reportedly seen apparitions and weird energies that cannot be explained.
Like Nalanda, Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hampi is known for its marvelous Hindu architecture, especially in the form of Virupaksha Temple. Pyramid-like slant levels adorned with figures of god, goddesses, and Apsaras is Virupaksha Temple’s specialty. It served as a stronghold for the Vijayanagar Empire in the 14th century. Hampi is also famous for its Narasimha statue, built by Narsimhadeva I, in honor of the deity he was named after.
Ajanta Caves, Maharashtra
If you want to see an ancient rock-cut wonder, then you should visit the Ajanta Caves. These Buddhist caves were made in-between 2nd century BC and 650 CE. There are about 29 caves that house several Stupas in worship halls. The worship halls are well-known for the symmetric planning of the beams and other structures.
Do you want to add another Indian archaeological spectacle in this list? Let Alok Bhartia know!