Beyond the Ordinary: Exploring Lesser-Known Heritage Sites

India is home to amazing heritage sites, but there are a few that are not very popular and not visited by many and that’s why here’s a list of some of these lesser known heritage sites for you.

If you are someone who loves travelling and exploring lost places, hidden gems, and historical spots, here’s a list of some of the best lesser known heritage sites in India that have a rich history and legacy associated with them and are totally worth visiting.

1. Bhimbetka Rock Shelters, Madhya Pradesh

Spanning over the Paleolithic and Mesolithic periods, Bhimbetka is a must-visit for many reasons. It was discovered in 1957 and consists of over 700 caves. It is also said to be the earlier evidence of human settlement and existence. There are cave paintings over 1,200 years old that gives a glimpse of dance and hunting from the stone age, where the colours were created using manganese, soft red stone, plant leaves, and hematite.

2. Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Park

The Valley of Flowers and Nanda Devi National Park are the two UNESCO World Heritage sites that are situated in the Garhwal region and across the main crest of the Great Himalayan Range, respectively. The Valley of Flowers is popular for the thousands of varieties of flowers, and medicinal plants, while The Nanda Devi National Park is known for its remote mountain wilderness.

3. Rosary Church, Karnataka

Half of this church is submerged underwater and is also known as the Floating Church and The Submerged Church. Featuring Gothic architecture, it was built in the 1860s by the French missionaries. The best time to visit it is between July to October, as that’s when half of the church remains under water. Feel free to hire a boat and take a stroll at this glorious heritage site.

4. Eran Monument, Madhya Pradesh

Eran is an ancient town located at the banks of Bina river in Madhya Pradesh and was an important Hindu place till the Gupta period in the 4th-5th centuries C.E., which unfortunately lost its legacy after that, and was later discovered by  Alexander Cunningham. Today there are several Vishnu shrines and one of them is dedicated to the Varaha avatar of Vishnu, which is 10 feet in height.

Also Read: Don’t forget to explore these heritage sites in Assam on your next trip to Northeast India!

5. Rani ki vav – The Queen’s Stepwell

To see this 900-year-old marvel, you’ll have to head to a town in Gujarat named Patan. It is also declared as a UNESCO world heritage site and holds the award for the cleanest iconic place in India by Indian Sanitation Conference. It was built as a memorial by Rani Udayamati for her husband and the 11th-century king, Bhima I. There are over 1500 sculptures inside this seven-storey stepwell, making it another must-visit.

6. Dholavira: A Harappan City

This one is another UNESCO World Heritage site and was discovered in 1968. It is one of the two largest Harappan sites in the country and has passed through all the stages of Harappan civilization and culture circa 2900 BC to 1500 BC. The remains consist of a citadel with middle and lower towns as well as a stadium.

7. Sun Temple, Konark Orissa 

The temple’s features are truly remarkable, and a few examples are worth mentioning. One notable feature is the chariot wheel that has been placed in such a way that it functions as a sundial, indicating the time based on the position of the sun’s rays. Additionally, the temple has 12 wheels that represent the twelve months of the Hindu calendar, as well as various sculptures of animals, aquatic creatures, Hindu gods and goddesses, birds, and friezes depicting scenes from Hindu texts.

Also Read: A heritage walk along Mahatma Phule Mandai market in Pune to witness the glory of history!

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