India, as we know it, is a myriad of innumerable traditions and cultures that somehow blend well and coexist peacefully. With every region having its own unique culture, exploring a country like India can be extremely fascinating. Every state of the country is born from a blend of influences from many past rulers.
These powerful rulers built numerous monuments and structures, which now act as a sign of commemorating their existence. Since several dynasties ruled in India, the country is filled with heritage sites that were built by different empires. Here are the top 10 heritage destinations that you must visit to get an idea of Indian history.
Agra, the city best known worldwide for the magnificent Taj Mahal, is home to more than just this wonder of the world. Since Agra was the capital of the Mughal Empire for a long time, it is dotted with marvellous constructions made by rulers like Akbar, Shah Jahan and Jahangir.
Go on a Mughal heritage walk and visit these stunning structures of Taj Mahal, Agra Fort, the city of Fatehpur Sikri, Jama Masjid, etc.
Rajasthan's capital Jaipur, which is popularly known as Pink City, is a land of many stunning relics. It is called the Pink City because in 1876, Maharaja Ram Singh ordered for the entire city to be painted pink, since it was believed to be the colour of hospitality, on the arrival of Queen Victoria.
Walk through the rustic streets of Jaipur and revel in the beautiful architecture of havelis, palaces and forts like the Hawa Mahal, City Palace, Nahargarh Fort, to name a few.
Since the capital of the Mughal Empire was shifted from Agra to Delhi after a few decades, the brilliance of Mughal architecture can be witnessed even in Delhi.
This capital city of our country is a blend of several cultures; therefore, sightseeing in Delhi can never seem dull. Qutub Minar complex, Red Fort, Akshardham Temple and Jama Masjid are some of the many monuments of Delhi that have to be visited.
Ahmedabad was recently declared as India's first and only World Heritage City due to several reasons, such as being home to monuments of fine Indo-Muslim architecture, being the centre of Gandhi's freedom struggle, etc.
Going on a heritage walk in Ahmedabad will take you through the beautiful rustic streets that are lined with buildings of a bygone era. Some of the spectacular tourist places you must go to in Ahmedabad include the Swaminarayan Temple, Sabarmati Ashram, Sidi Saiyyed Mosque, etc.
PC: Tapas Biswas
The capital city of West Bengal. Kolkata has an old-world charm that is hard not to fall in love with. It is fondly known as the Cultural Capital of India, where you can see buildings of brilliant Victorian style of architecture and a blend of Hindu-British culture.
Witness the beauty of Victoria Memorial and the famed Howrah Bridge, visit Belur Math, Fort William and don't miss out on the various sweet dishes of Kolkata like rasgulla and mishti doi.
This laid-back union territory of India is flanked with serene beaches on one side and charming French colonies on the other that stand as a reminder of the brief French rule that prevailed in Pondicherry.
Go beach-hopping to the scenic beaches of Pondicherry, such as Paradise Beach, Auroville Beach, or find spirituality at Auroville Ashram or just explore these picturesque French colonies of Pondicherry.
Jodhpur, the city located in the Land of Kings, Rajasthan, is popularly called Blue City. This is because the locals of Jodhpur painted all their houses blue in order to keep their homes cool during the sweltering summers of Rajasthan.
It is home to many forts and palaces and was founded by the Rajput chief of Rathore clan, Rao Jodha. Visit the glorious Mehrangarh Fort that crowns the city, Umaid Bhawan Palace, Balsamand Lake and more at Jodhpur.
PC: Joel Godwin
The beautiful temple town of Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the group of spectacular temples that are spread across the town. A remarkable work of art by the Vijayanagara Empire, these temples are an outstanding example of the Vijayanagara Empire's architectural prowess.
Indulge in temple-hopping by visiting the beautiful Virupaksha Temple, Vitthala Temple, Lotus Palace and shop in the Hampi Bazaar for intriguing souvenirs.
Nestled on the banks of river Betwa lies the historic city of Orchha in Madhya Pradesh, it is filled with temples and palaces that eludes a rustic charm that takes you back to a medieval period. With the heritage of the Bundela dynasty, a tour through Orchha is a must.
Revel in the Jehangir Mahal, Raja Mahal, Phool Bagh and other such mesmerising structures of Orchha that are certainly worth a visit.
The scenic city of Kochi, also known as Cochin, is fondly known as the Queen of the Arabian Sea. This city is highly influenced by a blend of different cultures that include the Dutch, Portuguese, British, to name a few.
Walk through the Jew Town and Fort Kochi to get the essence of this blend of cultures or unwind at the Marine Drive, the city's hub for youngsters and more at Kochi, Kerala.