Not only students of history, but many others too have a strong fascination for historic sites. These places are like time capsules which give you a glimpse of a bygone era and echo the stories of the people who lived in these places a long time ago.
Splendid palaces, ancient forts and majestic structures will greet you in every nook and corner of a majestic country like India. A rich history slips out of all the ancient structures and many historical monuments which are well known as well as not so well known. Each of these will have stories to tell; some of them may be of the battles fought, the bravery and valour of the warriors, etc.
The recorded history in India began with the Indus Valley civilization which flourished during the 5th millennium BC. Many rulers and kingdoms have risen and fallen in the country since then.
The kings and emperors have constructed a number of architectural wonders in their times to mark their prominence, the creative impulses and also as an honour to their ancestors. Many monuments have been destroyed and many have stood the test of time. We decided to take a look at some of these lost worlds and bring to you 10 sites which you may not know about.
1. Rock Shelters At Bhimbetka
Coming to rock art in India, one would not be able to find a place which offers some rich paintings other than the ones at the rock shelters in Bhimbetka. The rock shelters here are one of the oldest art galleries in the world and they date back to some of the prehistoric settlements. Some of the paintings that you would come across here are at least 15,000 years old.
PC: Bernard Gagnon
2. Rani Ki Vav
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this site is a unique stepwell which was built in Gujarat during the 11th century. This architectural marvel is an inverted temple which was built by a Queen by the name of Udayamathi in memory of her husband King Bhimdev of the Solanki dynasty. The seven storied structure has around 800 sculptures across the monument.
PC: Stefan Krasowski
3. Chhatrapathi Shivaji Terminus
Declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the terminus was built in the 18th century and is the epitome of the High Victorian Gothic design with equal importance given to the Indian architecture of its time. It has a beautiful stone dome and a mammoth structure. This is definitely one of those sites which had been hiding for decades in plain sight.
4. Gol Gumbaz
In the small town of Bijapur in Karnataka is the Gol Gumbaz which is often known as the 'Taj Mahal' of South India, built as a tomb for the Adil Shahi King Mohammed Adil Shah. Take a walk around the structure and you would notice the intricate and simply beautiful carvings across the structure. The architect Yaqut of Dabul, in order to support the tomb had built eight arches which intersect one another.
PC: Ashwin Kumar
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it still is a relatively lesser known site which does not get many visitors. The site has temples dedicated to Shiva along with Jain temples built in the 7th and 8th century. The small hamlet is located on the banks of the Malaprabha river and has 10 temples which highlight the unique Chalukyan architecture.
6. Ananthapura Lake Temple
Like many other historic sites in India, the Ananthapura lake temple in Kasaragod is a place where history and mysticism meet. The temple is guarded by a vegetarian crocodile called Babia. Till this day every time one crocodile passes away another one comes and replaces it. The temple is also believed to be the original seat of Ananthapadmanabha Swamy of Thiruvananthapuram.
7. Shettihalli Church
A perfect combination of history and spirituality is what is found in the Rosary Church at Shettihalli in Karnataka. The church sure does offer you a spectacular sight on normal days. The structure was built by the French missionaries sometime during the 1860s. It gets partially submerged in the water during the monsoon and it stands tall on the backwaters of the Hemavathy Reservoir.
8. Kumbalgarh Fort
This is India's answer to the Great Wall of China. The impressive structure of the Kumbhalgarh Fort in Rajasthan extends to 36 km and is the second longest wall in the world which was built in the 15th century. The wall runs across the Aravali range and one would have to trek quite a distance to reach the fort.
9. Jahaz Mahal
A city which once thrived in the 11th century and was part of the kingdom of Taranga is located in a place called Mandav in Madhya Pradesh. Stroll through this forgetten city and you will have the chance of coming face to face with some splendid monuments and palaces in the country. Amongst the monuments lies the Jahaz Mahal which was built in the 15th century by Ghiyas ud din Khilji.
PC: Arian Zwegers
10. Royal Palace Of Kareng Ghar
The Tai Ahom dynasty ruled the Ahom Kingdom, which is the modern day Assam, for 600 years. Kareng Ghar was the capital of the great kingdom and the royal palace stands as a testament to this factor. Built with wood, the four-storeyed structure has servants quarters, watch towers and is also said to have secret tunnels to escape in case of an attack.