World Heritage Sites in Central India

Whenever we ponder, enquire or discuss about visiting India we think either about North India (Taj Mahal, Qutb Minar, Red Fort, Kashmir e.t.c.), West India (Ajanta-Ellora Caves, Beaches of Goa e.t.c.) or South India (Hampi, Shore Temple, Puducherry e.t.c.). Folks tend to forget Central India and the valuable contributions it has made to the giant potpourri of wonder that is India apart from one particular monument in the region, the Khajuraho Group of Monuments, which are famous for their erotic sculptures.

Central India is a region which, geographically, is flat in the North and hilly in the South and spans across the states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh along with some parts of Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. This, often ignored part of India, is dotted with magnificent monuments which serve as a signature of the people who lived and thrived on these lands. Various dynasties like the Mauryas, Gahadvalas, Chandelas, Bundelas, Mughals, Holkars and Scindias e.t.c. ruled this region across the span of time and developed their own style of arts and crafts, governance, patronized different faiths and did deeds which are now deemed legendary.

Some major landmarks which serve as a reminder to the beliefs, art style, culture and spirit of the people of this region are the remarkable city of ruins – Mandu, the legendary forts of Jhansi and Kalinjar, the impressive Palaces, Temples and Cenotaphs of Orchha, the ancient temples of Sirpur and Bhoramdeo e.t.c. But three monuments which are the cream of this region and thus rightfully considered by UNESCO as treasures of mankind are the World Heritage Sites of Khajuraho Group of Monuments, Buddhist Monuments of Sanchi and Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka.

These monuments, which have come up across the span of time, stand out from the other monuments in the region. The Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka can be safely considered as one of the cradles of Human Habitation in South Asia as the early man, since the Stone Age, lived here to protect himself from the elements.  메이저사이트The rock paintings which he drew on the walls of these shelters serve as a testimony to the fact that mankind had been seeking shelter, food, security and thus had been inhabiting the region of India (and Central India in particular) since time immemorial.

The Buddhist Group of Monuments at Sanchi housed not only the relics of the Buddha (thus making this place a major site of Buddhist pilgrimage) but also has the lion capital of Emperor Ashoka (from which the national emblem of India is inspired). A group of over 50 monuments constructed over a period of time, many of the monuments including the stupa of Sanchi were constructed by Emperor Ashoka of the Maurya Dynasty over 2200 years ago!

Last but not the least, the Khajuraho Group of Monuments constructed by the Chandela Dynasty over 1000 years ago, not only represent the zenith of cultural evolution in Central India, but are also the symbols of the genius of Indian craftsman in general. These 22 temples, originally numbering over 80, are some of the finest Nagara architectural style temples, other styles being Dravidian, Chalukyan, Kalinga e.t.c., to be constructed in India. The Khajuraho temples stand as a testament to the fact that at a period of time, all topics related to society, and life in general, including eroticism were discussed freely, without inhibitions.

In the end, while we travelers have the liberty to pick and choose which destinations do we visit in India and which destinations do we leave out but one fact which is very evident is that if we decide to bypass the World Heritage Sites of Central India we would be taking the risk of ignoring the soul of India!


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