Culture Trip: India’s oldest human art
India is home to several richly historic and strikingly beautiful heritage sites. Spread across the breadth and width of the country, these can be difficult to navigate all at once. To help you get the best out of India’s rich offerings, I’ve compiled this list of the three most beautiful heritage sites you need to visit in India.
1. Bhimbetka Rock shelters:
Bhimbetka in Madhya Pradesh boasts of pre-historic rock shelter and some of the finest prehistoric cave paintings in South Asia. Located 45 km south of Bhopal, on the southern edge of the Vindhyachal hills, Bhimbetka was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Archaeologists are of the opinion that the caves might have been occupied over 10,000 years ago. The site has more than 700 rock shelters. Bhimbetka has 243 rock shelters and 178 are in LakhaJuar. In 1957, archaeologist Dr. Vishnu Wakankar noticed these structures from the train window on his way to Nagpur. They were similar to the rocks that he had previously studied in France and Spain. Several studies later on showed that these caves dated back to the Stone Age and served as some of the first human settlements during that time.
2. The prehistoric city of Maheshwar:
Maheshwar in Madhya Pradesh is a 4,000-year-old town, situated on the banks of river Narmada. Once the capital of Malwa Kingdom, Maheshwar witnessed great history under the reign of the heroic queen Ahilya Bai Holkar, Maharaja Malhar Rao Holkar’s daughter-in-law. Ahilya Fort is the most prominent tourist attraction here. The palace of queen Ahilya has been converted into a heritage hotel today that includes a life-size statue of the queen siting on her royal throne. It makes for an excellent place to take photographs. As you go around visiting the city, you can also take a peek into the production of handwoven Maheshwari sarees.
3. The ethereal and alluring temples of Khajuraho:
The temples of Khajuraho are the most famous tourist attractions of Maddhya Pradesh. They are famous worldwide for the erotic figures and breathtakingly beautiful carvings on the walls of the temples. Built during the reign of Chandela dynasty, from 900 to 1130 A.D., it is believed that there were about 85 temples in total, out of which only 20 remain. The most prominent of the remaining temples is the Kandariya Mahadev Temple, where the walls and carvings have been a great subject of study for those seeking the relationship between spirituality and human desires.