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Heritage Tours in India

India is a land of diversity. The country is filled with innumerable historic sites which are steeped with age old heritage. There are a number of monuments, religious shrines, burials and historical residences that epitomize the highest order of Indian architecture. Some of these sites date back to several centuries back. Some have transcended the barriers of space and time and have been declared as heritage sites. A variety of heritage tours in India are organized to let the travelers explore the rich cultural heritage of the country.

Heritage of India

Heritage Tour to Ajanta - Ellora Caves: Ajanta - Ellora Caves form an important part of most heritage tours in India. Ajanta - Ellora Caves are well known for the colorful frescoes and stone carvings. Ajanta Caves contain paintings and sculpture based on Buddhist religious art. The caves are situated near the village of Ajintha in Aurangabad District in Maharashtra. Ajanta Caves date back to second century BC. The paintings on the ceilings and walls of Ajanta Cave depict the Jataka tales that narrate stories of Buddha's life in his former existences as Bodhisattva. The two caves have several paintings of murals.

Ellora is another well known rock-cut architectural wonder. There are 34 caves in total. These caves include Buddhist, Hindu and Jain cave temples and monasteries that were constructed sometime between 5th century and 10th century. There are 12 Buddhist temples, 17 Hindu temples and 5 Jain caves.

Heritage Tour to Taj Mahal: Taj mahal is one of the most famous world heritage sites in India. Your heritage tour in India is incomplete without a visit to the white marvel, built by Shah Jahan in the memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is a synergy of Persian, Turkish, Indian, and Islamic style of architecture.

The tomb is most important part of Taj Mahal. The tomb made of white marble stands on a square plinth that consists of a symmetrical building with an iwan, and an arch-shaped doorway and is topped by a large white dome. The multi-chambered structure at the base of Taj Mahal consists of a cube with chamfered edges and is about 55 meters on each side.

Heritage Tour to Kailash Temple: Kailash Temple, though principally known as a religious shrine, is a popular world heritage site in India. Kailash Temple, also known as Kailasanatha Temple is part of a complex located at Ellora in Maharashtra. Kailash Temple was built by Rashtrakuta king Krishna I in the 8th century.

According to popular belief, the temple was constructed invoke Mount Kailash. Kailash Temple, which is the epitome of Dravidian architecture, was built out of a single rock. It is said that about 200,000 tons of rocks were used over hundreds of years to construct this monolithic structure of the Kailash Temple.

Heritage Tour to Mahabalipuam: Mahabalipuam is another famous heritage site in India. It is a 7th century port city of the South Indian dynasty built by the Pallavas. Mahabalipuam is located 60 km south from Chennai in Tamil Nadu. To be more precise, Mahabalipuam is situated in Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu.

The monuments of Mahabalipuam are mostly monolithic, and reflect early Dravidian architectural style. There are a number of cave temples, monolithic rathas, sculpted relief and structural temples. The sculptures are some of the finest examples of Pallava art in India. Varaha Cave Temple, which dates back to the 7th century, is a beautiful temple in Mahabalipuram.

Also watch out for the Pancha Rathas that are five monolithic pyramidal structures named after the five Pandavas (Arjuna, Bhima, Yudhishtra, Nakula and Sahadeva) and their wife Draupadi. Each of the rathas is carved from one single large piece of stone.

Last Updated On: 2011/07/04