Don't forget your camera or your walking shoes when you visit the ancient monuments of India. Human life in India can be traced back more than 9,000 years ago to ancient paintings identified at the Bhimbetka rock shelters. India is not only a popular tourist destination for the sandy beaches of the south, but for the ancient ruins of the north. The mangrove forests of Sundarbans National Park and the ancient art of the Taj Mahal attract visitors from around the world. The World Heritage Center has listed a wide range of ancient Indian monuments that include temples, pillars and sculptures.
Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi
The Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi date to the third century B.C., making it one of the oldest Buddhist monuments in existence. The site of Sanchi was used as a sanctuary and a Buddhist center until the 12th century A.D. Commissioned by the emperor Ashoka the Great, the most famous of the Buddhist Monuments at Sanchi is the Great Stupa. The Great Stupa is a spiritual monument that acts as a place of worship and contains Buddhist relics. Sanchi contains two other stupas and a selection of temples, monolithic pillars and monasteries.
Group of Monuments in Hampi
Hampi was the capital of the Hindu Kingdom of Vijayanagar. Dating to the 14th century, the Hampi monuments include royal buildings, temples and other ancient artwork. The Virupaksha Temple and other temples in Hampi are still used as places of worship. Temples at Hampi are recognized for their carved traditional depictions and large scale. The Dhananayak's enclosure and row of pillared mandapas are popular sites among tourists. Outdoor enthusiasts also enjoy the available bouldering in the city. Climbers frequent the mountains in the area.
Group of Monuments in Pattadakal
The Pattadakal Monuments consist of 10 temples with individual artistic characteristics. Built in the seventh and eighth centuries, the monuments blend the Dravida and Nagara styles of temple building. The Temple of Virupaksha is the most well-known of the 10 temples. Built by Queen Lokamahedevi for her husband, it is the largest and features numerous sculptures and eclectic art. The oldest temple is the Sangamesvara, which was built between 697 and 733 A.D. Visitors enjoy exploring the caves in Pattadakal. Caverns contain sculptures and artwork that are carved into the walls.
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Residing in Nashville, Tenn., Kiley Mitchell has been writing topical articles and SEO copy since 2002. He has done work for the Wyndham hotel chains and has written about topics including travel, music, online marketing, business, health and literature. Mitchell holds a Bachelor of Arts from Indiana University in Bloomington.