Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before. – Dalai Lama
India is a land of various historical ruling dynasties that have to build architectural structures and vast monuments signifying their power, wealth and gratitude towards religion. From memorial benches, tombs, gardens, palaces and temples to forts, walls, statues and cemeteries. Still, there are certain breath-taking archaeological sites and spectacular cultures assets that are worth to be toured and their historical background and heritage yet to be explored.
1. Maluti Temples
The small town of Maluti near Shikaripara in the wilderness of Jharkhand has about 72 old terracotta temples and is considered to be one of the top ten ruins in the world. Located in Dumka district on the eastern part of the Chota Nagpur Plateau, the Indian state of Jharkhand these temples are known to be built between the 17th and 19th century. Apart from the Shiva temples, there are also eight temples dedicated to Goddess Kali. With few inscriptions on these temples, they are yet to be explored.
The monument has been declared as of national importance by the Archaeological Survey of India. Rabdentse was the second capital of the former Kingdom of Sikkim from 1670 to 1814. The capital city was destroyed by the invading Gurkha army and only the ruins of the palace and the chortens are seen here now. Amazing views of the Khanchendzonga ranges can be cherished. Being a part of Buddhist religious pilgrimage circuit, these ruins are a great tourist place showcasing Sikkim’s culture and heritage.
A UNESCO world heritage site among 38 others, Pattadakal has a number of ancient temples that date back to the 8th century BC. Described as “a harmonious blend of architectural forms from northern and southern India“. The Hindu temples are dedicated to Shiva, but elements of Vaishnavism and Shaktism theology and legends are also featured. The historical place is a fusion of Northern and Southern styles having the unexplored historical significance of that era.
4. Shettihalli Rosary Church
Ever seen a submerging monument? Well, here is one incredibly interesting and spectacularly beautiful in itself. The birth of the Rosary Church, Shettihalli, dated back to the 1860s and rests on the banks of Hemavathi River near Hassan. It is said to submerge during the rains and emerge again once the water has receded. It could definitely have been some set coming straight out of the Game of Thrones. The church is the structure of Gothic architecture and was abandoned in 1960, after the construction of the Hemavati Dam and Reservoir. For all those who wish to see a floating church in monsoon, the place is just right for you.
5. Arvalem Rock Cut
When did you last went to Goa to see a historical site and not for partying? Let me guess. Never, right? But the Arvalem or ‘Pandava’ caves are a beautiful example of historical significance in the smallest state of India. These cut caves give us an opportunity to step into the mythological world dating back to the 6th century. Deriving their names after the five Pandavas of the epic Mahabharata, the caves were a place where they took hostage. However, the archaeological features of the cave are that of Buddhist possession. The Rudreshwar Temple and a waterfall in its vicinity make it a must-visit.
6. Basgo Fort
The Basgo fort overlooking the serene Indus River in Ladakh is another unheard archaeological landscape. The place is known for its gompas such as the Basgo monastery and its historical ruins. Being the seat of the royal ruling family Namgyal, the place holds strong political, cultural and religious significance. Along with the fort, what makes this place spectacular are the three temples dedicated to the three different forms of Lord Buddha. The peaceful and nature-filled serene will spare your soul a few moments to be away from the rushing life.
7. Rani ki Vav
Another world heritage site of India which is yet to be brought into proper exploration by Indians. As the name suggests, the place was built by a widowed queen in memory of her husband. Call it another Taj Mahal but this place has a lot more to offer than the most wonders of the world. Being the finest example of stepwell and the Maru-Gurjara architecture style. The walls, pillars, columns, brackets and beams are ornamented with carvings and scrollwork. The place reflects the delicate and complex structural techniques which make it unmissable for anyone who adores such a fine piece of architecture.
Apart from the above listed seven unexplored and unheard historical places, there are much more such hidden and less known archaeological sites which need to explore in order to reveal many more concealed and diverse cultures, traditions and historical backgrounds.