Articles worth reading
Cox & Kings Wins Accolades At The World Travel Awards 2015

Cox & Kings Wins Accolades At The World Travel Awards 2015

access_time November 2, 2015

  Cox & Kings wins four titles at the prestigious World Travel Awards Asia & Australasia Gala Ceremony 2015, held...

Abu Simbel Sun Festival In Egypt

Abu Simbel Sun Festival In Egypt

access_time May 11, 2016

There are many corners in this round world that quietly support poems in stone. Grand structures that are in alignment...

Join The Party at Trinidad and Tobago

Join The Party at Trinidad and Tobago

access_time February 2, 2015

Dance and sing your way through the two days of  the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival  Many have tried to replicate...

UNESCO WH Sites Part 2 – Preserving The Old As Gold In South India

UNESCO WH Sites Part 2 – Preserving The Old As Gold In South India

access_time March 23, 2015 chat_bubble_outline 0 comments 3708 views

Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in South India with Reshma Kulkarni

shutterstock_92304979

India is home to as many as 32 UNSECO World Heritage Sites. Mentioning them in one article won’t do justice to these majestic sites. Previously, we took you across various sites in the North India, now it’s time for South! Here’s a look at some of the UNESCO WH sites in South India:

1) Chola Temples, Tamil Nadu

They reflect the beautiful Chola architectural style incorporated by the Kings of Chola Empire in the 11th and 12th century. They feature bronze casting, sculpting, painting and architecture. The temples comprise of three structures spread over Tamilnadu viz. Brihadeeswarar Temple of Cholapuram (also called Gangaikonda temple); Airavateshwarar Temple of Darasuram; and Brihadeeswarar Temple of Thanjavur. The temple of Thanjavur was first included as a WH site in 1987 and was subsequently followed by the other two in 2004. The temple of Thanjavur is one of the largest temples of India and is dedicated to Lord Shiva. It was built by Raja Raja Chola I and turned 1000 years old in 2010. The Gangaikonda temple is considered an engineering marvel because the shadow of its main tower never falls on the ground. The Airavateshwarar temple is a storehouse of exquisite stone carvings, art and architecture.

 

Explore the Brihadeeswarar Temple in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu

Explore the Brihadeeswarar Temple in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu

 

2) Monuments of Mahabalipuram, Kancheepuram

The Pancha Rathas that date back to the Pallava dynasty

The Pancha Rathas that date back to the Pallava dynasty period

This group of monuments comprising of 40 sanctuaries, dates back to the Pallava dynasty period. The site includes Pancha Rathas (temples in the form of chariots) such as Dharmaraja Rath, Draupadi Rath, etc. Cave Temples like Varaha Cave temple and Panchapandava Cave temple, etc; structural temples like Shore temple; and the Descent of the Ganges which is the largest open-air bas-relief in the world. Since the town is said to have gained prominence during the rule of Mamallas, the place is also known as Mamallapuram. The monuments, carved entirely out of rock, were included in the WH list in 1984 for their architectural marvel.

 

 

3) Nilgiri Mountain Railway, Tamil Nadu

Ride the Nilgiri Raiway and catch a view of some of the most scenic places

Ride the Nilgiri Mountain Raiway and catch a view of some of the most scenic places

Built by the British in 1908, the NMR still runs on a fleet of steam locomotives like the days of yore. The UNESCO added the NMR to its list of WH sites in 2005, as an extension to the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway, thus making the site known as Mountain Railways of India. This 46-meter long, meter-gauge single-track railway was proposed to be built in 1854. But since the imperious mountains proved to be an impediment, the work could be started only in 1891 and got completed by 1908. The NMR scales an elevation of 326 meters to 2,203 meters. It was chosen to be a part of the WH list for being the one of the most authentic rack and adhesion railway in the world, as also for being an example of engineering marvel at the beginning of the 20th century.

 

 

4) Monuments of Hampi, Karnataka

Hampi, located within the ruins of the ancient capital of the Vijayanagara dynasty

Hampi, located within the ruins of the ancient capital of the Vijayanagara dynasty

Hampi was the erstwhile capital of the last great Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagar. It was a grandiose city comprising of huge palaces and temples built by exceedingly rich princes during the 14th and 16th centuries. The city was robbed to the bones in 1565 by a Muslim invasion; the plundering continued for around six months after which there was hardly anything left to loot. But despite that, the architectural marvel of the structures at Hampi continue to wow people till date. The ruins of Hampi (which stands on the bank of Tungabhadra river) include the Virupaksha temple and the ruins of Vijayanagara.

 

 

5) Monuments of Pattadakal, Karnataka

Ruins of an ancient hindu temple in Pattadakal near Badami

Ruins of an ancient hindu temple in Pattadakal near Badami

These monuments date back to as early as 8th century AD and were included in the UNESCO WH site list in 1987. The group of monuments comprises of nine Hindu temples and a Jain sanctuary. Amongst the temples, the Virupaksha temple (different from the one at Hampi), built by Queen Lokamahadevi to honour her husband Vikramaditya II’s victory over the Pallavas, is the most astounding structure here. The other structures include Kashivisvanatha temple, Mallikarjuna temple and Jambulinga temple amongst others. All of these are built in the Dravidian and Nagara style of architecture. Apart from these temples, the group of monuments also comprises of small Shiva shrines, a monolithic pillar bearing inscriptions, and a Museum.

folder_openAssigned tags

About author

Reshma

Reshma S Kulkarni is a freelance writer-journalist, with a byline in more than 20 national and international publications including Bombay Times, Femina, The Hindu, Cosmopolitan, DNA and Hello (UAE). She translates books for renowned publishing houses and works as a freelance copy-editor for two Indian financial journals. She is a Visiting Faculty at the department of post-graduate studies in Mass Media & Journalism at two Mumbai-based institutes. In her free time, Reshma loves to read books, conduct tarot readings and whip up culinary delights.

View more articles

No Comments

comment No comments yet

You can be first to leave a comment

Leave a comment

info_outline

Your data is safe with us!

We promise not to share your email address with anyone.