India is a country with one of the richest histories in the world. Some shreds of evidence state that modern human civilization in Indian is somewhere between 73,000-55,000 years old. However, there are no solid structures made back then hence we don’t have much information about this period. This is the reason why historians mention the origin of Ancient India from the Indus Valley Civilization that dates back to 1750 BC, where clear evidence of human lifestyle was present.
However, the end of the ancient era is unclear but most of the historian believe ancient period was ended in India with the rise of the Delhi Sultanate. This rich history of India is stored in the form of archeological monuments. So’ here is the list of 12 Archeological Wonders Of Ancient India.
1. Ellora Caves
Ellora Caves are located in Maharashtra near Aurangabad and were built around 600-1000 AD. These caves were built for religious purposes and have Hindu, Buddist and Jain Monuments. Ellora Caves were built over a course of 400 years and two dynasties Rashtrakuta and Yadava are stated to be responsible for their building. The entire caves are made by cutting rocks and historians still wonder that how it was possible back then to cut these massive caves out of the stone.
Deopahar is located in Assam and is 62km away from Kaziranga National Park. It was built between 7th to 9th century and historians aren’t sure to weather its incomplete or was damaged in Assam Earthquake of 1897. However, there was an addition of Numaligarh temple in 1713 AD to this historic site. Deopahar is basically a temple of Lord Shiva and is crafted out of Monolithic Rock. This location is also famous for its False Hemp Trees.
Unakoti is located in Tripura District of Odisha. In these location idols related to Lord Shiva are crafted in stone and their construction dates back to the 7th century if not before. The word Unakoti basically means one less than a crore in Bengali. The idols present in Unakoti has a Hindu story behind it that states Lord Shiva and one crore other gods rested at this very place at there voyage to Kashi.
4. Konark Sun Temple
Konark Sun Temple is located on the coastline of Odisha and is dedicated to Hindu God Surya. It was built around 1250 AD by Eastern Ganga Dynasty’s king Narasimhadeva I. Some evidence suggests this temple was one 200 feet tall and had the design of Lord Surya’s Chariot. Currently, it is in ruins and is just 100 feet tall by now. Some restorations were made to the monument and it’s currently one of the most famous Hindu pilgrim spots in India. It was also declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
5. Meenakshi Temple
Meenakshi Temple is located in Madurai in the state of Tamil Nadu. There is no solid evidence when this temple was built but it has clear mentions in 6th-century Tamil texts and some historians believe it was built 3000 years ago. Later in the 12th century, it was attacked by Allaudin Khilji of Delhi Sultanate and was rebuilt in the 14th century. Furthermore, it was renovated in the 17th century. Currently, it is one the most famous pilgrim spot for Hindus and due to its precise design, it is considered an engineering marvel.
6. The descent of the Ganges
The descent of the Ganges is two monolithic rocks that carved with the famous Hindu story of the descent of goddess Ganga from heaven in the form of a river that is currently known as the Ganges. It is located in Kancheepuram district of the state Tamil Nadu. And was built the 7th century to celebrate the victory of Narasimhavarma1 over king Pulikesy2 of Chalukiya dynasty. The descent of the Ganges has very precise and beautiful carvings on it and it is one of the 25 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India.
Pattadakal is located in the northern region of Karnataka and was built in 7th century BC. There are total 10 temples in this complex 9 Hindu and 1 Jain Temple. These temples are entirely made up of rock and beautiful idols of gods and goddesses are carved on them. These carvings mostly depict stories from Mahabharata and Ramayana and most of the temples are dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Hampi is an ancient city located in Karnataka on the banks of Tungabhadra river and is famous for its Hindu temples. Hampi became capital of Vijayanagar Empire in the 14th century and its origin dates back to 2nd century as mentioned in some 6th-century texts. After 14th century Hampi was continuously attacked by different rules of Delhi Sultanate and after 1565, it was left in ruins. Currently, it one of the most popular archeological sites of India and has also listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Khajuraho is located in Madhya Pradesh and was built between 950 to 1050 AD by kings Yashovarman and Dhanga of Chandela dynasty. Khajuraho is a group of temples which were 85 in number in the 12th century and were spread over an area of 20 square km. Till Now, only 25 temples have survived and are spread over 6 square km. These temples are dedicated to Hindu and Jain Gods and are known for their stone carvings.
10. Sanchi Stupa
Sanchi Stupa is located in the State of Madhya Pradesh and is the oldest stone monument in India. It also was written as Sanci and was built by emperor Ashoka in 3rd century BC. Some further additions were made to this place in 1st century BC and in Maurayan Period. Sanchi Stupa is a Buddhist complex and had one of the Ashoka Pillars which was 42 feet in height and had four lions on top which is the current National Emblem of India.
11. Vaishali Ancient City
Vaishali is an ancient city which is located in Bihar. There is very little information about the origin of this city but records say it was the capital of Mithila Region in 6th Century BCE. It is the place where Buddha gave his last sermon. This city is currently in ruins and is a famous archaeological site. It is a place where an Ashoka pillar was recovered which was in a very good condition. This city also has mentioned in some texts of Chinese explorers too.
12. Nalanda University
Nalanda is located in the state of Bihar and was a center of learning from 5th century AD to 12th Century AD. It was one of the earliest universities of Vedic learning and was at its peak during the reign of Gupta Empire. Some other universities like Taxila were also built near it. During the rule of earlier Delhi Sultanate, Nalanda is currently an archeological site and was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage site.