Even though we’re constantly told to live in the present or focus on the future, the past is an invaluable repository of our earliest aspirations. India’s rich history is world-renowned. Besides that, each of our states and cities holds a wealth of cultural artefacts and living monuments that remain unrivalled.
With a total of 36 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, India’s past is living proof and an endearing reminder of the progress we’ve made.
On World Heritage Day today, get out and explore any of these cities through a heritage walking trail.
In Delhi, it’s not uncommon to turn a corner and bump into an old monument. Among the plethora of edifices, Humayun’s Tomb, Qutub Minar, and the Red Fort complex have earned World Heritage Site status.
Even if you’ve been there a hundred times already, it’d be great to catch up on a walking trail with Delhi Heritage Walks or INTACH’s Delhi chapter. The latter have a long history of conserving monuments and are highly knowledgeable folks.
There’s more to Chandigarh than the Rock Garden and Sector-17 market. Designed by the French architect Le Corbusier, the entire city is widely known for its planned layout and wide avenues.
However, in 2016, the city’s Capitol Complex earned World Heritage Site status as an outstanding contribution to modern architecture.
The complex houses important government buildings and a lake. Explore this ode to architecture by hitting up the kind people at Chandigarh Walkers.
Royalty is never far away from Rajasthan. It’s no surprise then that Jaipur boasts of two inclusions in the list.
Built in the 16th century, Amer Fort is a dizzying labyrinth of one splendid chamber and garden after another.
On the other hand, the science involved in building the 18th century Jantar Mantar is truly astronomical!
Reacquaint yourself with these living monuments by signing up for a guided walk with Virasat Experiences or Cyclin’ Jaipur. The latter also have cycling tours, which is a cool way to explore the Pink City.
A major economic and political power till date, the old city was founded by Ahmed Shah I of the Gujarat Sultanate in the 15th century.
Built inside a fortress, this historic city breathes life from every corner even today, which has rightfully earned it a place on UNESCO’s list.
Thanks to the British, the grand dame of the sea holds her own against Delhi’s Mughal-era monuments.
From the list of colonial splendours, only the 19th century Chattrapati Shivaji Terminus wowed UNESCO, another being the 5th century temple complex of Elephanta Caves.
Check with Bombay Heritage Walks about any upcoming tours to both spots.
Between 3-5 pm every day, you could also sign up for an on-the-spot guided walk of CST organised by the station authorities.
Amaze Tours has a rather steep option if you prefer a private excursion to Elephanta.
Image Credit: Wikimedia