Rajasthan in India is a land of history, heritage and great architectural marvels. The former ‘Land of Rajputana’ is dotted with a number of heritage sites, some of them are listed among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The royal legacy of the Rajput days is known for its unmatched beauty and grandeur. These sites have history etched in every nook and corner. The magnificent designs, the opulent layout and the impressive architecture are centuries old but still retain their charm.
If you want to relive the past, here is what we suggest. On your visit to Rajasthan, check out these UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Rajasthan:
The Chittorgarh Fort is one of the prime UNESCO Heritage Sites in Rajasthan. Built by the Mauryans in the 7th Century AD, it is till date the largest fort in India. The massive fort has witnessed a tumultuous past and has a number of tales to tell. Chittorgarh also goes by the name of the water fort as there are 84 water reservoirs within its campus. The attractive highlights of Chittorgarh fort are Rana Kumbha Mahal, Rani Padmini’s Palace, Ratan Singh’s Palace, Kanwar Pade Ka Mahal, Badal Mahal, etc. Do marvel at the Vijay Stambha and Kirti Stambha, erected to honor events in history. The temples of Kalikamata Temple, Adbuthnath Temple, and Kumbha Shyam Temple are also worth exploring.
Next on our list of the UNESCO world heritage sites in Rajasthan that you must not miss is Kumbhalgarh Fort. The fortress of Mewar is settled at an altitude of 1100 m in the lap of the Aravalis. It was built in 15th century by Rana Kumbha of the Rajput dynasty. The star attraction of Kumbhalgarh is its fortification of almost 36 km, the longest after the “Great Wall of China”. There are almost three hundred and sixty things to explore in the fort including royal mansions, crumbling shrines, temples, wells known as ‘baoris’, and lush green parks. Do not miss the impressive ‘Badal Mahal’ and the Shiva Temple.
The town of Sawai Madhopur in Rajasthan houses the Ranthambore Fort, another UNESCO Site of India. The magnificent relic of the Chauhan dynasty, the fort dates back to the 10th century. The fort was the hunting lodge for the Maharajahs and remained so till Indian independence. Attractions to check out in this historic fort of Rajasthan are Hammir’s Court, Dhula Mahal, Badal Mahal, Jogi Mahal, Ganesha temple, Shiva Temple, Ramlalji Temple, temple of Lord Sumatinath and Lord Sambhavanath. The roar of the Royal Bengal Tigers and the call of wild animals can be frequently heard. If you are lucky you might spot one from the high ramparts.
One of the lesser known UNESCO world heritage site of Rajasthan, The Gagron Fort is a fascinating place to visit. This 12th century hill fort has been recently listed among The UNESCO World Heritage Site in Rajasthan. It is a beautiful site of archaeological importance. An archetype ‘Jal Durg’, water fort, it is surrounded by water three sides and a manmade moat on one side. The glory of Gagron fort has been faded with time but its incredible architecture gains importance in the historic chapters of India.
A royal tourist attraction in Jaipur, the next site we come to is Amer Fort. It is one of the most visited UNESCO World heritage sites of Rajasthan. Located on the hillock facing the Maoti Lake, the architectural splendor dates back to 16th Century. This masterpiece of architecture was built by Raja Man Singh of the Kachwaha clan. Built of red sandstone and marble, Amer Fort is a rare amalgam of Rajput and Mughal architectures. The spectacular attractions of Amer include the gorgeous Sheesh Mahal made purely of glass and the ornate halls with impressive artwork- the Diwan-I-Am and Diwan-I-Khas. For the best experience, do attend the Light and Sound Show at sunset.
One of the most beautiful sights of Rajasthan, Jaisalmer Fort is an ethereal vision. Overlooking the Thar Desert, located atop the Trikuta hill in Jaisalmer the fort is an amazing treasure of Rajputana. This UNESCO World Heritage Site in Jaisalmer city of Rajasthan was built in the 12th century by Rawal Jaisal. The yellow sandstone structure is the color of warm honey and often camouflaged in the desert. The fortress shelters a town with houses, markets, restaurants, and temples. The Royal Palace, The Shree Nath Palace, Vyas Haveli, Museums, temples of both Hindu and Jain faiths are the things to definitely check- out in Jaisalmer fort.
Keoladeo National Park, Bharatpur
Next in the list of UNESCO world heritage sites of Rajasthan is the Keoladeo National Park. It was the former hunting ground of the Rajput Maharajas until 1972. It was granted the status of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites in 1985. The natural sanctuary covers grasslands, wetlands, and woodlands. More than 300 species of birds, 50 species of fishes, 13 species of snakes, 7 species of turtles and many more wild animals inhabit the haven. Man-made and managed, the wetland area is a bird paradise. In fact, Keoladeo is known for the migratory birds and is one of the most popular bird watching destinations in Rajasthan.
Last but not the least, we come to the astronomical observatory called Jantar Mantar in Jaipur. It is another famous UNESCO World heritage sites in Rajasthan. It was built in the 17th century by the Rajput King named Sawai Jai Singh. It is a collection of the architectural astronomical instruments. The observatory consists of fourteen major geometric devices made of local stone and marbles. Even in the earlier days it functioned for scientific purposes. One could track stars’ location as the earth orbits around the sun. It was used to measure time, predict eclipses, ascertain declinations of planets, and determine the celestial altitudes and related ephemerides. Even till the date, this heritage site is used by astrologers for various astronomical purposes.
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