India is a home to several unparalled traditions w.r.t its spirituality, Ayurveda, Bollywood, Rajnikanth and many more. But coming to something, which has assumed national importance only for this week, or rather for this day is our Heritage.
The ICOMOS, the International council on monuments and sights, along with the UNESCO, irst passed a resolution in November 1983 recommending that Member States to examine the possibility of declaring 18 April each year as the“International Monuments and Sites Day”. This has been traditionally called the World Heritage Day.
Here is a list of 10 stories of 10 incredible sites from our incredible India.
The pillar of the Leepakshi temple, Andhra Pradesh, is not grounded on the floor. The temple is constructed in such a way that it hangs from the ceiling. And yes, kudos to our Indian architecture, the temple still hangs, perfectly!!
THE VICTORIA MEMORIAL
Also known as a carbon copy of our Taj Mahal. Jealousy is indeed a powerful emotion and the Victoria Memorial in Kolkata is a true symbol of that. It is said that a general in the British army was so smitten by the beauty of the Taj Mahal that he went on to rave about it to Queen Victoria. The Queen after having heard so much of it, ordered the general to build her a memorial of much grandeur, such that it outshines the Taj. Thus, Victoria Memorial was built using the same architectural design and marbles that were used for the Taj Mahal. It is also said that during the construction, the British saw that a lot of revenue was being used in building the monument, and so they cut short the size of the structure. In order to appease the Queen for this, they had a huge garden built around the monument. But sadly, none could come even close to our Taj Mahal.
THE BHANGARH FORT
A 17th-century fort, infamous all over India for being the “Most haunted place in India“. Because of the numerous ghostly experiences and happenings in the fort premises, villages have sprung up far away from the fort, due to the fear of what lies within. Even the Archaeological Survey of India or the ASI has forbidden the locals and tourists from entering the fort at night. This completely ruined, haunted fort of Bhangarh does have a very eerie, negative aura to it. Several legends have attested to the paranormal happenings inside the fort.
THE MATTANCHERRY PALACE
The Mattancherry palace in Kochi, also known as the Dutch palace contains rare examples of traditional Kerala flooring, which looks like polished black marble but is actually a mixture of burned coconut shells, charcoal, lime, plant juices and egg whites. I bet now you have plans of changing your home’s floors.
THE MEENA BAZAR
Not talking about the one that is led by famous designers today, the Meena bazar, outside the Red fort, was like the Sarojini nagar/fashion street during the times of Shah Jahan and his successors. This market used to be open only on Fridays, that too specifically for women. It is said that Jehangir used to often dress up as a woman, to meet his beloved, Anarkali.
Considered as one of your wedding shopping heavens, Charminar in Hyderabaad, is said to have hidden treasures , in its tunnels. The great emperor dug these treasures so deep, so that no other ruler is able to find it.
This historical monument is Emperor Adil Shah’s tomb and the most unique thing about this second largest tomb in the world is that it has hollow walls famously known as the whispering gallery. No one till date has managed to find an entry to the hollow wall and true story behind its construction is still a mystery.
A fort or a city? This question has been on every tourist’s mind. Basically Emperor Akbar built Fatehpur Sikri in order to create a small city for families and nobles to roam freely. Today a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the fortified region was once a personal city of the Mughal royal family.
The Sanchi Stupa in Madhya Pradesh is a major tourist destination as it is here where Emperor Ashoka gave up his violent life and turned to Buddhism. No one knows what encouraged the great king to take such a decision suddenly.
The Taj Mahal needs no introduction. Though, here are some fun facts which you might like to know.
- Agra was not originally the venue for it.
- There is a lamp inside the Taj Mahal, which has Lord Curzon’s name inscribed on it.
- Shah Jahan , never really dismembered his artisians.
Heritage is the shared wealth of humankind. Protecting and preserving this valuable asset demands the collective efforts of the international community. This special day offers an opportunity to raise the public’s awareness about the diversity of cultural heritage and the efforts that are required to protect and conserve it, as well as draw attention to its vulnerability. So let’s take it upon us, to protect them by all means, not only today, but forever, especially by not writing , “ I love you Pooja” on them.
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