World Heritage Sites of central India
Destination Cover: Sanchi, Bhimbetaka and Bhojpur, Khajuraho
Length of tour: 03 Nights – 04 Days
Situated 46 km from Bhopal, Sanchi is a small village in the Raisen district of Madhya Pradesh and is best known for its stupas and other Buddhist monuments. The stupas of Sanchi were built by Emperor Asoka in the 3rd century BC. The Great Stupa is considered to be the oldest stone structure of India and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The glory of Sanchi can be experienced through the stupas and the rich carvings on its facade. Sanchi gets its name from the Pali word ‘sanch’ which means ‘to measure’. Known as Vidishagiri earlier, Sanchi was a center of wealthy merchants and a busy trading point. The stupas at Sanchi were built on the orders of Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BC. Over the years, the merchants of Vidisaha, a nearby town, donated a lot of money to build and sustain the Buddhist monuments. However, during the Sunga period, Pusyamitra Sunga destroyed the main stupa which was later rebuilt by his son Agnimitra. The gateways and the banister were built during the Satvahana rule around 70 BC. Using stone slabs, the stupas were expanded to almost double their original size. The dome was flattened near the top and three umbrellas were placed on top as a symbol of Dharma.
Bhimbetka in Madhya Pradesh boasts of pre-historic rock shelters and some of the finest prehistoric cave paintings in South Asia. Located 45 km south of Bhopal, on the southern edge of the Vindhyachal hills, Bhimbetka was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Archaeologists are of the opinion that the caves might have been occupied over 10,000 years ago. The site has more than 700 rock shelters. Bhimbetka has 243 rock shelters and 178 are in Lakha Juar. The caves evolved over time into rock-shelters, ideal sites for aboriginal settlements and abundant natural resources like perennial water supplies, natural shelter, rich forest flora and fauna were conducive to the development of sustainable societies and creation of notable rock art. The smooth rocks have led some scientists to believe that the area was once under water.
Khajuraho is most famous for its erotic wall carvings — from voluptuous nymphs to men having their way with horses and orgies, it is all here! These carvings on temples – only 20 of 85 remain — are pretty much the beginning and end of all things touristy in Khajuraho. Situated some 400 km from Kanpur, Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh is one of the most popular tourist destinations of India.
Standing against the backdrop of Vindhyas, Khajuraho presents a magnificent view to the beholder. The sacred temples of Khajuraho are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Because of the sculptures, the temples are also referred as Kamasutra temples. However, unlike popular belief, the temples neither have any connection nor were inspired by Vatsyayana’s famous book. In fact just 10 per cent of the art is erotic or sexual in nature.
Note: Itinerary and Tour rates coming soon….