Step back in time and explore these prehistoric places that are charismatic even in their ruined state.
|Khajuraho of Rajasthan|
Osian, an ancient town located in Jodhpur, is like an oasis in the Thar Desert and has been often called the 'Khajuraho of Rajasthan' for its temples that have gracefully stood the test of time. Apart from the artistic temples, the city is also known for camel rides, a great way to tour the town and sample the architectural flavors left by its rulers from the past - Rathores, Rajputs and the British. With camel and jeep safaris, one can view the vast desert on one side and meet the local tribes, the Bishnois and Bhils, potters, weavers, shepherds and various varieties of desert wildlife in their natural surroundings.
Best time to visit : January to March
|Mamallapuram previously known as Mahabalipuram|
WHERE STONES SPEAK
The ancient historic town of Mamallapuram ( previously known as Mahabalipuram), in Tamil Nadu, was bustling seaport used by primitive Indian traders to sail to Southeast Asia. Still famous for its beaches, the real treat for travelers, however, are Mamallapuram's stone sculptures and rock-cut caves. The five rathas are beautifully sculpted temples in the shape of chariots, while Arjuna's Penance is a huge carving on the face of a rock depicting scenes from the epic Mahabharata. The December 2004 tsunami helped unearth more priceless relics in this ancient port city, including sculptures of an elaborately carved lion, a half-completed elephant and a stallion in fight. Another attraction is the Mahabalipuram Dance Festival conducted every year during Jan-Feb. Exponents of classical dance forms such as Bharatanatyam, Kuchipudi, Kathak and Kathakali from across the country perform against the magnificent backdrop of the Pallava rock sculpture.
Best time to visit : October to March
|Badami is an Archaeologist's Fantasy!|
INDIAN WILD WEST
Rock shelters, megalithic burial sites, cave temples, gateways, forts Badami is any archaeologist's fantasy. Once the royal capital of the Chalukyas - who ruled much of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh between the 6th and 8th centuries - this sleepy town in Karnataka is a monumental archive of ancient art and inscriptions. A total of 18 inscriptions have been identified so far in Badami.
Famous for its sandstone structures, rock-cut cave temples, and red sandstone cliffs that resemble the Wild West, Badami is surrounded by prehistoric locations like Hiregudda, Kyad area, Sidiaphadi and flanked by the peaceful Agastya Lake. Tourists can board auto rickshaws to travel within Badami or simply rent a bicycle and roam around the town.
Best time to visit : January to March
|Hampi in Karnataka, India|
Vast stretches of boulder-strewn hills from the backdrop of magical Hampi in Karnataka, with over 500 archaic formations speckled around these hills. Among them are beautiful temples, basements of palaces, remains of aquatic structures, ancient market streets, royal pavilions, bastions, royal platforms, treasury buildings...the list is exhausting!
As per archaeological evidence, the earliest settlements at Hampi date back to the 1st century AD. Also considered one of the best rock climbing destinations in India, Hampi is visited by rock climbers from India and abroad for bouldering expeditions.
Best time to visit : October to December
|Dholavira is one of the 5 largest Harappan sites in India.|
Situated in the Great Rann of Kutch, Dholavira is one of the five largest Harappan sites in the Indian subcontinent. A visit to the place is an eye-opener for laymen in terms of town planning that existed 5,000 years ago. Dholavira also consists one of the world's earliest water conservation systems. It had reservoirs, which were used for storing rain water. Another attraction of the site is the archaeological museum, where one gets to see relics of the Indus Valley Civilization.
Best time to visit : December to March
AROUND THE WORLD
It's Greek To Me : The history of Delphi begins in prehistory and in the myths of the ancient Greeks. Built on the slopes of Mt Parnassus, this World Heritage Site's allure lies in its inspiring ruins. Travel with an expert guide and stroll around Delphi Archaeological Museum, learning all about Greek mythology and history.
Mysterious MOAI : Famous for its monolithic statues made by an almost-lost civilization, Rapa Nui, Easter Island on the Pacific Ocean, is one of the most unique places you will ever visit. Tour the volcanoes, beaches and petroglyphs of one of the most remote islands on Earth.
INCA Trail : Step back in time into the world of the Inca Empire through fog forests and moorlands, to its crowning glory, Machhu Picchu. Climbing the endless Inca steps high up in the Andes and then catching your first glimpse of the Inca citadel is a memory you'll always carry with you.