What if I tell you that time travel is possible? Well, not scientifically, but you can delve into the past by visiting various heritage destinations around the country which still carry the essence of ancient India. From sprawling monuments of the maharajahs to the remnants of our colonial past, India is a mixed bag offering a range of options for the discerning traveller with a penchant for history. Check out the famous Chettinad mansions, go through the inscriptions at Ajanta and Ellora that are said to be the inspiration for the famous Jataka Tales, visit the age-old churches that still stand proud in Old Goa or see remnants of the French past in Puducherry. Here is a list of some stunning heritage destinations.
Once termed as the largest open-air art gallery in the world, Shekhawati has been an important region in Rajasthan in terms of tourism. Ruled by the Shekhawat Rajputs more than 500 years ago, the region is home to thousands of villages, the most prom inent ones being Alsisar, Mandawa, Dundlod, Fatehpur, Ramgarh, Bissau, Mahansar, Khandela, Jhunjhunu, Sikar, Khetri, Nawalgarh, Mukundgarh, Bagar and Chirawa.
The houses in this region are richly frescoed and Shekhawati stands out for the numerous havelis that dot the villages. Every house in this region displays frescos whose depictions range from gods and goddesses, angels and demons to nawabs and maharajahs, erotic couples and the British cavalry. Visit the Binsidhar Newatia Haveli in Mandawa, which was built in the 1920s. The most picturesque haveli in Mandawa is the Lakshminarayan Nadia Haveli, which has numerous frescos depicting Hindu mythology.
It might be the most famous party destination in India, but the charm of Goa doesn’t really end there. The colonisation by the Portuguese left remnants that are now some of the most famous tourist attractions in Old Goa. Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Old Goa has numerous churches and convents, of which some have been turned into museums. One of the most famous churches is the over-400-year-old Basilica of Bom Jesus, which has the tomb that contains the mortal remains of Saint Xavier.
Once every 10 years, the saint’s body is shown to pilgrims who flock to the church in large numbers. There are numerous churches and convents that you can visit in Old Goa like Saint Catherine’s Chapel, Church and Convent of Saint Francis of Assisi and one of the oldest churches, Church of Our Lady of the Rosary. Besides, visit the Aguada Fort built in 1612 to prevent entry of ships to protect Old Goa from attacks, Adil Shah’s Doorway and the Archaeological Museum.