If the 7 Wonders of the World were all from India…
Which ones would make it to the list?
“You only Live Once, But if you do it right, Once is Enough” — Mae West
Once there was a child who listened to the stories of his grandma: The cute, fairytale World of adventures, the lovely landscapes of mountains and plateaus, the dreamy lengths of beaches where the water met the shore — Nothing could escape the little one so far as descriptions of places around the the world would go.
Reminds you of someone, doesn’t she? When you were young, you used to look at postcard pictures of dream travel locations, advertisements in the newspapers of packages from travel companies that could whisk you away for a couple of thousands from your daily reality to the lands of history and natural surrounding. The trains in movies you love, the beaches on your desktop wallpaper, or the fact that you are even reading this article tells us you are someone who dreams of converting this make-believe world of travel into a significant part of your life someday. Aren’t you?
Now don’t let us stop your dream journey there. Today, we come back with an exciting thought.
With India’s far-reaching culture, going back thousands of years, we often reflect on why the wonders of our own country are not the cynosure of our eyes. We mean… we absolutely love the idea of a Colosseum in Rome and the Great Wall of China in our neighborhood.
But what if the World were all enamored by our country alone and chose all the 7 wonders of the World from India. Would we have enough contenders to fill in the list? Well, let’s find out.
Here we are enlisting the Seven Wonders of our beautiful country, also recognized by UNESCO as the “UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India.” Now you take your pick if they are worthy of being the 7 Wonders of the World.
- Taj Mahal
An immense mausoleum of ivory-white marble, the Taj Mahal is a manifestation of true love built to last. Brought to reality by order of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in the memory of his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, after her death, the Taj Mahal is located along the banks of the River Yamuna in Agra. It is a phenomenal destination that brings millions of tourists to its doorsteps to see its true, realized beauty.
The “wonderful” part about the Taj Mahal is that it houses the tomb of Mumtaz alongside the one of Shah Jahan himself.
2. Ajanta Caves
Universally regarded as the masterpiece of Buddhist religious art, The Ajanta Caves refer to about 30 rock-cut Buddhist caves, temples, and monasteries near the Ajanta village in Maharashtra.
The creation of these monuments dates back from the 2nd century BCE to about 480 CE. These caves are celebrated for their wall paintings and rock-cut sculptures, described to be amongst the finest surviving examples of ancient Indian art. They say these paintings express emotions.
3. Agra Fort
Famously known as the Red Fort or the Lal Qila, Agra Fort was the primary residence of the Mughal Emperors until 1638, when emperor Shah Jahan commissioned its construction after deciding to shift the capital from Agra to Delhi.
The Marathas lastly occupied it. Post the Indian independence, the Red Fort continued to be used as a military cantonment.
4. Ellora Caves
One of the World’s largest rock-cut Hindu temple cave complexes, the Ellora Caves comprises over 100 caves excavated from the Basalt cliffs in the Chanderi Hills. These beautiful structures are located in the Aurangabad district of Maharashtra.
Out of the 100 caves, 34 are open for public visits. The 34 caves are categorized into 17 Hindu, 12 Buddhist, and 5 Jain caves, all built close to one another to demonstrate ancient religious harmony. Interestingly, Cave 16 is home to the largest rock-cut Hindu temple: The famous Kailash temple.
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5. Sundarban National Park
The Sundarbans are of universal importance: a national park, a tiger reserve, and a biosphere reserve located in West Bengal. They are vital for the globally endangered bird, reptile, and invertebrate species. They are also home to the Royal Bengal Tiger, Estuarine crocodiles, Ganges and Irawadi dolphins, and the critically endangered endemic river terrapin.
6. Darjeeling Himalayan Railways
Also known as DHR or the Toy Train, Darjeeling Himalayan Railways are a 2 ft gauge railway line that runs between New Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling in the Indian state of West Bengal.
It climbs from about 100 m above sea level to reach 2200m at Darjeeling. It takes six diesel locomotives to handle most of the services from Darjeeling to Ghum, which is India’s highest railway station.
7. Humayun’s Tomb
The tomb of the Mughal Emperor Humayun, built-in 1570 and located in Delhi, is referred to as Humayun’s Tomb. Commissioned by Empress Bega Begum and designed by Mirak Mirza Ghiyas and his son, Sayyid Muhammad, the tomb houses the graves of Empress Bega Begum, Hamida Begum, Dara Shikoh, great-great-grandson of Humayun, as well as numerous other subsequent Mughals.
It was the first garden-tomb on the Indian subcontinent and the first structure to use red sandstone on a vast scale.
And now that you have been through the list, what do you think? Are we any short of Wonders to fill this World with? No, right?! Absolutely our thoughts.
India is a vast and expansive country with diverse regions and landscapes to explore. Its history and mythology add to its charm and appeal to not just its own natives but also to international tourists. Gone are the days when India was just known for its Himalayas, Goa, and Kerala — foreign tourists have started exploring the little nooks of the country that even many locals didn’t know existed.
We urge you to pull out that little Black Book of wishes and add some of the Indian Wonders to your list. Who knows when the next wave of the pandemic will come in — until then, Explore. Dream. Discover!