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UNESCO world heritage sites in India : Travelogue

Discussion in 'Travelogues' started by Mach4, May 26, 2015.

  1. Mach4

    Mach4 New Member

    Today is the day in which I get on my plane to India; I
    already have all my bags packed which include plenty of cool clothing and two
    pairs of hiking boots. For the trip I am packing light as I want only what I
    need to make a safe journey through my travels in India. For my travel I plan
    on going to as many of the huge landmarks as possible within my two week stay.
    The flight from home to India will take about a day total as I will be leaving
    in only about two hours but I won't arrive in India until the next morning. Right
    now I am sitting at the airport waiting for my flight number to be called for
    boarding in which I will have to record everything by hand until the land from
    the flight.

    Now having arrived in India and settled in a small hotel room with a small A/C unit
    I have already looked around and found that for my two week stay I will have
    little room in what looks to be run down from the outside but inside is a nice
    quaint hotel room that consists of a bed, window with a A/C unit, bathroom with
    a shower which are about half the size as what is usually put in hotels back in
    the US and a small closest only big enough to put my bags in for storage. I was
    told that they are more luxurious places available within India but I don't
    expect to be here much see as of tomorrow morning I will be starting my travels
    across India to all the great land marks and may not be here every night. As
    far as the plane right went it was long and boring the movies got old quickly
    as there were only two good ones that I ended up having to watch on loop. The
    meals were basically uneatable but most air plane food isn't which is why I am
    sure that they offer chips and other great American snacks at a much higher
    price but let's be real when its either a four dollar bag of chips or starving
    on the plane there does get to a point where a four dollar bag of chips starts
    looking really good. Beyond that the plane ride was spent with a small child
    pushing his feet into the back of my chair. Though his parents did get on to
    him for it quite a bit it didn't really matter as that caused even more damage
    with the loud crying it gave me and I'm sure a few other people a much unwanted
    headache. But back to India tonight's dinner was curry from a little local shop
    and the first real meal in about thirty hours. The locals called the curry
    simple and it may be for them but it was anything but for me. The curry was
    amazing though it will burn your mouth but at the same time it is so good that
    you just want to keep eating until you just can't taste anything anymore. I
    think that the hotel manager took some pity on me when I came down to get some
    ice for my water as he gave me some yogurt to cool the curry letting me know
    that dairy was the only thing likely to help the burning in my mouth. The yogurt
    helped but there is still some burning it's just not too bad anymore and is now
    dying down. But for tonight that is all as tomorrow is a big day as I head to
    the Varanasi Ghats.


    Today was eventful and full of life, even though this was my
    first real day in India it was more than I could've ever expected. I only had
    drivers today to take me place to place but while in my travels did find plenty
    of people that knew English well enough to answer some questions that I had.
    Today I visited the Varanasi Ghats which is considered one of the holiest
    places in India and is a small city that lies on the Ganges river. In the city
    are many temples as well as eight five Ghat within the city the Ghat's are used
    for cremation, bathing, and meditation. According to locals the ones that
    attract the most tourists are the burning Ghats but I can see why as they are
    absolutely breath taking and completely different than anything you see at
    home. Varanasi is told to be more than just a tradition but something that came
    before tradition and is something that is both physical and metaphysical which
    takes something from both the physical and the supernatural world as the
    Varanasi is supposed to take the human soul from the flesh made body and
    deliver it to the afterlife. Besides that the location of the city is enough to
    make it famous with the legend of the Ganges River that was told to me today. I
    was told that its believed that for those that dip their feet in the river all
    of their sins are washed away with the river and the river thus wipes them
    clean so they can emerge a new person free of all sin they have done in their
    lives. This on its own right brings in thousands of pilgrims from all over the
    world to the Varanasi Ghats a beautiful small but very historic city as it is
    one of the oldest living cities in the world and the oldest living city in
    India. All I can hope is that tomorrow is just as today as tomorrow I begin my
    journey to the Taj Mahal.


    Today was the Taj Mahal and boy was it a long trip in fact I
    am still not back at the hotel I'm at a little twenty four hour café where we
    stopped to allow me to get something to drink. I wanted to see what was so special
    about this place. I wanted to know why people from all over the world come to
    see this place and all of its glory. Everyone knows how huge the Taj Mahal is
    in size and how beautiful it is in itself. But what most don't know about is
    the various fountains that are in the pool of crystal clear water that are
    crafted with marble and other precious stones that are breath taking. The Taj
    was said to be beauty personified with all of its different colors and shades
    in the beautiful place of worship. The place of worship is a perfect example of
    multiple ancient cultural mixes from all different empires, as well as being
    one of the eight wonders of the world. The monument lies on the holy river of
    Yammuna making it one of the largest places for worship and a huge gem in the
    eyes of muslim culture. This causes many pilgrims to travel to the Taj just to
    see it for the first time. Many people save all of their lives in order to just
    make the pilgrimage once in their life. Today is exhausting as I don't expect
    to get back to the hotel until morning but there is a hotel right above me that
    I believe I will be staying at instead so here is to my first night away from
    my original spot but it is worth it as I am so excited to see more of this
    beautiful and rich land.


    Today was an early start as I had my trip to the Harmandir
    Shahib I have yet to go back to the hotel but will be going back tomorrow in
    order to at least gather my things as it has become obvious I will not be able
    to stay there or in one set place for remainder of the trip. This trip is going
    by so fast and it is just so amazing everywhere I go is beautiful and amazing
    and the people are very friendly. When it comes to the food on this travel it
    has been up and down. I love the curry but I don't really like the whole friend
    bug thing that is going on in some parts of the country. As I go further into
    my journey I am beginning to wonder if I am even going to be able to see all
    the places that I have originally wanted to or if I am going to have to extend
    my stay. When I went to the Harmandir Shahib I found myself at literally what
    it means a golden temple. The place itself is breath taking even from afar when
    you are looking at it when you get closer and closer it just is so beautiful
    that I don't even know words for it. The Harmandir Shahib is said to be the
    temple of god where Sikhs from all over the world pay a visit to the temple on
    a daily basis. The temple was created after a Guru by the name of Arjan Sahib
    had an idea to create a temple for not only himself but all the Sikhs in or for
    them to have a place of worship that was more centralized where theoretically
    they may all meet up for worship. A Guru before that thought of a tank but that
    idea never really came to much of anything as it was never completed or done.
    The special thing about the temple that was completely new at the time is that
    the Guru did not judge based on skin color, race, ethnicity or anything else
    for that matter allowing the temple to be open to anyone that wishes to respect
    the temple and come to worship. The temple was completed in 1601 A.D. The main
    reason that this temple is so special is that before this the Sikhs had no
    centralized place in order to make a pilgrimage to and this gave the Sikhs this
    place to come to in order to make a pilgrimage and meet up with other Sikhs
    alike. With my travels I am finding that this great land and more and more
    diverse everywhere that you turn and maybe that is what I love about this place
    is that there is always something new always something going on and there is
    always something different no matter where you go in the country. But for now
    it is a goodnight as tomorrow is a new day and a new adventure in this ever
    changing land.


    The Mahabodhi Temple took a plane to get to but was truly
    amazing. It was a long day as it was a short plane ride to the temple and a
    short plane right back and a huge amount of hiking in between. I am pretty sure
    that my first set of boots that I brought with me is just shot and isn't coming
    back anytime soon but I guess that is ok in a way as I still have a new pair of
    boots I just hope that they last for the rest of my trip and I have a lot of
    walking and a huge journey left ahead of me. Honestly right now I do miss my
    family and all of my loved ones as I haven't gotten to see or talk to them in
    almost a week where my family and I are very close and are used to seeing each
    other on a near daily basis. Dinner was small tonight but it was simple rice
    with vegetables that are grown locally which was divine. But back to the temple
    while I was there I was simple amazed with every step that I took and for this
    adventure I did have a tour guide that spoke English quite well allowing me to
    learn a lot about the temple while making the trip.

    From what I learned while on the journey through the temple is that the history
    behind the temple the history of the Bodhgaya is about 2500 years old and it
    was this place and this temple that Prince Siddhartha Gautama achieved
    enlightenment and became what we all know now today as Buddha. In commemoration
    of this even that emperor Asoka set up a diamond throne where the place that
    Buddha was supposed to have sat when he was meditating in order to achieve
    enlightenment and where he was supposed to have sat when he did in fact
    actually reach enlightenment. The original structure of the temple was fact
    finished in the seventh century but since then the structure has had to undergo
    many restorations to keep it alive and running. Many of the renovations were
    completed in the 1800's through scientists that wished to come to the site for
    study about the temple. In the 1950's there were some repairs done by
    government in India during the 2500 celebration of the Buddha Jayanti. The
    reason that up keep on this place is so important is because it is the most
    important place in the religion of Buddhism and is the place that all Buddhist
    try to travel to in order to complete their own pilgrimage to try to complete
    their lives as they wish to one day achieve enlightenment.

    When you do visit the shrine as soon as you step inside your eyes automatically go
    to the gold painted Buddha that is made out of black stone. The statue was
    built and created by the Pala kings of Bengal in which they created the Buddha
    in the Bhumisparsa Mudra or earth touching posture. In 2002 the temple was
    declared a world heritage site due to the meaning of the place. Still within
    the temple there is more to see as within the temple you can see all of the
    seven places where Buddha spent his time in meditation in order to attain
    enlightenment. As this was a huge night and tomorrow is going to be even busier
    I think it is time for me to sleep and try to be rested for my next travels.


    Today was the deciding day as I did not get on my plane and
    have in fact extended my stay. Because of wish I did call my family to let them
    know while I was at the airport I don't think they were exactly happy I know
    that they miss me as much as I miss them but I am not ready to leave this great
    land I don't know if ever will be but I know for a fact that I have to be here
    longer and I must see more of this country as it is great in size it is also
    great in landmarks and structures. India is a true a wonder of the world. As
    for today it was a day of rest in which I did not go to any landmarks I just
    got a new plane ticket and a new date in which I will be returning home. Beyond
    that I walked around in the town today through the huge open market and got
    another curry before returning to a hotel for the night. So for now it is
    goodnight as I will be making my travel to the Brihadishwara Temple tomorrow.

    Saturday and Sunday

    The temple of Brihadishwara is a temple built by the Hindu's
    in order to dedicate to Shiva located within the city of Thanjavur. The city
    lies within the state of Tamil Nadu and is a great example of the Tamil
    architecture which was mainly used during the chola dynasty. Besides that the
    temple is also one of the largests temples in Tamil making it a huge landmark
    for all of the city and the state. The temple is spread out wide and goes very
    tall in one section which is the actual temple but appears to have a walled court
    yard type thing to the side of the temple. As I had no tour guide for this trip
    I can only wonder what some parts of the temple were used for when it was
    originally built or if it was even used as some temples that are in dedication
    to gods are never used by humans except to give a sacrifice to the god or to
    pray to them. Other than that the day was pretty quiet in which I rode in a
    three wheel taxi for much of the day in order to get to the temple. The three
    wheel taxis are quite interesting especially on the small ever winding roads.
    Unlike back home there isn't much of a speed difference during those turns and
    during a straight road the Taxi just seems to lean and sway with both winds and
    the roads. There were quite a few moments during my trip so far I was sure that
    the car would flip over but the people here defiantly know what they are doing
    and keep up with the fast paced life of India very well. Surprisingly there
    have been a lot of people that know English very well or at least well enough
    that I can ask all the questions about the temples and about India in general.
    It isn't just the temples that are amazing it is the people and the culture
    that is so vast and complex here.


    Today is Monday and right now its morning today I am
    supposed to be going to see the shore temple however it is already eleven and
    my ride has yet to show up and I was told that it would be a half day trip to
    even make it to the temple let alone get to explore it. I have all my things
    for camping as it looks as if there might be a place to camp only a few miles
    away from the temple at least that is what I have heard and I do hope that its

    So when I finally got to the temple it was already dark so I have only seen the outside
    of it there was no place to camp but there are little huts that some of the
    locals rent out. This hut is very much in the previous centuries compared to
    what I am used to right now I am running off of battery power because of the
    fact that there is no lights, electric, running water or proper bathrooms
    within these huts. Around the huts on the out skirts are some out houses in
    which to use the bathroom. Honestly those aren't too bad I have heard that down
    the road there are some places that are much worse and you usually share the
    hut without about seven people for the same price as what I paid tonight. Right
    now I am inside a tent that I have created under the hut as the roof is made of
    straw and the ran seems to just drip right through to the dirt floor that I've
    put another tarp material down to create a floor in which for me to sit at and
    put my bag on it and my laptop on the bag in order for me to make a sort of
    desk. For dinner I ate with the locals in whic they were nice enough to give me
    a meat that I cannot pronounce and I cannot repeat although it was very good
    and there was nan bread that went with it. But it's about time for me to get
    some sleep as I have a very early morning and a very long walk back up to the
    temple in the morning.


    Today was the big day in which I finally got to visit the
    shore temple. The reason for the name is quite obvious as it overlooks the Bay
    of Bengal in the state of Tamil Nadu. Tonight I am back in the hut that I slept
    in last night though I getting quite comfortable here. The temple truly is
    amazing as it not only is a temple but a great piece of art. The temple is one
    of the largest pieces of anything carved out of rock and is one of the largest
    temples that was once just a huge rock. The rock that makes the temple is
    granite as the whole thing is solid granite. The temple is one made by Hindu's
    as a dedication to the Gods both Shiva and Vishnu. The shore temple in the end
    is just another great tribute of world heritage sites located in Tamil. The
    temple was amazing and being back at the hut I almost feel right at home as
    there are local kids running around outside right now playing and family's
    right close to me who are cooking and will gladly come over and talk. Some of
    the families know English here but many don't as I am staying in an area that
    is primarily used by natives and those that are here specifically to see the
    temple and leave right after that. But hanging around in the area has been much
    worth it as unlike the other places i was at here I can see how much the temple
    really means to the guests and how much the people love in the area appreciate
    the temple and cherish it. seeing how much the people in the area respect where
    they live and respect the shrine in which they live by is amazing as that is
    defiantly not something you really see back home in the states where most
    people don't care unless they get paid to take care of the shrine but here it
    doesn't matter the temple is taken care of because people care about it and
    even though it was built centuries ago it still has meaning to the people that
    live around it and the legends that surround the temple are still alive.


    Today's trip was to the Bahai temple which was amazing not
    only in looks but in meaning because it is one place that was built for
    everyone from the very start. Most shrines and most temples that hold meaning
    still today are for certain religions in which people make a pilgrimage to the
    temple every year or throughout the year depending on when they can go. The
    Bahai faith is about everyone it's about human kind and acceptance of one
    another and thus in the Bahai temple everyone and anyone is accepted and is
    welcomed to come worship in the temple whenever they please. The temple isn't
    one belonging to one religion it is a temple that belongs to every religion. The
    Bahai temple is meant to be a meeting place for every regilion across the world
    and instead of having temples that separate people from different religions the
    temple is meant to bring people from all different religions together in one
    temple of total acceptance where no one is un welcome for any reason and is a
    place that is holy and safe for literally everyone.Well until tomorrow I will
    only be able to dream about my next adventure for to the Hawa Mahal.


    Today's travel has taken me into a dream like Indian city of
    Mumbai and to the great Hawa Mahal. This monument is of the royal Rajputs of
    Rajasthan well at least that's who built it and who it was built for. The second
    name of the monument is the palace of the winds and is considered to be in the
    heart of the pink city. The palace is pyramid shaped and if five stories high. The
    palace is a beauty and is constructed entirely of red and pink sandstone. Because
    of the great size and beauty of the palace only with the fact that it is made
    completely of sandstone the palace has become a huge sight for tourists and
    brings in a lot of tourists to the royal state of Rajasthan. The experience for
    me being there was amazing as the palace is downright amazing there is the
    beauty of the palace and then the history behind it is so extraordinary as it
    was actually a palace built for the women in the royal families living in this
    area. Today has made me even more excited for next day to come I am very
    excited to see what else India has in store for me.


    Today is Friday night and I have spent my day at the
    Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. The place is a railway station located in Mumbai.
    This railway station is one of the busiest in India and you can tell when you
    get there because it is either keep up with the crowd, stand back, or get
    stepped on in this rush around station. But this station isn't special because it's
    big and busy its special because it's the headquarters of all the central
    railways in India. But not just that near the railway is a huge working hotel
    that is also a huge monument for the city and where I'm staying tonight. As far
    as the hotel it's huge and luxurious just as luxurious as any five star hotel
    in the US. Though the hotel it busy you to take a step back and look at the
    utter beauty of the Indian art all throughout the inside of the hotel. From the
    designs in the floor to the art on the walls and the walls themselves, it is
    unlike anything that you see at home as each title on the floor looks as if it
    was hand painted but its not just that all the colors and intricate designs are
    transferred onto the walls and I can't tell if the walls are a wall paper or if
    they were actually hand painted. Within the room there is bottled water a huge
    bed with a very colorful yellow bed spread that is all silk. I was told by
    someone from the hotel that the silk in the sheets on the bed are all hand made
    and hand woven and that in order for the hotel to have enough they have to have
    a company at their disposale that is usually a family making them that works
    year round with the making of the silk and the new designs of the bed spreads
    as every year the hotel replaces their spreads or if they get damaged the old
    one gets donated for a new one to take its place. The hotel has running water
    and copper plumbing in a Victorian style setting which is suiting for the town
    as even the railway looked huge in a very Victorian style building. Both the
    hotel and the station are kept up very well and in a completely different style
    than anything else I have seen in India thus far.


    Today I make no travels but instead will spend some time
    with the locals and in the markets with in Mumbai. So far I have went out to
    have breakfast and gotten curry seeing as that has been what I have been
    craving since the time of my arrival at this country. This country is amazing I
    am just sad that my trip is almost over. Today I have talked to my family
    shortly from the computer I miss them and I know that they miss me. My two kids
    both have made me post cards that my husband said he sent but we both know that
    I have to wait to get home to see them as there is no place that he can
    actually send them too. Beyond that I plan to spend my day on the train as I wish
    to see the most of India today before my final journey on Monday.


    Today is a day of rest for everyone but for me it is a day
    of preparation for the next day as my last trip will be to the Victoria memorial
    which is exactly what it is called a memorial to queen Victoria. As that is in
    Bengal tonight I will be riding the train there which is a great way for me to
    get to travel around India both cheaply and without having to have a guide with
    me the entire time as I get more information from the locals without having to
    have a guide with me and I find it more enjoyable because then it is more of an
    adventure instead of only seeing what one person wants me to and know what one
    person wants me to know. My boots are now on their last leg and I have had to
    buy insoles to place in the boots to make them last and that is the second pair
    in which I brought with me to India. As far as my bag it feels much lighter
    than when I originally came as most of my hiking gear has been used to the
    point that it can't be used anymore. But it has all been worth it and I want
    nothing more than to make the most of my trip tomorrow before I must go home.


    Today is Monday right now it's night time and I am back at
    the airport after spending literally all day at the Victoria memorial as I wanted
    to miss nothing about it. I have been up about thirty hours by now and I could
    not sleep at all while on the train I wanted to miss nothing and yes I had a
    curry before going to the airport I will miss the burn in both my mouth and my
    stomach. The Victoria memorial was huge and it took hours to even walk through
    everything. It is located west of the Benegal, and Kolkata. The palace looking
    place was dedicated to Queen Victoria from her time of reign when the British
    had a lot of control over India especially through the trade and the huge army
    that they once had. Inside the palace is full of paintings, sculptures, and
    manuscripts that were collected from all over India that were about the British
    and from the British from the era the queen Victoria was an almost ruler of
    country. Over my two weeks in India my journey has been amazing I have seen a
    lot but I know I have to come back and see more and hopefully next time I can
    spend even more time with the locals. India is a country of great diversity in
    all regions and even where you don't have the luxuries of home someone that is
    where you feel that most at home in India it just has this welcoming feeling to
    it. Everyone in India is so friendly and nice and very willing to inform you
    about the monuments. The reason that the Indians that live close to these great
    structures are so willing to talk to you is because they want you to know how
    much they are appreciated and how much each person cares for these places. Many
    of the places in India that I visited had a lot to do with pilgrimage and that's
    when you start to realize how important religion is to these people which is
    such an eye opener. In the US people are scared to talk about it half the time
    but here it is welcomed and it's not just one main religion there are so many
    regions and states and in each there is a different dominate religion but in
    each for the most people are accepted for whatever they worship and that is why
    I fell so in love with the Bahai temple is because it's not about one
    pilgrimage for one type of religion it's a meeting place for everyone and
    anything it is the ultimate place of acceptance. This is one of the only great
    monuments built ages ago that is literally a sign of all acceptance. We all
    know about the wars that were worldwide centuries ago about religion and that
    some still go on today but what people don't know about is this temple and that
    there is a temple for everyone that literally says we accept you for whoever
    you worship that everyone that comes there is safe and is welcomed. But that is
    the feeling I got during my entire trip in India I was amazed yes by the entire
    trip every monument was breath taking and just unreal almost many of them made
    from precious metals and stones. The fact that in every place you visit in
    India you not only see the beauty but you see how much work goes into each
    place you see how much each person cares not just when it was built but how
    much they still do. Every year there is so much work that goes into not
    changing these great places but persevering them and they were built to last
    from the start but everyone in India is around these places would do just about
    anything to promote them and to take care of them in the end the country is
    amazing and I wish to go back as soon as possible.
    tabby and BadBoy like this.

  2. BadBoy

    BadBoy Active Member

    Nicely written mate ;)

    some pics of your Tour would be highly appreciated :)

  3. Mach4

    Mach4 New Member

    My camera and laptop bags were both stolen on my last day in India. I wrote a complaint with the police so hopefully they would find it and post it to me. I wish I had saved the memory cards in my wallet. I had seven 40GB memory cards which were full and the eighth one was inside the camera. All beautiful high res pictures :( All gone in a matter of 30 seconds.
  4. ChaiNashta

    ChaiNashta Active Member

    That is such a shame. I hope otherwise you had a good time apart from losing your stuff.

    Did you leave them unattended or what?
  5. Prits

    Prits Member

    Nice post, just one question what is UNESCO?

    I feel your pain about losing the photos, it has happened to me...:(
  6. BadBoy

    BadBoy Active Member

    UNESCO is a sub-body of United Nations..
    UNESCO = The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization..
  7. MonikaGulati

    MonikaGulati New Member

    Anyone got the actual UNESCO sites list?
  8. Chahal

    Chahal ਜੱਟ ਕੀ ਤੇ ਘੱਟ ਕੀ Staff Member

    You can find the complete list of all the Unesco world heritage sites in India here.
  9. swalia

    swalia Guest

    Oh! It's really shameful that you had to face this during your visit to my country. I sincerely apologize for this and hope that the police will be able to recover the stolen goods. I hope when you think of India, you will remember the good times you had here and this incident wouldn't tarnish the good memories of you visit to India.
  10. tabby

    tabby Member

    Very detailed travelogue! Even without the pictures, I could just imagine the excitement and the wonder and awe of being able to see the beautiful places you described. I myself would want to see the Taj Mahal once in my life, so I truly appreciated reading the little details you included.
    It's too bad that your camera and laptop bags were stolen. While pictures of your India travel would have been nice keepsakes, I'm sure no one can stole the experience you had. Hopefully, the bad incident won't be the one that will stuck when you remember India.