Category: Must-See

Indian Heritage Sites Americans Would Love To Visit

India is a land of enchanting cultural beauty and continues to be so, attracting tourists from all corners of the world.

Americans form a big chunk of foreign tourists visiting Indian cities that reflect the diversity of this majestic country.

So here is a list celebrating India’s wealth of heritage. Here are a few sites that Americans would love to visit.

Thickumz

Cult Of Curvy Women - Thickumz

Cult Of Curvy Women – Thickumz

This is a funny one. You might not be aware but a lot of things are happening on the web these days. This is the case with Thickumz – the new series featuring sporty women with slim waists and curvy certain aspects of their body. Making their bodies temples these girls want to have a good time and tease some guys. Would that be popular in India? It already is! And it’s American-made, so it’s a win-win for both citizens.

Strongly recommended to visit their official website.

Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

It’s no surprise that when you talk about India and one of the first few images that pop up in your head is this majestic tomb located in Agra. In 1983, the Taj Mahal became one of the first UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India. Made of white marble, the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan built in the 16th century for his wife.

This carries on the legacy for the Taj Mahal as an enamoring symbol of long-lasting romance. If any American tourist leaves India without paying a visit to this monument, then it won’t be a complete trip.

Qutab Minar

Qutab Minar

Delhi has a whole set of classic Islamic style monuments brimming with a rich past and culture. One of the finest specimens of this is the largest brick minaret in the world, the Qutab Minar. Not only the tower, but the whole Qutab complex makes for an interesting getaway to explore.

There are broken remnants and fragments of old Hindu and Jain temples, tombs (dargahs) of Sufi saints and British gardens. You can hop from timelines with every step. This gives you a classic Indian tourist experience.

Hampi

Hampi

Karnataka has some exciting places to wander off to like the Mysore Palace and several temples. But the greatest symbol of heritage here continues to be the magical site of Hampi. It once used to be the city of the Hindu Vijayanagara Empire in the 14th century.

This city from the time long gone reflects a vibrant town culture, complete with lined streets, houses of elites and grand stone temples. The temples are also of different proportions and functions. For instance, there is a famous temple with chariot wheels attached to its structure, another shrine called the Hazara Rama Temple which has detailed designs narrating stories in its walls.

Jaisalmer Fort

Jaisalmer Fort

There are various forts to visit in the desert state of Rajasthan, but one of the earliest and grandest has been the Jaisalmer Fort without a doubt. Located on the Trikuta Hill amidst the dunes of the Thar Desert, it attracts hordes of foreign tourists every year. You can buy authentic Rajasthani handicrafts and souvenirs located within the palace area or head to the havelis.

These have some remarkably intricate architectural designs and can be found in other old residences of the princes here, some of which have been converted into mini-museums. As people still live within its territory, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the only ‘living forts’ in the world.

Therefore, when you plan your next trip to India, make sure you soak in the culture and heritage of India.

Why Americans Visiting India Need To Include A Visit To A Temple In Their Itinerary

Sanchi Stupa

Temples of India are the towering edifices of rock that have stood the test of time to tell the tales of the magnificent country’s glorious past. They are the fruit of labor of several thousand craftsmen and builders, artists and sculptors. Temples are the jewel in the crown of a powerful king, proclaiming his greatness to the world…

Whatever your faith, your visit to India will be incomplete without including a visit to a temple. There is a lot you can learn about India, both its present and its past, by visiting a temple. If you have a more spiritual bent of mind, you will discover a great many things about your own self, and ‘the brahman’, or the Supreme Being.

Significance Of Temples

The Konark Sun Temple

Deeply rooted in ancient Vedic traditions, temples in India are structures that were constructed with the idea of being the place for devotees to have a ‘darshan’ (or view) of the Supreme. The temple embodies the all the elements of Hinduism – the good, the evil, the human, the elements of cyclic time that represent dharma (righteousness), moksha (liberation), artha (material prosperity), and Kama (emotional fulfilment), and the ultimate freedom from the cycle of birth and death.

Hindu temples show us the diversity of the religion itself. The architecture of temples vary in each region, village, city, or town depending the spiritual inclination of the people living there. Interestingly, it is not necessary for every Hindu to go to a temple. In fact, there are some schools of Hindu thought that don’t even encourage the rituals associated with temple worship.

Understanding The Concept Of Many Deities

Hinduism believes in the one ultimate Brahman, the basic consciousness that defines our very existence. But by architectural design, every temple will have one primary deity and several other smaller shrines for other deities (called ‘Moorthi’). Devotees will follow a circular path and offer their respects to all the deities. This shows how monotheism and polytheism co-exist in Hinduism.

Rituals That Are Performed In Temples

Somnath Temple

There are always mythological stories of valor, righteousness, justice, and compassion associated with the deity that make him worthy of the exalted position he is accorded. Inside the temple, several rituals are performed every day. These are considered as offerings to the deity.

These rituals involve waking the primary deity in the morning by chanting hymns in Sanskrit language, cleansing the deity with ghee (clarified butter), bathing the deity with rose water and milk, dressing the deity and adorning with ornaments, and even singing lullaby to make him sleep.

Aarti is a ceremony that is performed many times a day by the priest. He illuminates the deity by circling the deity with a flame and then extends this flame to all the people assembled there, one by one. This represents the complete surrender of the individual’s soul to the divine Supreme.

Such rituals of humanizing God are meant to signify the relationship between the devotee (Jeevatma or human soul) and the Supreme power (Paramatma). They also imply that the Brahman or the Supreme is within every individual’s heart.

Helpful Tip: Remember to wear clothes that will cover your arms and legs. Salwar kameez would be the ideal attire for women. A recent ruling banned women from wearing jeans or leggings to temples in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. Do check with the local tour guide before visiting a temple.

Some temples don’t allow men to wear shorts. Full trousers would be a safe bet for men. Check with the authorities before you plan to visit a temple.

Hope you found this article informative!