• 13 June 2024

Whispers of History Forgotten Heritage Sites

Jan 22, 2024

Welcome to a journey through time, where the echoes of history linger in forgotten corners. In this exploration, we delve into the whispers of the past, discovering hidden heritage sites that have stood witness to the tales of bygone eras. These sites, often overlooked, hold the key to understanding our rich cultural legacy.

Jahaz Mahal, Mandu

  • Constructed by Mandu Sultan Ghiyas-ud-din Khilji in the 15th century.
  • A two-storey rectangular structure with thick walls.
  • Legend of the Sultan’s large harem, leading to the palace’s construction.
  • Located in Mandu, Madhya Pradesh.
  • Named due to its reflection resembling a ship on the surrounding reservoir.
  • Built during the Lodi dynasty period (1452–1526).
  • Purpose: Pleasure resort, Sarai (inn), or transit accommodation.
  • Transit for pilgrims from Afghanistan, Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Morocco, and Turkey.
  • Constructed between 1451 AD and 1526 AD.
  • Courtyard in a ‘U’ shape, with impressive square chhatris (towers).
  • Decorated with squinches, blue-tiled domed pavilion over the central gate.
  • Includes a small mosque within the palace.
  • Venue for the annual festival “Phool Walon Ki Sair” in October.
  • Procession of flower-bedecked fans by flower vendors.
  • Marks syncretic Hindu-Muslim culture.
  • Initiated by Emperor Akbar Shah II in 1820, and popularized by Emperor Bahadur Shah II.
  • Discontinued during the British period (1942), restarted in 1961 by Jawaharlal Nehru.
  • Identified for conservation activities by the Conservation Society, Delhi (CSD).
  • CSD conducts seminars, workshops, and heritage walks to promote awareness.
  • Part of Mehrauli, Delhi’s urban village, recognized for conservation efforts.

Rosary Church, Shettihalli

Pic Credit-Tripadvisor
  • Built by French missionaries in the 1860s in Karnataka.
  • Submerged partially in water during monsoons (July to October).
  • Situated on the backwaters of the Hemavathy Reservoir.
  • Offers a unique and picturesque sight.
  • Submerged underwater after the construction of the Hemavati Dam and Reservoir in 1960.
  • Famous as “The Submerged Church” and “The Floating Church.”
  • Draws tourists during monsoon to witness the partially submerged church.
  • Spectacular sight with the church surrounded by water.
  • Best experienced in two visits – July to October (partially submerged) and December to May (water recedes).
  • Accessible by road (200 km from Bangalore) and train (nearest town: Hassan, Karnataka).
  • Witness surreal beauty during monsoons when the church is partially submerged.
  • Grounds emerge when water recedes, offering a different experience.

Basgo, Leh-Ladakh

  • The former capital of the early Chola kings for a brief period.
  • Significant mention in Sangam-era epics of Tamil literature.
  • Rich historical and cultural heritage.
  • Located in Leh-Ladakh region.
  • Positioned atop a hill overlooking the ruins of the ancient town.
  • Known for its Buddha statue and intricate murals.
  • The complex includes the Chamchung, Chamba Lakhang, and Serzang temples.
  • Devoted to the Maitreya Buddha, known as the future Buddha.
  • Holds cultural and religious importance in the region.
  • Reflects the Buddhist heritage of Ladakh.
  • Draws tourists and pilgrims interested in Buddhist heritage.
  • The combination of historical ruins and religious structures enhances its appeal.

Maluti Temples, Jharkhand

Maluti Temples-Forgotten Heritage Sites
  • About 72 ancient terracotta temples in the town of Maluti, Jharkhand.
  • Marvelous architectural heritage.
  • Considered one of the top ten ruins globally.
  • Reflects the historical significance of the region.
  • They showcase Bengal temple architecture and were built between the 17th and 19th centuries.
  • The temples are dedicated to various deities, including Shiva, Durga, Kali, Vishnu, and the family deity Mowlakshi.
  • The temples’ history is linked to the gift of the kingdom of Maluti, granted to Brahmin Basanta by the Muslim ruler Alauddin Husain Shah in recognition of saving his hawk.
  • The name Maluti is believed to be derived from Mallahati, associated with the Malla Kings of Bankura.
  • The temples were built by the Baj Basanta dynasty, inspired by the goddess Mowlakshi, their family deity.
  • Originally, there were 108 temples, all dedicated to Lord Shiva, within a radius of 350 meters. Currently, 72 temples still stand, with some in a semi-dilapidated condition.
  • The temples are categorized into different styles, popular throughout Bengal, and none follow the Nagara, Vesara, or Dravida architectural styles.
  • Apart from Shiva temples, there are eight temples dedicated to Goddess Kali and a temple dedicated to the saint Bamakhyapa.

Tughlaqabad, New Delhi

Tughlaqabad-Forgotten Heritage Sites
  • Notable historical site in New Delhi.
  • Resembles the ruins of Mohenjo-Daro-Harappa.
  • Part of Tughlaqabad Fort complex.
  • Reflects medieval architecture.
  • Constructed in 1321 by Ghiyasuddin Tughluq, founder of the Tughlaq dynasty, as the third historic city of Delhi.
  • Abandoned in 1327 and later served as the namesake for the Tughluqabad residential-commercial area and institutional area.
  • Situated within the Northern Aravalli leopard wildlife corridor.
  • Surrounded by important biodiversity areas, including Badkhal Lake, ancient Surajkund reservoir, Anangpur Dam, Damdama Lake, and Adilabad ruins.
  • Part of the larger ecosystem includes Pali-Dhuaj-Kot waterfalls, Mangar Bani, and Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary.

Poompuhar, Tamil Nadu

Poompuhar-Forgotten Heritage Sites
Pic Credit- The Hindu
  • Once a flourishing ancient port city (Kaveripoompattinam).
  • Capital of the early Chola kings for a period.
  • Described in Sangam-era epics of Tamil literature.
  • Offers insights into ancient Tamil culture and life.
  • Poompuhar is a town in the Mayiladuthurai district, of Tamil Nadu, India.
  • Previously known as Kaveri poompattinam and Kaveripattanam, it served as the capital of early Chola kings in Tamilakam.
  • Located near the endpoint of the Kaveri River, adjacent to the sea coast.
  • Flourishing ancient port city mentioned in the Periplus of Ereythrean Sea.
  • Established by marine archaeological research that much of the town was eroded and washed away by floods.
  • Submerged wharves and pier walls were excavated, confirming literary references to Poompugar.

Hampi, Karnataka

Hampi-Forgotten Heritage Sites
Pic Credit- Karnataka Tourism
  • Capital of the Vijaynagar Empire (1336 to 1565).
  • Ruled by four dynasties – Sangama, Saluva, Tuluva, and Aravidu.
  • Hampi’s ruins depict the grandeur of the Vijaynagar era.
  • A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • It predates the Vijayanagara Empire, mentioned in Hindu epics like the Ramayana, and remains a religious center with various monuments.
  • In its prime around 1500 CE, Hampi-Vijayanagara was the world’s second-largest city, known for its prosperity, temples, and markets.
  • The Vijayanagara Empire fell in 1565 after a defeat by Muslim sultanates, leading to the destruction and abandonment of Hampi.
  • The ruins spread over 4,100 hectares, including forts, temples, shrines, and more, are described by UNESCO as an “austere, grandiose site.”
  • The name “Hampi” is derived from the old name of the Tungabhadra River, Pampa.
  • Its historical significance dates back to the Maurya Empire in the 3rd century BCE, and it thrived during the Hoysala and Vijayanagara periods.
  • The Vijayanagara rulers developed infrastructure, arts, and religious buildings; Hampi was multi-religious with Hindu, Jain, and Muslim influences.
  • The site remained contested through the 18th century, and in 1799, it came under British influence.
  • The ruins gained attention in the mid-19th century, with surveys and studies by historians and archaeologists.
  • The site has been studied in three zones: the sacred center, the urban core, and the rest of metropolitan Vijayanagara.
  • It features predominantly Hindu monuments, including the Virupaksha Temple, Krishna Temple, Achyutaraya Temple, and the iconic Vitthala Temple.
  • The Vitthala Temple complex includes the famous stone chariot and musical pillars.
  • The Hemakuta hill hosts small-to-moderate-sized temples, experimental structures, and monolithic Ganesha statues.
  • The ruins attract tourists and scholars, contributing to its significance in Indian history and archaeology.

Kumbhalgarh Fort, Rajasthan

Kumbhalgarh Fort-Forgotten Heritage Sites
Pic Credit-FabHotels.com
  • Mewar fortress on the westerly range of Aravalli Hills.
  • Located in the Rajsamand district near Udaipur.
  • A UNESCO World Heritage Site (Hill Forts of Rajasthan).
  • Known for its massive wall, one of the longest in the world.
  • Kumbhalgarh, also known as the Great Wall of India, is a Mewar fortress located in the Aravalli Hills in Rajasthan, India.
  • Built during the 15th century by Rana Kumbha.
  • Chief architect Mandan documented his work in the text “Rajvallabh.”
  • One of the largest fort complexes globally, with 84 forts in Rana Kumbha’s dominion.
  • Kumbhalgarh separated Mewar and Marwar and served as a refuge during times of danger.
  • Prince Udai, the infant king of Mewar, sought refuge in Kumbhalgarh in 1535 during the siege of Chittor.
  • Temples dedicated to Hindu deities like Ganesha, Charbhuja, Neel Kanth Mahadeva, and Jain temples.
  • The fort hosts an annual festival organized by the Rajasthan Tourism Department, celebrating art and architecture.

Bhimbetka Rock Shelters, Madhya Pradesh

Bhimbetka Rock Shelters-Forgotten Heritage Sites
  • Archaeological site in central India.
  • Spans Paleolithic, Mesolithic, and historic periods.
  • Houses prehistoric rock paintings.
  • A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Traces of human life from Acheulian times, inhabited over 100,000 years ago, showcasing cultural evolution.
  • Dating back to 10,000 BCE, themes include animals, dance, hunting, and warriors on horseback; India’s oldest-known rock art.
  • Declared protected in 1990, UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003; managed by Archaeological Survey of India.
  • Paintings feature elephants, bison, deer, peacocks, and snakes; classified into depictions of hunters, food gatherers, and fighters.

Sarnath, Uttar Pradesh

Sarnath-Forgotten Heritage Sites
Pic Credit- TripSavvy
  • Sarnath is located 10 kilometers northeast of Varanasi, near the confluence of the Ganges and Varuna rivers in Uttar Pradesh, India.
  • Significant in Buddhist history – where Buddha first taught the Dharma.
  • The deer park in Sarnath is where the Buddhist Sangha originated.
  • Historical and spiritual significance.
  • Around 528 BCE, Gautama Buddha gave his first sermon at Sarnath after attaining enlightenment at Bodh Gaya.
  • Sarnath is one of the four pilgrimage sites mentioned by Buddha for devout followers.
  • Besides Buddhist and Jain sites, Sarnath has attractions like Deer Park, Fish Canal, and Turtle Breeding Center.
  • Tourist arrivals have been increasing, with both international and domestic visitors.


As we conclude our journey through these historical gems, it becomes clear that preserving our heritage is more than safeguarding old structures; it is about cherishing the stories embedded in each brick and stone. These forgotten sites, though silent, speak volumes about our shared history. Let us strive to protect and honor these cultural treasures, ensuring that the whispers of history are heard by generations to come.

Also, read https://thelogicalpie.com/the-global-feast-culinary-capitals-with-the-largest-food-scenes/food/

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