‘Unity in Diversity.’ We have been coming ahead hearing this phrase since our childhood. No wonder, given the variety of cultural heritage and rich history the country has, India has been accommodating several traditions and customs coming from all parts of the country. These can be clearly observed in nook and corner of the country which is coming from and being passed on from the natives. Those from abroad when they visit the country, no wonder you notice an awestruck moment given the variety of things one gets to witness. One has to take a cultural tour of India to understand the in-depth culture and heritage along with the history of the country. India is a mosaic of faith, tradition, culture, languages, and heritage which live on side by side in harmony. Given one of the oldest living civilizations in the world, one can see how rich and oldest/ancient forms live here still in harmony and thrive well.
India as a diverse land
What do you generally relate to when you talk about the culture and colors of India? It is mostly the royal heritage, exotic palaces and forts, magnificent scenic beauty, blue lakes, and crowded bazaars. Well, we know how gorgeous India is with its unique and diverse culture. The roots and all come from ancient times. Several of components when we refer to culture include music, dance, sculpture, fine arts, traditions, beliefs, food, and festivities. The culture and heritage of India are seen as one of the oldest in the whole globe. All this has begun from the time of medieval and ancient periods and Indian royal rulers who have passed on the culture till today’s generation. Hence this cultural diversities prevails still in varied forms such as fair, festivals, dances, people, religions, and their culture.
Each of them is distinct and varied in their own way, carved out of uniqueness with its own significance. No wonder, most of the tourists call India on the name of ‘Land of Maharajas’ given the richness in music, dance, art, and craft.
There are several prominent destinations in North India. One can find the rich heritage and cultural values in the form of royal palaces and destinations as well as temples and ancient architecture and monuments. Let us begin with ancient architecture and temples. One which initially comes to mind when we think of heritage in North India is the exotic Khajuraho which is located at Chhatarpur of Madhya Pradesh. Khajuraho is one of the famous touristy destinations in India in the present day. It almost equals to the popularity of Taj Mahal right now due to the beautiful carvings, architecture and marvelous temples. One cannot miss out the expression it gives of matured civilization and rich and fascinating heritage. Further, one should also visit Red Fort, Qutub Minar, India Gate in Delhi to witness the Indian heritage in the national capital.
Forget not, the Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh where the Ganges is located is still a most favorite and spiritual spot in India. It gives the spiritual and peaceful vibe which one cannot find in other places. One can witness true cultural values there where billions of people come and visit the place and seek blessings.
Further, how can one skip the state of Rajasthan? Known to be as the state of rulers, every corner of Rajasthan depicts the richness and grandeur of royal rulers in our country. The forts in the state (Amber Fort, Jaisalmer Fort, Nahargarh Fort, Kumbhalgarh fort, Chittorgarh fort) truly are majestic in terms of grandeur and architectural marvel. Other famous heritage places in Rajasthan which show the heritage and culture are city palace in Jaipur and Udaipur, Jal Mahal, Lake Palace in Udaipur and Umaid Bhavan Palace in Jodhpur. Rajasthan is truly the state where one can still see and witness how people workshop India’s culture and heritage and is being passed on to the current generation. This is for sure going to leave you awestruck with architectural brilliance and scenic beauty. The heart of Rajasthan can be easily now accessed through Palace on Wheels which allows you to travel across the state and enjoy the charming and majestic land. The tourist train is placed for easy access for tourist to witness the colorful and fascinating land without difficulty.
The western part of India
Several heritage spots and places exist in Western India as well. Who does not know the famous UNESCO sites of Ellora Caves, Ajanta Caves? Located in Maharashtra, they are major cultural destinations which depict paintings of Ajanta and carved structures of Ellora. Further, places like Aurangabad with heritage and glory with historical sites and Ahmedabad with its cultural history and temples are not to be missed. Other cultural sites in western India include Patan in Gujarat, Bhut in Gujarat for its temples, Murud Janjira in Maharashtra for forts, and; Porbandar in Gujarat for the history of the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi. In case you are in these western states of India for a few days, do not miss out on this historical and cultural spots which can surprise you with newer entices and magnificent sites.
North East India
Many miss out on the rich culture and hidden heritage of North East India. The indigenous culture has significant influence from other parts of the country which can be seen clearly here. The first of the rich heritage which we all should know about (in case you dint hear it) is the Hornbill festival in Nagaland. Its elaborate cultural events which showcase rich culture, life, and rituals in the state. They believe and celebrate customs, cultures, and traditions here every year around the month of December. The artists and communities set up their corners for performances and visitors exclusively.
Further, the north east Indian states have their own dances and song forms which depict their rich history and culture exclusively. For instance, the state of Assam has monastic institutions of Majuli where monks still spread teaching and singings at monasteries. They organize festivals and perform along with preach messages of Sankardev.
Coming to the heritage spots in North East India, the significant ones include Sibsagar in Assam which shows the cultural town with history, Agartala in Tripura for diverse culture ruled by Manikya kings, and Tirap in Arunachal Pradesh depicting ethnicity of tribals and their festivals.
There are several spots in South India as well which can make you feel like home with the natural and scenic beauty a round. The attractions include natural beauty and scenic views along with historic monuments and architectural marvels.The places like Ooty, Kerala, Kumarakom, and Coorg makes you be in awe due to the exotic beauty it gives to witness. You can observe the heritage and values in the local lives over there residing in nature and living through giving and taking back from nature. The colonial attractions and architectural beauty can be witnessed in places like Hampi, Mysore, Bangalore, and Hyderabad with forts and palaces.
There are temple towns like Kutiyattam and Hampi which makes you feel and sense the magnum opus of heritage. The splendor and colors in South India are no less to talk about given the ancient history and lovely backdrop of nature.
Indian craftsmanship, ashrams, classical music and dance, Mughal architecture, temple towns, and forts help you to understand the color and vibrancy of Indian heritage and culture. Every state has its own cultural niche carved deep and within, and it is the proud moment that these have not been died out in the process of modernity but rather have blended well with the diversity and cultural elegance. The cultural visits and tours will help to witness and experience the rich and complex history easily. In case you are visiting any of these places, make sure to take a guide along who can help make you understand the significance of the place better. Explore the finest details and heritage of the country which is as ancient and old as that when civilizations took place. Given the vast and diverse country, there are limitless options to explore.