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India in Pics: 12 Unsung Wonders to Visit in 2022

Looking for offbeat travel destinations? Kumbhalgarh, Ellora, Adalaj Ni Vav – explore these stunning wonders of India on your next trip.

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A country known for its picturesque getaways and tourist spots steeped in culture, India is replete with many hidden gems. From temples to lakes that span acres and stonewall architecture influenced by bygone eras, there is much ogle at.

If you are planning your travel itinerary for 2022, here are some must-visit places that will stun you with their breathtaking beauty.

1. Ellora Caves, Aurangabad

Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Ellora Caves are rooted in ancient Indian culture. The ensembles of monolithic temples were excavated in different centuries-spanning across historical time. They also have scriptures from different religious backgrounds enhancing the spirituality of the place.
Immerse yourself in centuries-old art!

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Ellora Caves, Aurangabad
Ellora Caves, Aurangabad (Picture credits: Kunal Dalui)

Best time to visit: July through September, as during summers temperatures soar
Entry fee: Rs 30 per person for Indians, Rs 500 per person for foreign tourists
How to get there: Once you reach Aurangabad, there are Government buses and taxi services that take you up to the caves.

2. Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh

This city held a significant position in Indian culture for its Nagara style architectural beauty. It houses temples that depict early Indian life and mythology. Legend says the name of the city is borrowed from the Hindi word ‘khajur’, which means ‘date palm trees’ as the city was once abundant in these. Others say that the name originates from Khajura-vahaka (scorpion bearer), which is also the symbolic name for Shiva.

Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh
Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh (Picture credits: Suveer Singh Sikarwar)

Best time to visit: October to February
Entry fee: Rs 10 per person for Indians, Rs 250 per person for foreign tourists
How to get there: The city has a railway station and an airport. Travel within the city can be done by road.

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3. The Modhera Sun Temple, Gujarat

The best time to visit this ancient Hindu temple is during the equinox. One Tripadvisor user has described it as a “Perfect combo of Maths and Vastukala”, and rightly so. The dimensions and construction of the temple are such that during the equinox, the first ray of the rising sun falls upon a diamond that is placed on the head of the Sun God and lights up the shrine.

Modhera Sun Temple, Gujarat
Modhera Sun Temple, Gujarat (Picture credits: Anup Gandhe)

Best time to visit: During January when the Modhera Dance Festival takes place
Entry fee: Rs 20 per person for Indians, Rs 250 per person for foreign tourists
How to get there: From Ahmedabad to Modhera by road is 1.45 hours.

4. Jatayupara, Kerala

Legend says that when Ravan was abducting Sita, the mythical bird Jatayu saved her by fighting the demon valiantly and fell on the rocks in the process after having been injured gravely in its quest to protect her. These same rocks are now the ones on which a massive sculpture of the bird has been built. If you are up for some adventure, there is a rock theme park that you could visit while here.

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Jatayupara, Kerala
Jatayupara, Kerala (Picture credits: Sanal)

Best time to visit: Throughout the year
Entry fee: Rs 530 per person
How to get there: It is an hour by road from Kollam railway station.

5. Hoysala Temples of Hassan, Karnataka

Constructed during the Hoysala empire reign, these temples are known far and wide for their architectural design which set them apart. A porch entrance leads to the square enclosure and this then leads to the sanctum. There is a superstructure over the main shrine. If you are in Karnataka and are an ardent lover of history and the arts, these temples are abundant in them.

Hoysala Temples of Hassan, Karnataka
Hoysala Temples of Hassan, Karnataka (Picture credits: Mahima Singh)

Best time to visit: October to February
Entry fee: Free
How to get there: These temples are about four hours away by road from Bengaluru. You can also go from Mangalore to Hassan by train, which is a five-hour journey.

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6. Rajgad Fort, Maharashtra

Often denoted as ‘unconquerable’ in history, the Rajgad fort built on the Murumbadevi Dongar is the pride of the state. As a fortress, it has witnessed significant historic events from the life and times of the iconic Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and continues to be a famous trekking spot for those who love altitudes and a good challenge.

Rajgad Fort, Maharashtra
Rajgad Fort, Maharashtra (Picture credits: Jagdish Patil)

Best time to visit: June to February
Entry fee: Free
How to get there: There is a bus service from Pune to Pali village.

7. Marble Rocks of Bhedaghat, Madhya Pradesh

If you visit the Narmada river, a magnificent sight will meet your eyes. Through the years the persistent yet gentle force of the river has carved the marble that lies beside it and formed a beautiful gorge, now known as the Marbles Rock of Bhedaghat. You will be mesmerised by the entire journey should you choose to take a trip on a guided boat tour.

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Marble Rocks of Bhedaghat, Madhya Pradesh
Marble Rocks of Bhedaghat, Madhya Pradesh (Picture credits: Aanjikya Shukla)

Best time to visit: September to March
Entry fee: Rs 300 for a boat ride
How to get there: There are trains as well as taxi services available from Jabalpur to Bhedaghat.

8. Adalaj Ni Vav, Gujarat

This is an intricately carved stepwell and a testament to Indo Islamic architectural style. Five stories deep and held strong by its pillars, the stepwell was a relief to travellers and locals who fetched water. It was once a place for the village women to meet and talk and get respite from the day’s work.

Adalaj Ni Vav, Gujarat
Adalaj Ni Vav, Gujarat (Picture credits: Anup Gandhe)

Best time to visit: September to February
Entry fee: Rs 20 per person for Indians, Rs 250 per person for foreign tourists
How to get there: From Ahmedabad to Adalaj is 30 minutes by road.

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9. Mahabat Maqbara, Gujarat

This ancient mausoleum is an integration of various forms of architecture and its domes continue to stun those who visit. Those passionate about architecture will find a haven in the designs here, as French styles meet Gothic columns and these then lead to Islamic domes. The iconic structure has had political significance throughout history.

Mahabat Maqbara, Gujarat
Mahabat Maqbara, Gujarat (Picture source: Abhay Pandya)

Best time to visit: October to March
Entry fee: Free
How to get there: It is within walking distance from Junagadh Railway station.

10. Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Tamil Nadu

When you step into the temples of Gangaikonda Cholapuram, you will feel transported back in time. The intricacy of the carvings in the interiors as well as the stone structures, add to the finesse that the temples are acclaimed for. Built during the Chola dynasty, the temples are a reflection of Lord Shiva.

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Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Tamil Nadu
Gangaikonda Cholapuram, Tamil Nadu (Picture credits: Raj Mohan)

Best time to visit: September to March
Entry fee: Free
How to get there: The nearest station is Kutralam Railway Station.

11. Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu

Known for its shore temples, the site is a great attraction and gives tourists a scenic escape. What draws tourists to the shores is the vast variety of delicious mouth-watering cuisine that is served in the local restaurants. A seafood lover’s paradise!

Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu
Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu (Picture credits: Dhenesh Annamalai)

Best time to visit: October to February
Entry fee: Rs 10 per person for Indians, Rs 340 per person for foreign tourists
How to get there: There are AC and non-AC buses from Chengalpattu station.

12. Amer Fort, Rajasthan

India’s history and culture are reflected by its temples, palaces and most importantly the kind of precision that was used while constructing these. Amer Fort is connected to Jaigarh Fort by underground passages and tunnels and it is almost like exploring a mystery. Immerse yourself in Mughal architecture whilst you are here!

Amer Fort, Rajasthan
Amer Fort, Rajasthan (Picture credits: Rizwan)

Best time to visit: October to March
Entry fee: Rs 100 per person for Indians, Rs 500 per person for foreign tourists
How to get there: Public buses and taxis are available from Jaipur to Amer.

(Edited by Yoshita Rao)

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