21 Ancient Places In India That Still Look The Same

While we discuss the history of India as something that happened before the huge transformation of the country took place, as if, in comparison with those olden times, India has been given a complete makeover with modern civil and architectural structures, through the magic of technology, there are quite a few places that believe in simplicity. These places have kept up to their natural beauty and have sustained their charm ever since. With such advanced technology, the money and manpower, and the freedom to reconstruct, the country still holds onto its roots carefully, safeguarding the beauty and charm of ancientness. This is India, where you get to live the old and the new together.

Here is a list of those ancient places in India that still look the same as they looked a century back.

1. Jaipur: City of Kings and Palaces

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The rare combination of the Hindu and Muslim architectural style blended in one structure is the highlight and charm of the Amber Fort of Jaipur. This fort was once the residence of the pugnacious Rajput rulers. Even today, if you look attentively, you will see a flash of the rich and royal lifestyle of these Medieval Indian rulers. The fort currently stands as an alluring landmark in the city of Jaipur and attracts a handsome amount of tourists every year. This definitely tops the historical places in India you have to see in a lifetime!

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2. Goa: Ancient Churches, Mansions, Monuments, Chapels

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We know that the Portuguese ruled over Goa for over 4 centuries. During this time they constructed massive churches, mansions, monuments, and chapels that are still untouched on the architectural front. To old stone work and structure still stand the way it was a couple of centuries back. The biggest highlight of the ancient preserves Goa holds is the body of St. Francis Xavier in one of the citys old churches. The body has been in the cascade for years, undamaged but shrinking gradually. The culture of the city is another ancient feature that remains the same making Goa a distinct city from the rest of India. Let's explore all the things to do in Goa along with a historical trip to the state.

3. Hampi: A Glance of the Vijayanagara

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Hampi is an enchanting town that beautifies the banks of the Tungabhadra River. This stretch of land rises 467 meters above sea level on a jagged terrain. Hampi holds great religious significance and is home to Virupaksha and Vittal which are popular temples of the Vijayanagara era. The place also features forts that belonged to the Vijayanagara dynasty. Visit Hampi to get a prolonged glance of the Vijayanagara period and learn about the time when they ruled.

Read More About: Lesser Known Facts About Hampi

4. Jodhpur: Blue City

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This mesmerizing Sun City opens up in the Thar dessert which is of course the largest dessert in the world. The city is given titles like Sun City and Gateway to Thar because it faces harsh sunrays and located on the border of the dessert. The city is also referred to as the Blue City because of the stunning blue structures encompassing the citys fort. Jodhpur is home to the imperial Mehrangarh Fort with houses painted in blue surrounding it.

5. Khajuraho: Ancient Temples and Medieval Architecture

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Located in the Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh, Khajuraho is home to ancient temples that were built during the time of the Chandela rulers. These temples were unnoticed for an extended period of time as they were concealed behind date palms trees. While there were plenty of foreign invasions and natural calamities bombarding the city, only 22 of 85 temples managed to make it to todays day and age. The commendable sandstone structures of these temples are a true example of the Indian medieval architectural style. Making this one of the most ancient places on Earth, quite cool to have a look, eh?

6. Kolkata: Grand Colonial Architecture, Art Galleries

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Those who are passionate about history would fall in love with this West Bengal capital. The city of Kolkata is home to Birla Planetarium, Indian Museum, Science City, Tagore house and more. The Indian museum has preserved an extensive collection of the Egyptian Mummy, ancient Buddhist form of Gandhara art and vivid fossils while the science city is popular for flight simulator, space theatre, and time machine.

7. Lepakshi Village: Hanging Pillars

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About 15 kilometers to the east of Hindipur, in the Anantpur district of Andhra Pradesh lays a village of architecture referred to as Lepakshi. This village is replete with brilliant historic structures that stood tall during the rule of the Vijayanagara Kings. This however isnt it. The village has also sustained historic glimpses of Cudappah Nawabs, Hyder Ali, Qutub Shah Clan, Mughal Empire, and the British architectural structures.

8. Pondicherry: French Architecture

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A favorite spot for the French, Dutch, English, Danes, and the Portuguese in olden times, Pondicherry is home to an alluring coastline. This south Indian city was ruled by the French in 1673. Later it was utilized as a site for the battle between the British and the French. With so much of history to this part of Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry is home to ample of ancient beauty thats still how it was 100 years back in history.

9. Sanchi: Ancient Buddhist Stupas and Monuments

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Sanchi, a petite village in the Raisen district, is rich with ancient Buddhist stupas and monuments along with shrines, pillars with magnificent carvings that example the rich Buddhist culture, monasteries, and more. Most of the ancient structures belong to the period between the 2nd and 12th century AD. A glimpse of the peaceful old Buddhist period is what you can expect on a visit to this ancient village.

10. Thanjavur: The Beauty of Ancientness

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The mighty Chola Dynasty once ruled this city of Tamil Nadu. The Nayaks and Marathas ruled from this very city and hence we have multiple architectural styles that design the popular Anaicut, Big Temple, Serfoji Mahal Library and various other ancient structures in the city. As the city was the dwelling place of Mother Cauvery the Kaviri Thala Puranam (songs of praise) are famous here. There is a peculiar whiff of peace and sanctity here in Thanjavur, it is considered as one of the most ancient cities of India with a whole lot of rich history. 

11. Agra - Jewel of the Mughal Paradise

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The erstwhile capital of the Mughal Empire, Agra played an important role in India during the medieval centuries. The sprawling Red Fort, the pristine Taj Mahal, the narrow winding lanes full of delicious food and shopping opportunities have kept the spirit of Agra intact long after the decline of this mighty dynasty. Visit the city to see some of the most beautiful buildings in the country, each a tribute to the beauty found in architecture.

12. Ajanta - Ellora Caves -  Gifts of Buddhism

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Carved centuries before the world civilisation came into existence, the Buddhist caves of Ajanta and the multicultural caves of Ellora personify the term ‘hidden gems.’ Paintings done in that era on the walls of the Ajanta caves are still painstakingly preserved to keep their beauty intact. Equally stunning are the intricate sculptures of Ellora caves. Barring a few, most of them have survived the test of time.

13. Fatehpur Sikri - Fusion Architecture at its Best

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Probably the only reason why this one-time flourishing city has retained its charms is because it was abandoned due to inadequate water supply. Fatehpur Sikri was built at a time when the Mughal dynasty had started establishing their stronghold in India. To honour the traditions of that period, there is a heavy influence of Rajput architecture in the making of this city. This is one of the earliest examples of fusion architecture in the country. 

14. Mahabalipuram - The Land of Intact Divinity

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Mahabalipuram dates back to the time when Hindu religious scriptures were still being written. One trip to the Shore temple or the Varaha cave and you will realise that it has been carved way before most structures in the country. The Pancharatha and the stone carving of Bhagiratha's Penance are classic examples of Dravidian architecture from immemorable times. Mahabalipuram proudly flaunts these monuments for the world to see.

15. Madurai - The Planned Magnificence

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Growing around the spectacular Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai is probably one of the first planned city in India. We know it has been around for a very long time as it has been mentioned in the works of famous European scholars like Ptolemy and Strabo. The city is located in concentric quadrangles with the temple acting as its centre, according to the revamping plan of King Vishwanatha Nayak in the 16th century.

16. Maheshwar - Enhanced by Royalty

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Maheshwar is mainly famous for being the capital of Ahilyabai Holkar, but it was a prominent city long before the Maratha lady chose it as her abode. It has been mentioned both in the Ramayana and Mahabharata. Given the many temples dotting the city, it is hardly difficult to see that Maheshwar existed since ancient times. Head out to the royal complexes and palaces that still reflect the mightiness of the dynasties that ruled from here.

17. Varanasi - The Abode of the Gods

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It’s hard to say ancient and not mention Varanasi. This city is said to be older than time, and one glance at it will make you realise they don't have it wrong. The numerous ghats along the Ganga river, the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, the ancient Panchkoshi Parikrama all bear witness to the passing of time right from its inception. Divinity and spirituality are present in every molecule of Varanasi.

18. Osian - The Oasis of Time

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The town of Osian near Jodhpur is so ancient that even the end of its glorious period took place ten centuries ago. It was a major religious and trading center in western India till Muhammad Ghuri raided it on his campaign. Today, it is known mainly for its cluster of Brahmanical and Jain temples. There are covered with stone sculptures that have also been a part of worship. It is a good option for a daylong picnic from Jodhpur. 

19. Champaner - Heritage of Gujarat

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Champaner is a good example of pre-Mughal Muslim architecture in India. Mainly constructed from sandstone, the monuments of Champaner are still in good condition and totally worth the visit if you are fond of architecture. The Jama Masjid built by Sultan Begada is an iconic landmark in Champaner. Besides this, you can also check out the fortifications of the royal enclosure.

20. Pattadakal - The Town of Temples 

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The town of Pattadakal is not your regular tourist destination, but the ornate temple complex makes it worth to visit. Built under the patronage of the Chalukya dynasty in the 7th century, the temples of Pattadakal follow the various styles involved in Dravidian architecture. Also valuable are the Kannada inscriptions on the walls of the temples. 

21. Bodh Gaya - The Mother of Buddhism

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Bodh Gaya is the place where Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment and developed Buddhism as a religion. While the Mahabodhi temple is the main attraction in town, there are many other places like the Mucalinda Lake, the Mahabodhi Stupa, the Burmese Temple and numerous monasteries that also preserve the spirit of one of Buddhism’s most important places. Also note the various Buddhist temples built by nations that follow this religion in masses.

The world has changed, transformed, and become more appealing in appearance. So has India. But a blend of the old and new, the beauty of ancientness, the creations of our ancestors, are still held close to our hearts - are still preserved here. So, which ancient places in india would you like to visit today?

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