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Updated by Rajashri Venkatesh on Jul 19, 2017
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10 Archeological Treasures Of India

India is a land of amazing rock-carved ancient temples, which reflect the culture and the tradition of our ancestors. You may find atleast one rock-cut temple in every south Indian state. Let's take a look at some of the exuberant temples of India.

Ellora Caves

The Ellora caves, locally known as ‘Verul Leni’ is located on the Aurangabad-Chalisgaon road at a distance of 30 km north-northwest of Aurangabad, the district headquarters. The name Ellora itself inspires everyone as it represents one of the largest rock-hewn monastic-temple complexes in the entire world. Ellora is also world famous for the largest single monolithic excavation in the world, the great Kailasa (Cave 16). The visit to these caves is enjoyed maximum during monsoon, when every stream is filled with rainwater, and the entire environ is lush green. The monsoon is not only a season of rains in this part, the local visitors are attracted to visit these ideal locations to have a glimpse of the mother nature in full bloom.

Sun Temple, Konarak

Built in the thirteenth century, it was conceived as a gigantic solar chariot with twelve pairs of exquisitely-ornamented wheels dragged by seven rearing horses. The temple comprised a sanctum with a lofty (presumably over 68 m. high) sikhara, a jagamohana (30. m. square and 30. m. high) and a detached nata-mandira (hall of dance) in the same axis, besides numerous subsidiary shrines. The sanctum and the nata-mandira have lost their roof. The nata-mandira exhibits a more balanced architectural design than that of other Orissan temples. The sanctum displays superb images of the Sun-god in the three projections which are treated as miniature shrines. The sanctum and the jagamohana together stand on a common platform studded with an intricate wealth of decorative ornaments and sculptures, often of a highly erotic type.

Bhimambika temple, Itagi

Itagi, small temple town in North Karnataka, It is famous for the temple of Bheemavva or Bhimambika It is in Gadag District, Ron Taluk in Karnataka, India. About 13 km from Gajendragad Kalkaleshwara temple. Hundreds and thousands of Itagi bhimambika Temple, near Gajendragad, North Karnataka Itagi bhimambika Temple, near Gajendragad, North Karnataka
Believers throng everyday to this place. People get their wishes fulfilled by a Bhimambika. Every year here at Itagi Annual car festival will hold, darty Dharma Devaru, it is one of the very famous Jatra in North Karnataka

Bojjannakonda

Bojjannakonda and Lingalakonda are two Buddhist sites which exist on adjacent hillocks near a village called Sankaram. It is located at about 45 km from Vishakhapatnam and just a few kilometers from Anakapalle. The sites are believed to date between 4th and 9th Century A.D, that was when at Sanakaram (Sangharam as it was called then) when the 3 phases of Buddhism (Hinayana, Mahayana, and Vajrayana) flourished.

Badami Cave Temples

The first ruler of the Early Chalukya dynasty, Pulakesi I established a new capital for his kingdom sometime around 540 AD. This city was located at the mouth of steep ravine and initially was named Vatapi. Nowadays it is known as Badami. Great kingdom needed outstanding sanctuaries. Badami Chalukyas built Badami Cave Temples – some of the most exquisite Indian rock-cut temples. The water flowing from the ravine in Badami is gathered in an ancient artificial lake – Agastya tirtha reservoir. High above the water there are towering cliffs of comparatively soft sandstone. Royal shrines were made in these cliffs with grand view opening over the former capital city.

Varaha Cave Temple

Exquisite, small jewel of the ancient South Indian architecture is Varaha Cave Temple - rock-cut Hindu temple located in the ancient city of Mahabalipuram. This sanctuary belongs to UNESCO World Heritage site named "Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram". Mahabalipuram (ancient name – Mamallapuram) was flourishing port city of Pallava dynasty during the 7th – 9th centuries. In many respects Mamallapuram was the second capital of Pallavas next to Kanchipuram. This city at the second half of 7th century experienced unprecedented flourishing of art and architecture, here were created multiple unique artworks. As far as we can judge now, artists at Mamallapuram made courageous experiments, using the natural landscape to create striking, unusual monuments.

Brihadeeswarar Temple

This great temple is India’s one of most prized site for its architecture. It stands in middle of fortified walls added probably in sixteenth century. There is one temple tower, which people call as Vimana. It is 216 feet or 66 meters high. It is also one among tallest tower in whole world in its kind. Kumbam, Chikharam or Kalasha, which is bulbous, or apex structure on top of temple, people believe that it is made out of a single stone carving. It is one luminous example of major heights, which Cholas achieves within Tamil architecture. This temple is one tribute and one reflection of power of its supporter Raja Raja Chola I. this temple remains as India’s largest and Indian architecture’s one of greatest glories. It is also a part of UNESCO World Heritage Site as “Great Living Chola Temples”.

Udaygiri Caves

Located at 85kms from Bhopal, Udaygiri Caves is known for their rock-cut cave. Situated in Sunpura and Udaygiri village of Vidisha district, these caves is the best example of classical Gupta arts. There are around 20 unique caves, one of the caves contains an inscription, which states that they belong to the age of Chandragupta II reign (AD 382-401) and they are numbered in the same series in which they were excavated.

Aihole durga temple

The temple derives its name from Durgadagudi meaning 'temple near the fort'. Dedicated to Vishnu, the temple appears to be a Hindu adaptation of the Buddhist chaitya (hall) with its apsidal end. Standing on a high platform with a 'rekhanagara' type of Shikhara, it is the most elaborately decorated monument in Aihole. The columns at the entrance and within the porch are carved with figures and ornamental relief's. The temple appears to be a late 7th or early 8th century construction.

Jain temples of Khajuraho

During the Chandela rule, many towns in Bundelkhand, including Khajuraho, were home to large and flourishing Jain communities. At Khajuraho the Jains apparently lived on the east side of town. A number of Jain temples from that period have survived in this part of Khajuraho in various states of preservation. Many Jain inscriptions from the Chandela period can be seen at Khajuraho.[1] All the Jain temples are now enclosed within a compound wall constructed in early 20th century, with the exception of the Ghantai temple.