It recently hit me that what I have seen of India can be compared to a tiny drop of the ocean. A lifetime may be too short to explore my motherland.
But here are the top 10 in my yet to see India list, ( in ascending order of the states they are in).
#1. Kaziranga National Park, Assam :
One of the things the British did for our benefit is this park. When the wife of Lord Curzon visited the area and failed to see a single Rhino she urged her husband to pass laws protecting the area and as a result today we have the oldest national park of Assam, the home of the one horned Indian Rhino.
#2. Nalanda University, Bihar
Long before any Oxford, Harvard and the like Nalanda university was one of the five greatest centers of learning . It housed a library so big that it is said that it took three months to burn when set ablaze by the Turkish Invaders.
#3. Rann of Kutch, Gujarat
Rann translates into ‘salt marsh’. The water that fills up during the monsoons dries a few months later to reveal a layer of white crystalized salt. Also the terrain changes from dry and parched to lush green, a bird watcher’s delight.
#4. Chandra tal, Himachal Pradesh
This lake of the moon is situated in the Lahaul and Spiti district of Himachal Pradesh. Acres of wildflowers surrounding a crescent shaped clear blue lake, this place is frequented by campers and avid trekkers.
#5. Khajurao, Madhya Pradesh
A UNESCO heritage site, this group of Jain and Hindu temples is famous for their erotic sculptures. It boasts of a time when art or any other form of expression was not constrained by taboos or social barriers.
#6. Konark sun temple, Orissa
In tamil Kona means ‘Lord’ and Arka means ‘Sun’. True to its translation this temple dedicated to the Lords of the sun is carved from sandstone and is adorned with the Chariot of the gods.
#7.Golden temple, Punjab
Lesser known by its real name Harmandir Sahib is a prominent Sikh gurdwara. This temple of god was once a site of frequent fighting between the Sikhs and the Mughals. Maharaja Ranjit Singh covered the upper floor with gold giving it a golden appearance and its english name.
#8.Taj Mahal, Uttar Pradesh
This monument of love needs no introduction. However I am told that no picture or written word can can prevent one from being mesmerized by its sight.
#9.Varnasi, Uttar Pradesh
Hailed by many names, this city of lights, this city of learning, this holy city has continually fascinated me. The confluence of religions, the inspiration to many poets, writers and musicians, Varanasi is located on the banks of the all holy river Ganges.
#10, Sunderbans, West Bengal
This is where the land greets the sea. This stretch of impenetrable mangrove trees is home of the largest tiger reserve in India. Criss crossed by many creeks and tributaries the Sunderbans is the largest estuarine forest in the world . Another feather to its cap is that the mighty rivers Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna drain out into the sea making the Sunderbans the largest delta in the world.