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6 Heritage places to visit in South India for your December travel plans

India is a land of rich culture, heritage and tradition. The history of our multicultural land is deeply rooted and built in the form of temples, forts and other architecture marvels. Embark on a historical adventure in South India and dive deep into our culture and heritage. From richly built temples to breathtaking palaces, here is a list of heritage places in South India for your next travel adventure.

Hampi

Hampi is an ancient village in Karnataka, built by Vijayanagara Empire. The historical stone chariot monument is recognised as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. The ruins of Hampi are extensive and fascinating to capture your attention for hours. Hampi was a rich and prosperous city, known to attract traders from all over the world during its time. November to February is the best time to visit this historical city. If you plan to visit in January, do check out the legendary Virupaksha Temple Car Festival and the annual Purandaradasa Aradhana Music Festival at Vittala Temple. Two wheelers are available for rent in Hampi to make your travel easy and convenient.

Mysore

This historical city in Karnataka is filled with Palaces and ancient temples, sure to mesmerise you with their stunning architecture. In addition to the popular Mysuru palace which exhibits royalty and grandeur, Mysuru also has three other palaces which cannot be missed. Lalit Mahal Palace – the second largest palace in Mysuru, Talakadu palace which is of tremendous archaeological significance and Chittaranjan Palace built by the maharaja of Mysuru. You should also visit the Chamundeshwari Temple and Somanathapura Temple to be amazed by their artistry and sculptures.

Mahabalipuram

Mahabalipuram, located in the Southern state of Tamil Nadu is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You must pay a visit to the Shore temple, to witness the amazing sight of sea crashing on the temple rocks. Definitely stop by Pancha Ratha to see the solid stone cut structures, which represent Dharmaraja Ratha, Bheem Ratha, Arjun Ratha, Nakul Sahdev Ratha and Draupadi Ratha separately. Arjunas Penance is another must visit heritage landmark in Mahabalipuram. The carvings on this wall represent some scenes from the Mahabharatha. If you are an history buff, you must visit the Cavern Temples for its architectural brilliance.

Thanjavur

The famous Thanjavur town, ruled and built by the Chola dynasty, is known as the Rice Bowl of Tamil Nadu. The temple architectures, culture and monuments are famous throughout the world. The Brihadishvara Chola Temple is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its soaring pyramidal shrine, heavy doorways, and painting masterpieces. Tanjavur Maratha Palace showcases the history and culture of the place through its sculptures, weaponry, elephant bells, murals and portraits. The massive palace consists of huge halls, wide corridors, multi-storied observation towers and a shady courtyard.

Puri

Puri, a city of coastal charms and cultural heritage, is known for celebrating Ratha Yatra. Shree Jagannath Temple is a must visit place to experience the amazing architecture and breathtaking views from the Temple. The heritage crafts village of Raghurajpur is best known for its Pattachitra art. The art form is used to decorate Lord Jagannath and his siblings portraying scenes from mythology with vibrant colours, superb craftsmanship and excellent design. You should also visit the Loknath temple, where the Shiva Lingam is submerged under a natural underground fountain.

Konark

UNESCO World Heritage, Konark Sun Temple is a pinnacle of Odisha’s architecture. The temple is immensely detailed in its structure, symmetry and precision. The temple was designed as a chariot of Sun God driven by twenty four beautifully carved wheels and pulled by seven horses. Konark Dance festival is held annually from 1 December to 5 December, which is just a visual treat to watch. You should also visit the Dhauligiri Shanti Stupa which is just one and a half hours away from Konark. The Stupa signifies peace achieved in the great Kalinga war.

Let us know which of these heritage places in South India are you planning to visit on your next trip.

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