History is meant to be seen and felt. Here are the top destinations in the world that hold ancient and stunning testaments of the times past.
These monuments have withstood the test of time. These have many chronicles to acquaint us with.
Top Ancient Destinations In The World
Pyramids of Egypt
Let us start with the obvious – the pyramids of Egypt. The Great Pyramid of Giza sits tallest among all the other pyramids.
The pyramids of Egypt have captured our imagination like no other. Books and movies have only added more to the mystery. The stories of Pharaohs and the remains of a long-gone civilization attract us.
The mummies of Egypt are still surrounded by mysteries. The sight of the Sphinx is unforgettable.
Egypt is in the bucket list of almost every traveller. When you reach Giza, do take a camel or horse ride to see around the pyramids. It is a truly unforgettable experience.
Machu Picchu, Peru
The Lost City of the Incas, Machu Picchu. No doubt, it is one of the top destinations in the world. There is the stunning landscape and the thrilling tales of the ancient city.
The Incan citadel sits at 7,970 ft, on top of a mountain ridge in Southern Peru. The picturesque Machu Picchu was voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Even if you are not interested in history, a trip to Machu Picchu will be trip of a lifetime. Surrounded by mountains, valleys and rivers, the panorama is strikingly beautiful.
Sigiriya, Sri Lanka
Situated in Sri Lanka, Sigiriya is one ancient site that baffles historians. On a plain land arises a 200 meter high rock. On top of this rock is a flat surface that has ruins of a palace with pools and gardens.
To reach the top of the Sigiriya rock, you would have to climb 1200 steps. Although a tiring job but it is worth the journey.
Sigiriya is intriguing and eye-catching. Some historians say it was built by the demon king Ravan himself. Surrounded by greenery and mystery, it is definitely among the top destinations in the world in terms of ancient tourism.
Chichén Itzá and Cholula, Mexico
If Egypt is proud of its pyramids, then so is Mexico. Perhaps more because some of the world’s most amazing pyramids are in Mexico.
Mexico has wonderful pyramid complexes like Chichén Itzá and Cholula. The Great Pyramid of Cholula has a temple inside it dedicated to their deity Quetzalcoatl.
Chichén Itzá is a great place to see ancient Mayan civilization. These pyramids will surely take your breath away.
Go further south of Mexico and you will find another great ancient site. Tikal in Guatemala is another place that makes us wonder about the engineering skills of Mayans. These amazing pyramids stand strong even after thousands of years of weathering without any maintenance.
Guatemala is a land well known for its deep forests and beautiful wildlife. Plan a trip to Guatemala and it will surely be the memory of a lifetime.
Bagan is one of the top destinations in the world because of its stunning pagodas. During the rule of the Pagan kings from 11th to 13th century, 4446 beautiful pagodas and Buddhist monasteries were built in the Mandalay region. With the ups and downs in time, today 3822 of these structure still remain creating a surreal view of the land.
When you visit pagan, definitely opt for a hot air balloon ride to enjoy the dreamy view of the pagodas.
Stonehenge, United Kingdom
Sitting in the Salisbury Plains of UK are the rocks of Stonehenge. No one knows for sure who or why anyone put them here. These rocks are huge and these are monolithic, that is, one big slab of stone. It is estimated that Stonehenge is around 4,000 years old. Perhaps it was set up in this formation by the druids who used it for studying the stars.
Stonehenge is one of the most photographed and among the top destinations in the world of ancient times.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
The largest temple complex of the world and one of the most beautiful temple ruins – meet the Angkor Wat. This ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu is one of the top destinations in the world for photographers and historians alike.
Angkor Wat was built with a lot of planning, dedication and effort. Due to reasons unknown to us, the whole temple complex was abandoned and left to decay. Today the temple is under restoration and still is a grand sight to behold.
So far most of these ancient sites have been abandoned and later restored for the tourists. But the city of Jericho in Palestine is very much different in this regard. According to historians, Jericho is one of the oldest if not the oldest city in the world which has been continually inhabited. Jericho was founded about 11,000 years ago. Civilizations come and go but Jericho stayed. It is believed that in these thousands of years, 20 settlements and cultures have come and gone but the city always had its people at any time.
Today, Jericho has a population of about 20,000 people and it is definitely living history for those who want to see.
If you are a fan of Tintin comics, you must have already known Petra, the rock cut palace where they visited the Arab lord with the pet cheetah. Petra in Jordan is also a photographer’s paradise and among history’s top destinations in the world.
Petra is built of sandstone giving it a pink hue. This spectacular engineering marvel is carved on the mountain and goes deep within. Explore the many caves, temples and tombs all carved inside the mountain.
Göbekli Tepe, Turkey
When we speak of Göbekli Tepe, we mean real ancient stuff. The excavation of Göbekli Tepe started in 1996 and this is one of the most ancient building sites in the world. It is estimated to be constructed during 10,000 BC making it one of the most significant and top destinations in the world.
In the Anatolia region of Turkey the artificial mound of Göbekli Tepe stands tall at 59 ft. 200 pillars stand in circles, each being 20 feet high and 10 tons heavy. Not only are these one of the oldest pillars ever made but are also the oldest megaliths.
People who visit Göbekli Tepe are amazed to see not only the engineering skills of those olden times but also revel at the sculptures on limestone. If you want a taste of true ancient civilization, visit Göbekli Tepe in Turkey.
You must have already heard and seen the treasured statues of Easter Island. What are you waiting for?
Easter Island is one of the treasures of the ancient world. Full of mysteries and tales and the cool breeze of the Pacific Ocean, Easter Island should be in every explorer’s bucket list.
Nazca Lines, Peru
There is no other destination in the world like the Nazca Lines in Peru. It is mind-blowing in its size and aspect. The Nazca desert is full of huge geoglyphs, in other words, drawings on the landscape. The smallest are about 400 m long and the longest measure up to 1.1 km. It was created about 500 years BC and have been continued to be drawn for a thousand more years.
Whodunit? Some say ancient aborigines made it who vanished later. Some researchers say that it is such a unique wonder that it might have been the work of alien life who visited earth long time back.
Nazca Lines can be best viewed from air. If you do get a chance to visit Peru, do not miss one of the top destinations in the world for travellers.
Greece is one of the best places to see the remaining traces of the olden civilizations. A visit to the ancient ruins will bring the days of Achilles to your mind. The city of Argos is also living history as it is one of the oldest cities of the world. The city was founded and named after Argus, the son of Zeus.
Greece, like India, has a lot of history and mythology for us to see. Visit the famous Temple of Athena. Although it is a small, it is one of the most important temples in the Athenian Acropolis.
Not many tourists know about the ancient site of Volubilis in Morocco. It was the capital of the Mauretania kingdom in the 3rd century BC. However it was only a short time ago that it was excavated. Still half-way into excavation, the place has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Even after staying buried for hundreds of years, the beautiful mosaics of Volubilis shine beautifully to the traveller’s delight.
The Colosseum and Forum, Italy
Like Greece, Italy has many preserved memorials of the ancient days. For the tourists the most famous one is the Colosseum in Rome. It was constructed about two thousand years ago with the use of limestone, concrete and volcanic rock. This amphitheatre could seat up to 80,000 people and was the center point for entertainment and sports. Perhaps it was also the world’s first stadium.
The Forum in Rome stands tall in the center of the modern day city. It was the original ancient mall cum marketplace. Some have called it the most famous meeting place in history with the names of Julius Caesar and Constantine the Great attached to it. How would you like to stand at the very spot where Caesar must have done so two thousand years ago!
Ancient National Treasures Of India
The land of India is richly decorated with hundreds of ancient monuments, temples and palaces. Some are engineering masterpiece and others are treasured art pieces.
These national treasures not only tell us about society and civilization but also show us the dedication and ardor of the people who made it. Most of these temples have been preserved it and thousands of visitors keep it running. Many more ancient structures are still being discovered and being preserved. Some of these ancient structures are also among the top destinations in the world for tourists.
The temple complexes at Mahabalipuram, Konark, Meenakshi, Brihadeshwara and Lingaraj are just a handful of those. The renowned Hampi is one of the most visited temple complexes in the world, read more about Hampi here.
The Ajanta and Ellora are like no other in the world. Places like the Dilwara Temple in Mt. Abu and Adi Kumbeswarar Temple in Kumbakonam flabbergast us with their amazing artworks. The Taj Mahal and Sanchi Stupa are one and only.
These ancient monuments and temples awe and humble us. They tell us that battles do not make history, art and culture does.