6 Cultural Heritage Sites In Southern Asia For Heritage Travelers

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Must Visit Cultural Heritage Sites

“Our rich and varied cultural heritage has a profound power to help build our nation.” — Nelson Mandela

THOUGH heritage means property, cultural heritage doesn’t comprise money or such type of property. Cultural heritage refers to a culture, traditions, and values of a community. It embodies our identity, our history, and our bond to the past. Cultural heritage includes artifacts, archaeological sites, and historical monuments and buildings. Also, cultural heritage consists of old cities, natural heritage, and immaterial elements too.

Southern Asia is a culturally affluent and varied region, including various heritage sites that are also recognized by the UNESCO. This post for the heritage travelers and individuals who are curious about the cultural heritage sites in this region.

Mosque City of Bagerhat, Khulna, Bangladesh

The Mosque City of Bagerhat is a lost city in earlier times, which was established in the 15th century by a warrior saint. This historic city has over 50 Islamic monuments of Indo-Islamic architecture. The site declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.

Mosque City of Bagerhat, Khulna, Bangladesh
Mosque City of Bagerhat, Khulna, Bangladesh

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Lumbini, Buddha’s Birthplace, Rupandehi, Nepal

Lumbini is a Buddhist pilgrimage place, which is, according to Buddhist practice, the birthplace of Gautama Buddha. Queen Mayadevi gave birth to Siddhartha Gautama in Lumbini in 563 BCE. It included as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1997.

Lumbini, Buddha’s Birthplace
Lumbini, Buddha’s Birthplace (image credit: Yves Picq

Konark Sun Temple, Odisha, India

Konark Sun Temple is dedicated to the Surya, a Hindu god. The 13th-century sun temple is accredited to king Narasimhadeva I about 1250 CE. The temple has the exterior of a 100-foot high chariot with gigantic horses and stone made wheels. Sadly, much of over 200 feet high exterior is lost now. It was listed as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1984.

Konark Sun Temple
Konark Sun Temple (image credit: Chaitali Chowdhury

Dambulla cave temple, Matale, Sri Lanka

Dambulla temple, which is also known as the Golden Temple, is the prevalent and best-conserved cave temple in Sri Lanka. The main attractions of this temple are the five caves that contain paintings and statues. The wall paintings cover a vicinity of 2,100 square meters, and the figures include 153 Buddha statues. It is listed as a World Heritage Site in 1991.

Dambulla cave temple
Dambulla cave temple (image credit: Wikimedia

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Minaret of Jam, Shahrak, Afghanistan

The Minaret of Jam has the 62-meter sky-scraping minaret that was built about 1190 with only baked bricks. This Minaret is famous for its tortuous brick, embellish and glossy surface that consists of geometric structures, calligraphy, and the Qur’an’s verses. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in western Afghanistan.

Minaret of Jam
Minaret of Jam (image credit: David Adamec

Makli Necropolis, Sindh, Pakistan

Makli Necropolis is the most massive funerary place in the world with an area of 10 square kilometers. This cemetery has housed more than one million tombs, including some remarkable funerary tombstones that belong to a number of royal people, Sufi saints, and revered scholars. The site was decorated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981.

Makli Hill (image credit: Daily Times

World’s Cultural Heritage sites are our communal properties, therefore, defending as well as maintaining such precious properties require our shared global efforts.

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